Zanzibar: Exploring Nungwi Village

Nungwi village has a strong impact on me.

Bumpy and dusty roads that are not worth of their name. Small square houses made of unplastered cement bricks. Doors are often a luxurious option or just an unnecessary ornament. Windows are covered with old newspapers, iron sheets or heavy discolored fabrics so that light can not penetrate the already gloomy rooms.

In the darkness of the night only a few dim lights, be it kerosene lamps or light bulbs with maximum 2 lumens capability, here and there indicate tha presence of human activity in the area.

Most people sit in front of their houses and talk with the neighbours or just think of their own matters in the shadows of the night. Kids play, scream and run in the surroundings. How they see each other in the absolute obscurity is a mistery I still can’t solve. I guess it has to do with evolution and adaptation.

The road is lit only by the headlights of the taxi we take every night after dinner from the village to our hotel. I keep my fingers crossed that we won’t need to stop anywhere in that unfriendly darkness. But I enjoy exploring the village during the day, as a break from the paradisiac beach just a few meters away. Not too deeply though, as everyone looks at us in a manner that I can’t interpret.

There are a few vegetables shops, restaurants with backpacker prices ( I dare you to try them), a supermarket with Western goodies at really high prices, a barber shop, internet point, even a Blockbuster, or at least the local variation of it, so vintage!

Dust, rubbish, cows and poverty everywhere you look but it’s worth the visit at least for once if you want to get a deeper understanding of how the locals live. Of course any kind of urban exploration must be done being dressed and covered in a proper way, in accordance with the Muslim culture.

Here are some pictures from Nungwi village.

*There are also organized tours (by the beach boys) that cost $ 15 or less x person but we did it by ourselves. Four hours to see this instead of contemplating the tropical beauty of the Indian ocean seems so sinful to me. We did some “shopping” though, so we supported the locasl anyway.




  • VeganWorld-Traveller

    Hey Gabi, hope you are doing well! It was great to see you again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that much time. But I hope to come back to Milano…maybe next year or so 😉 Or I would be very happy to show you around in Switzerland if you decide to visit my small but beautiful country 🙂

    • Gabi

      Hi Dennis,
      you never have a lot of time, I already know that 🙂 Happy that we met even if it was for just a coffee!
      If Switzerland boasts beautiful sceneries then count me in, but maybe when it is warmer 🙂