Mustapha's Place

Zanzibar, Bwejuu, Tanzania, East Africa, budget hotel


How to live with no electricity

Zanzibar has had no power for two months but many people believe the outage will bring only good in the long run

(This article first appeared in Sunday Times Ecosse on 14 February 2010, this is the unedited version.)

Taking the Jambiani cultural tour

This is a piece that I wrote for Karibu magazine about the cultural tour that you can do in the coastal village of Jambiani - would recommend it for all visitors to the East Coast who want to understand a bit about the history, culture, flora and fauna of the area.

Spice world

Zanzibar is often known as the spice island. The exoticism of its name can only be matched by the transporting scent of fresh cloves, miles away from the Christmassy fustiness of their dried cousins. But if you come here to visit, what should you take home with you? Often pre-packaged spice mixes feature overground spices that are past their best - the humidity here means that things go soggy and lose their oomph quickly.

Zanzibar hotels

The trend amongst Zanzibar hotels these days seems to be toward a certain uniformity. Understated luxury is key, in the form of tropical beaches, a spa of course, and big villas with traditional makuti roofs. The positive angle is that Zanzibar for the most part has bypassed the trend for big, pack-em-in-like-sardines multi-storey concrete behemoths that take no regard of their surroundings.