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Don't know if you have ever covered Zanzibar, but if not you ought to. I spent five weeks there in 1996, while working in Tanzania. The northernmost shore of the western side of the island is absolutely near paradise, once you get to the beach. In 1996, a pristine beach extended from the quaint fishing village of Ngungwi on the northwestern corner, to a charming harbor some two miles to the south.

Huge wooden fishing boats are still completely hand crafted on these shores. I saw skilled craftsmen wielding razor sharp adzes to within inches of their bare feet, never missing their target and retaining all their toes. On my last visit there were rumors of an Italian consortium buying up land to build a 3,000 bed hotel on that same beach. In Ngungwi there is a small sanctuary for sea turtles and it is not at all unusual to see the creatures on the western shore.

I would highly recommend visiting the island and have fondest memories of the narrow streets of Zanzibar town, and the food stalls in the park at dusk. Very inexpensive and well worth the effort to get there.




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