Thursday, November 22, 2012

Zanzibar, Tanzania - Tropical Paradise

The village of Jambiani is situated on the southeast coast of Zanzibar Island, some 45 km from main city Stone Town. It is an approximately 4 kilometers long and narrow settlement of originally 13 smaller separated villages, today grown together to one, but each still carrying their original name. Jambiani Beach is miles of startling white sand.

The legend tells that the first people to settle here found a dagger (in Arabic: 'jambya') in the sand, and then called their settlement 'Jambiani'.

The village houses some 6000 inhabitants whose everyday lives are closely connected to the tidal cycle of the Indian Ocean, which determines the pattern of activities in the village and on the beach. A common feature is to see the women attending to their seaweed farms on low tide, and the fishermen returning their dhows from the reef with the fresh catch of octopus and other species on high tide.

The unique and seductive charm of Jambiani is evident and the villagers are most friendly to their visitors. It is definitely not hard to feel at home here. A short walk through the village is good proof of this as almost anyone, young and old, greets you Karibu/Welcome, where ever you go. Even the household of ducks, hens, goats and cows moving around in the village are greeting you in their own friendly way…

Jambiani was, until recently, not too easy to access. The last 5-6 km on a bumpy dirt road from Paje, took as long time to pass by car as the first 40 km from Stone Town. But today that is ancient history as a new paved road has been completed during 2007.

Jambiani now has its own health clinic and hospital, several schools, internet places, post office and many other smaller shops where it is possible to get most of what you need – but if you are looking for special shopping possibilities, a trip to Stone Town is inevitable. Then a ride with the local bus, the dala dala, brings you close to the locals – and an unforgettable experience is guaranteed!

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