Sunday, 10 September 2017

Moving on to Zanzibar

After 3 full days at the camp it was time to move on to the Breezes Hotel and Spa in Zanzibar.


Check-in formalities at the airstrip were of course non existent and so we relaxed in the air conditioned lounge until our plane flew over the strip ensuring there were no obstructions on the runway ! 

Arriving plane

When it landed, we were told that after we had picked up some passengers at another nearby airstrip, we were going to fly direct to Zanzibar rather than having to change planes in Dar Es Salaam. 

Pat climbs aboard

This time the 12 seater plane was full, so full that the 13th passenger had to sit in the co-pilot’s seat.


This view shortly after takeoff shows the “airport terminal” (bottom middle) and the track we followed going into the game reserve.


Hippos and Water Buffalo were out in force on the banks of the Rufiji River as we flew away 

River from Air

and the irrigation provided by the river is evident from this photograph which shows a lot of greenery along its banks. 


A detailed history of Zanzibar is given here. It became a Protectorate of Britain in 1890 and in 1896, British disapproval of the local Sultan led to what has been called the shortest ever war (38 minutes). More overt direct rule from Britain started in 1913. The Protectorate ended in 1963 with full self government within the Commonwealth and after a local revolution, the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba merged with mainland Tanganyika to become Tanzania some four months later.

Zanzibar Airport

To go through Zanzibar Airport is to go back in time. We parked in front of the terminal and walked over to it. Immigration was straightforward and our bags were waiting on a trolley in customs. There is no conveyer belt system here for baggage, everything is done by hand.

Our taxi which was waiting outside, took us straight to Breezes which is situated on the east coast directly looking out onto the Indian Ocean.


The general arrangement is of a number of two storey villas in large grounds with a swimming pool and adjacent dive centre overlooking the beach and the Indian Ocean.

Balcony view

This was the view awaiting us from the balcony of our rather superb suite of rooms. 


There is no central block of rooms as in many hotels. Here all guests stay in a small house which provides for four apartments. 


The bed was about 8 feet across with a large mosquito net which was let down overnight by the staff.


Adjacent to our balcony was a tall coconut tree complete with coconuts. Not particularly interesting but the colourful Bee Eater sitting on one of the coconuts was. 

Lady in the grounds

The resort grounds were very well maintained.

Pool at daytime

This is the large swimming pool which was also used for Padi Open Water training for those who took their qualification whilst staying at the hotel. 

Pool at night

It took on a different appearance at night although usage of the pool stopped at 7 pm. 

Dining Room

All meals were served in a large dining area, waiter service one day and buffet service the next.


In front of the hotel is the beach and beyond that a coral reef and a lagoon. The sky was invariably blue and lying on a sun lounger, shaded by a large umbrella, listening to the sound of the sea and being kept cool by a southerly breeze was more than relaxing. 


I did four dives over two days and this is the dive boat I used. It took me outside of the lagoon into deeper water for each dive. The fish were nothing spectacular nor was the coral but diving again was very nice, it having been a few years since I last dived.

We both felt that Breezes was perhaps the best hotel we have ever been to because it provided unobtrusive service and luxury. Its reviews on TripAdvisor are almost universally excellent and we found the few complaints mentioned in the reviews (such as "at low tide the sea was too far away”) rather amusing or inaccurate.

This type of luxury experience is not something we are used to because we usually take far more active and challenging holidays but we are agreed that as we get older, it will become more the norm for us.

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