And after the first days of the absolute relaxation at Zuri Hotel, we decided that is time to go out and start exploring the island and its beauties. We were really lucky that the hotel is cooperating with a really professional Tourist office, ZanTours that offers professional services, tours, excursions , experiences. Starting from the transportation vehicles to the drivers and the guides, I would easily say that these people know exactly what they do, and they do it in a great way. Our first day trip is the Safari Blue (the original), certified by Trip Advisor too. We left the hotel at 8:00 am and came back at the hotel after 5:30pm. The entire trip is organised by Safari Blue team which is a really well set up business doing nice and well organised boat and snorkeling trips.
From Kendwa beach where is our hotel, our driver took us to Fumba port where practically is at the south west part of the island, a drive of almost 85 klm which lasted more than 1,5 hours. The good thing was that we had the opportunity to see a very big part of the island and go through very many small villages.
When we reached Fumba, we met with the rest of the tourists from many other hotels from all around the Zanzibar, we were split in teams and we were given the basic instructions from the leaders of every boat. This meting point was on the beach and then we had to walk more than 150m to reach the boats since the tides were really low. I think none of us was really prepared for that. We did not have the correct shoes, we were all carrying several bags with towels, clothes, cameras etc as well as the fins that we were given by the Safari Blue team, but OK, I think we all managed to reach the small wooden boats, dhows. The traditional wooden dhows (Zanzibari boats) are made by local craftsmen with African mahogany found on the island.
The trip to Menai Bay Conservation area started and I believe all 16 of us were excited but a bit stressed to sail with such a small boat in the middle of the ocean. After about an hour we reached the first snorkeling spot. It was a beautiful coral reef with thousands of different tropical and exotic fish. Our snorkeling guide was showing us the different fish and telling us their names. After half a hour of snorkeling we sailed again to our next destination.
And that time we were really lucky to sail next to the dolphins. There is 85% chance to see the dolphins in any of these trips so we can consider ourselves lucky enough.
We continued sailing to the second snorkeling spot. A tiny small island, Kwale Sandbank, in the middle of the sea where all our boats stopped for a while and people had the chance either to stay there for sunbathing and swimming or continue for some more snorkeling. The second snorkeling spot was exciting too with so may different colorful fish that you usually see in Nat Geo documentaries.
Then back to the boats and off we go to the magical mangrove lagoon at Kwale Island. An unbelievably rare mystic place with sallow warm waters surrounded by rocks fool of mangrove trees. The swim there was exotic to say the least.
Next stop was at the other side of the Kwale Island for lunch, at a super beautiful sandy beach where the Safari Blue team has created a nice tent with long tables and a small shopping village with little stores selling traditional souvenirs. The food was simple but delicious, prepared on the spot by the team, consisting of fish. chicken, lobster, rice veggies. Beers and soft drinks were available in big quantities. On this island people can see the oldest baobab tree of Zanzibar!
After a good rest, back to the boats and with the sails only on this time we sailed back to Fumba where the buses where waiting for us to take us to the hotels.
And that was the end of a fantastic day which was mostly a boat excursion and less of a snorkeling adventure but overall we had the opportunity to see beautiful places, swim at the amazing waters of Indian Ocean and taste nicely cooked Zanzibari foods.