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'Rainy Season' in Zanzibar

Serenity on the Spice Island

'Rainy Season' in Zanzibar

April and May is the 'low' season on Zanzibar. The name given to this rain period by the Swahili people is 'Masika'.

The southeast monsoon - the Kusi - is blowing steadily and firmly in May, this combined with the rains gives a great natural cooling effect to the island. Far fewer tourists visit the island during this period, and many businesses close their doors for rennovations.

So with cooler weather, and fewer visitors, May can be a fantastic time to explore the legendary Spice Island. Our recent week long visit in mid May was a wonderful experience, with the vegetation vibrant green, and clear cool air blown by the monsoon made for a fresh feel on our travels around the island.

We began by exploring the labyrinthine streets of Stone Town, taking in the fascinating information on all things Swahili in the museum at the House of Wonders, and enjoyed sundowners watching dhows cruise past sandy beaches.

A few kilometres out of town is Mbweni, a lush coastal village known for it's ruins, and scenic beaches, and our base whilst on the west coast.

Having soaked up the history and culture of Stone Town, an hour drive east to the villages of Paje and Jambiani, and the exquisite white beaches, small fishing villages, and relaxed pace of life does wonders for the soul.

Slowing down to the Zanzibari pace of life, which appears even slower in the 'low' season is highly recommended, and getting into the rhythm of life with the changing of the tides and brush of the monsoon winds, whilst watching the timeless sight of dhows drifting past will entice you to stay longer on this magical island, and make you promise yourself that you will return.

Huge thanks to Ray and Prama, and Simon and Francesca for being such wonderful hosts, and making our visit so memorable.

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Nic Cahill

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