Zanzibar is one of my fondest memories of the two years I lived in Ethiopia, it was the first country I visited after I moved to the African continent and I felt welcomed in a way I didn’t know I needed or expected. I loved the food, the people, the music and the beaches. The first time I stayed in Stone Town and went on a spice farm tour the first day where I discovered the similarities between the Caribbean and Zanzibar. The same fruits and vegetables, similar energy, beautiful beaches and I felt pretty safe exploring the area on my own. This was back in 2014 so why am I now writing about this trip? I was recently asked what was the worst thing that happened to me while on vacation and it got me to thinking back to my trip to Zanzibar.
Well…On the second or third night of my trip, the hotel where I was staying caught on fire in the middle of the night. Because I’m a light sleeper I heard the alarm going off after I noticed that the electricity had gone off . When I opened my door to see what was going on, I saw the electrical panel by the door at the bottom of the stairs was on fire and the front desk was empty. So I want back inside put on clothes and came out and started knocking on the other guest’s doors to tell them that there was a fire and we should evacuate. Luckily it was a small hotel and since it was October there were only 4 or 5 other rooms in addition to mine. The fire was still small and there was another entrance across from the panel that led into the restaurant which had a door that led to outside. Once we were outside waiting for the fire truck, the guy from the registration desk came back and said he went to the Doubletree to get help🤦🏾♀️. There was another hotel across the street, so I asked him why would he go around the corner to the Doubletree without evacuating the hotel first? Obviously he had no training in fire safety and did not know that the smoke from electrical fires can be extremely toxic.🤷🏾♀️ While we waited for the firemen to work on putting the fire out we were offered rooms at the Doubletree because it turned out that they opened the little boutique hotel where I was staying. That night it took a shot of malibu and a shower to calm my nerves and get to sleep since we weren’t allowed to go back until the next day to collect our belongings. Luckily other than smelling like smoke there was no real damage done except for the electric panel by the door which was completely destroyed. 😳
The perk of the fire was that I got to spend the next 2 nights at the Doubletree hotel in Zanzibar and enjoy their rooftop restaurant with a patio and a nice view of the city. The next day I took a boat tour to Prison Island where there is a tortoise sanctuary and I was surprised to learn that some of them were over 100 years old. I don’t think I ever told my family that story because I didn’t want them to worry about me living so far away and traveling alone. Truthfully this was a mild experience in comparison to some of the stories that I have read but it was an unexpected event on a vacation. Despite the unexpected fire, I had great time in Zanzibar and so I went back again in May but this time I spent most of the time in the beach area Nungwi. The hotel was well decorated and right on the beach, the food was great and the hotel next door hosted a full moon party; we never left the resort the entire 3 days we spent there.
Zanzibar is still to this day one of the countries I would like to go back to visit and hopefully the next time I will get to explore Dar Es Salaam as well. #BlackExpat #Edpat #Expatdivas #Ebonyexpats #livingmybestlife #travelismytherapy #blackandabroad #iloveafrica #blackwomenwhoblog #blackwomenwhotravel