Day 82: Bagamoyo to Zanzibar

|, Tanzania, Trip Report|Day 82: Bagamoyo to Zanzibar

4 May 2017

Day 82: Bagamoyo to Zanzibar

Distance: 148km (Cumulative: 11 372km)
Moving time: 4:00
Average speed: 37km/h
Road surface: 50% Tar, 50% Water

Accommodation: AirBnB
Jules & May - R175 p.p

Clean and spacious flat, cold shower, good location

We set the alarm for 07:00, but the bed was too nice to get up so early. We snoozed a bit and then slowly packed up. We went for breakfast which was included in the cottage price. The breakfast was the biggest and best we had so far. We got tea and juice, a plate full of fruit each (banana, papaya, orange and avocado) and then edible bread, omelette, sausages, tomatoes and potatoes.

Reception organised a Taxi for us, they first wanted $80 dollars, but this was negotiated down to 100 000 shillings ($44). We parked the MonkeyMobile and locked and opened it a few times, everytime remembering something else that we need to take out or do.

When the Taxi driver arrived, Hugo asked him whether it was indeed 100 000 Shillings. He tried to claim that it was a misunderstanding and that it would be 150 000 TZS. We said in that case we want to get out, so he settled for the 100 000 TZS. The going was quite easy, but after an hour the rain got so heavy again we could barely see out of the window and then we hit the infamous Dar Es Salaam traffic. The second last Ferry leaves at 12:30 and the next one only at 15:45. 12:00 was approaching fast, but the traffic wasn’t moving. If we miss the 12:30 Ferry by a few minutes we would have to wait a long time.

Finally we got within almost walking distance of the terminal, but then the taxi driver took a wrong turn and we had to take wide circle to get back to Terminal. The rain was still pouring down so we would have been soaked if we wanted to rather walk the last few meters. As the clock was ticking past twelve the driver kept muttering Hakuna Matata, seemingly more to himself than to us.

We got to the terminal at 12:10 and a dozen people surrounded the car knocking on the windows. The taxi driver looked panicked and told us to just sit and be calm. He opened his window and everyone started shouting, showing IDs and pointing. Eventually he said ok just get out. We got out and went into the booking office where no-one harassed us. We, however, had to wait a few more minutes for the lady to finish her phone call. We asked for an economy ticket and was informed that everything was already sold out. We saw reports about this being a scam so we tried to plead, but she just kept on saying it was already full. The clock ticked on so we took the $40 business class tickets. She told us to hurry up and we literally had to run. Someone grabbed our big backpack from Hugo’s chest and started running with it – to the departure gate. We went through the security scanner and multiple other points where we had to show our ticket and passports. As we approached the boat the ‘porter’ started saying this is where we give him money. Hugo took out 2000 TZS, but he demanded 10 000. In the end he got 5000. We boarded at 12:20 and left the harbour shortly after.

Sitting behind us to our surprise was the Ukrainian family that we ‘rescued’ in Mikumi. They handed in their rental vehicle in Dar Es Salaam and are flying back to Ukraine from Zanzibar in a few days. We were on the Kilimanjaro VI Fast Ferry from Azam Marine. Inside in the Business Class section it is like an aeroplane complete with a safety video being played on the flat screens. After we left the harbour they started a replay of the Arabic ‘The Voice’, which played for the whole 2 hours. Hugo and Mykhailo (the Ukrainian) went upstairs to the viewing deck past two floors of economy class. The economy class seats, which is just $5 cheaper for foreigners, is at least $15 less comfortable, especially if it is quite full you could end up getting soaking wet in the rainy season or sweating profusely in the summer.

We arrived in Zanzibar and was among the first to get our luggage, as it went into the last cargo bin. We had to go through passport control and got an entry stamp for Zanzibar, without having to get an exit stamp from Tanzania. Our AirBnB host was suppose to meet us at the Terminal, but we didn’t get through to her so we walked to the nearest cafe to avoid the masses of Taxi drivers and ‘guides’ that try to get our attention. We finally made contact and May, our host, came to meet us in the café. The flat that we booked turned out to be just 200m from the café. It is a large a spacious flat with a high ceiling next to the Golden Tulip hotel, the flat has three rooms which is only used for AirBnB. The room cost R355 per night.

It stopped raining so we quickly put on short clothes and went for a walk. Most of the famous attractions of Stone Town is within a 1km radius. We walked to the Forodhani Gardens, which is in front of the House of Wonders and the Old Fort.

From there we walked passed the Mercury House, where Freddie Mercury lived as a child, to some curio shops. Hugo bought Caro a wedding band for the first time, as she previously only had an engagement ring, which we left at home.

From there we went to the old slave market. We had to pay entrance of 10 000 TZS each, which isn’t really justified in terms of what you see, but we were quite moved by what the guide told us, so we thought it was worth it. We had the bonus of witnessing and listening to the choir practice in the Anglican Church. Beside the Anglican Church which is quite impressive considering you’re still in Africa, they just show you the slave chambers (small low roof rooms in which an impossible number of slaves were kept, many of whom died) and the rather neglected slave monument.


There was also an exhibition room with panels hanging from the roof with more information on the slave trading history. We only got halfway when it started getting dark, so we decided to find a restaurant. We went to Lukmaan, which is the number one cheap eats restaurant on TripAdvisor. They serve Zanzibari food, buffet style, but you pay for each item you choose separately. We had rice with aubergine, grilled fish and naan. The fish was excellent even though we’re not sure what it was.

Getting back to our room was quite interesting as we had to blindly follow lots of dark and narrow alleyways, relying on Open Street Maps to guide us. We got back to the Forodhani Gardens, where a lively market has been set up since we were there a few hours earlier. Most vendors sell kebabs ranging from beef to vegetarian as well as seafood options like barracuda, lobster and prawns.

We made it back to our room and did some work and reading before falling asleep at midnight.


2019-07-29T10:51:24+02:00 February 11th, 2017|Categories: Africa, South Africa, Trip Report|


  1. Karin 8 May 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Hi there. Thanks so much for the effort you guys are putting in to your blog. Am loving reading it and getting inspiration for a trip we are dreaming about. Our daughter is 7yo and we would like to take her out of school in a few years time to do a 4 month Africa trip.

  2. Sujit Katyal 5 April 2019 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Hi, It was a good read. I am also planning to be in Bagamoyo in June of 2019. Wonder if you can help me with some clues about boat service from Bagamoyo to Stone Town, Zanzibar without going through the hassle of going to Dar.

    • Two Monkeys 6 April 2019 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Hi, as far as I know there are no ‘official’ boat service from Bagamoyo. Some people go on the dhows that transport goods to Zanzibar, but tourists have died and it could potentially be illegal. There could theoretically be private speedboats, but that would be much more expensive than the public Ferry. It’s not really that big of a hassle. Just get a taxi straight to the Ferry point and board the Ferry. Easy-peasy.

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