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daniserralta Stone Town - A travel report by Dani
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Stone Town,  Tanzania, United Republic of - flag Tanzania, United Republic of -  Zanzibar Urban/West
7007 readers

daniserralta's travel reports

Stone Town. Shine past, doubt future.

  15 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Starting point for the great last centuries explorations of Africa. This city , house long time ago of adventurers like Livingstone, Stanley or Speke, is now the place for hordes of tourists buying necklaces or Zanzibar football t-shirts.

View of Stone Town from the sea.
View of Stone Town from the sea.
Don't get me wrong. I love this city. Is great just walk by the laberinthic streets and get lost in that mix of British Colonialism, Portuguese influence and muslim architecture. Is a shame that a lot of old buildings are collapsing down. The dirty everywhere, the bikes in the old town and the locals pushing you all the time to buy something, that's also Stone Town. Anyway, deep into the old town, it still keeps the old spirit, the city that the great explorers knew. The city of the Sultans, the British explorers, the slavery, the portuguese trade, .....

Favourite spots:
House of Wonders.
House of Wonders.
A lot of things to see and do. Just walking through the old town you can be lost and that's the best way to find many of the hidden places. The streets and architecture are amazing, the Persian Baths, the Old British council where the explorers rested, the Arab fortress, the wonderful house of wonders(3$) named like that cause was the first in the sub-sahar Africa who had electricity and a lift!!!, the National Museum, the old pie (Great to see the sunset with the dhows at the end!), the beautiful doors verywhere with their rare and amazing woodcraft, the always busyDarajani market, ......

What's really great:
Slaves memorial.
Slaves memorial.
What I really preffer is all refered to the history of the great African explorations and about the adventurers who did it. There are many places in the old town but specially the Old British Council and the old slavery market, now a church. The old slave chambers are impresive for the history indeed. (2$) Is amazing how hateful the people can be and was. Go there is an impresive and emotive visit. The funniest in Stone town is just take a boat and go to the Prison Island. You can't visit the prison but you can enjoy with the wonderful and enormous tourtles!!! 4$ +1$ to feet them!!! And are really, really big!!!

Wow! There are several cheap and nice hostels in Stone Town.
The most famous are the Flamingo and Jambo Hostels ... always crowded.
Centrally located is the Karibu Inn, is nice but really overpriced. (20$ for a single?)
Deep into the old town there are several others. I was at the Manch Lodge. Nice, clean, with or without bathroom, mosquito net and fan, breackfast included but sometimes noisy. 10$-15$
Near the harbour there are some. Malindi or annex to Malindi hostels.
And good hotels like Dhow hotel, Africa House, Tembo Hotel or Serena Hotel ... all Aircon, swiming pool, restaurants and amazing locations.

There's not much nightlife in Stone Town or at least I couldn't find it!!
The most crowded place was the Mercury's Bar with an interesting Queen decoration. Near the harbour.

Food market.
Food market.
Usually the breakfast are included in the hostels rates so to dinner or lunch you can walk around the city.
There are a couple of Italians (Like everywhere in the world!), one Chinese (Pagoda restaurant back to the Africa House) and a lot of local ones.
I enjoyed the Dolphin restaurant just in front of the Shanghani Internet cafe.
At night, no doubt, go to the Foradhani Gardens, in front of the house of wonders.
There's a night food market where you can choose the fresh fish, seafood or meat that you want and just eat it there.
Is very busy and crowded area at night. Easy to find.

Other recommendations:
Internet? There's only one option. The Shanghani Internet Cafe, close to the Post Office. 500TSH per 30 minuts - 1$ per hour.

There are 2 new ATM's. The NBC bank and at the Comercial Bank of the Middle East, Kenyatta road. Very useful!!

Go to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam costs 25$ with the cheapest and slowlier boat (Aziza , mine!) takes 7 hours. But there are other faster, 2'5 hours for like 40$.
Back from Zanzibar the Aziza night boat takes 8 to 9 hours and is 15$.

The Dalla-Dalla station to the north, suth and East coast is in front of the Darajani market.

Hope it helps!

Published on Wednesday August 24th, 2005

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Tue, Jul 25 2006 - 10:51 PM rating by downundergal

You sure do vsit some exotic and unusual places. Interesting report on a place that many of us won't get to visit.

Sat, Jul 22 2006 - 03:38 AM rating by marianne

Good information and well written. Did you stay in Flamingo?

Wed, Aug 24 2005 - 11:28 PM rating by dipaks

Good report. would be nice if related pic included.

Wed, Aug 24 2005 - 01:24 PM rating by trondpg

Nice report. I've been to Stone town many times, and agree with most of what your'e saying. However, there are many more Iternet cafes. One in direct connection to the post office, at least one close to where the boats to prison island leave from, and several in the back allyes.

Wed, Aug 24 2005 - 08:52 AM rating by rangutan

Exciting Zanzibar, just the name, the historic explorers and THIS report makes the place an exotic attraction.

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