Who isn’t lured by the notion of palm-lined sandy white beaches, turqoise blue waters, coral reefs teeming with fish and postcard perfect sunsets and sunrises? Throw in traditional fisherman mending nets, tending to exotic dhow sailboats and beachside restaurants with thatched canopies and bikini clad beauties sipping colorful drinks adorned with bamboo umbrellas. True, this could be Bali, Buzios, Barbados or the Bahamas, but this is Tanzania and you’re in Zanzibar. Sadly, some that come to this striking island cocoon themselves in five-star resorts complete with all the western amenities and services void of local flavor or culture. That is, you could be in Zanzibar yet the experience would hardly be differentiated from any other western-styled beach resort. Sure you’d have a Tanzania stamp is in your passport but you’d be far from the Tanzania experience.
I say mix it up. As a world-riding motorcyclists my budget doesn’t afford me five-star trysts with such resorts. But that’s the beauty of Zanzibar. One can relish in its tropical glory and sleep and eat on a modest budget. My goal was to cover the tiny island over a period of 4 days. Starting in Zanzibar Town (Stone Town) straddling the 250cc powerplant of my Honda XLR I experienced the freedom of a lightweight bike with only a backpack stuffed with a toothbrush, change of clothes and my camera I ventured first to the northern tip of the island. Famous for it’s atolls, reefs and pristine beaches, Nungwi village is a study in contrasts. I was tipped off that this would be where I could find affordable accomodation, good food and nightlife that doesn’t roll up at 8pm.