Zanzibar Archipelago
A cooking pot of Arabic, Asian, European, and Swahili cultural influences, Zanzibar boasts the World Heritage–listed Stone Town, which echoes with the grandiose atmosphere of a bygone era. The water here is dotted with emerald-blue islands sporting dazzling white beaches and vast coral reefs. The spice-infused cuisine, antique curio shops, and laid-back culture are alluring to travelers from all over the world. Zanzibar is the epitome of exotic.

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Kitchen Parade?

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Kendwa Rocks makes a great end to an East Africa trip. We arranged everything through Shidoyla Safaris. The 60-minute drive was highlighted by varied scenery, local culture, and security checkpoints where our driver bribed the officers. We arrived at a metal gate, on a dirt road, surrounded by concrete walls.

After being let into the compound, we hauled our bags to the front desk. We received our keys and relinquished our passports. Giving up our passports was a bit scary but we got them back upon checkout. Dropping our bags in our rooms, we headed out for an evening swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Wear water shoes, as one of my friends stepped on an urchin and got a dozen or so spines in her foot. The locals proceeded to treat her with mango juice, gasoline, and "fresh" urine!

The rooms are simple, wood-floored bungalows with AC, hot water, and a hammock right on the beach. Walk the coast in either direction for food, shopping, and recreation. We rented a two-person kayak for 10,000 TSH ($6 USD). Paddle to a nearby, unnamed island, to see cool rock formations. Power was reliable except during the Full Moon party. While waiting for food at the Kendwa restaurant, suddenly the kitchen doors opened and the cooks starting marching, banging pots and pans and singing. They marched right out of the entrance, down the beach, and were never heard from again. I could tell dozens of stories, but the meal was an adventure, the resort was fun, and the island was amazing!

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