Zanzibar is known for its warm crystal clear waters. This was part of the reason we made sure that on the second day in this beautiful little island we would spend plenty of time in or near the water.
Attempt to swim with dolphins
First thing in the morning, we headed down to the southern most part of Zanzibar, Kizimkazi beach to experience the thrill of swimming with the dolphins.
Lets just say we experienced far more of a thrill than we were expecting!
Imagine a tiny 6 passenger boat. No life jackets for emergencies. And a boat operator not fluent in English.
You might be concerned if a boat can endure heavy ocean waves. Or perhaps you would trust the judgement of your boat operator who you assume must know what he’s doing based on experience.
My four friends and I thought the latter. How long could the boat ride possibly be we thought, after all it was simply our transportation to reach the dolphin sight.
An Hour Later
” Are we going to make it back alive?” was the question haunting us all.
The skipper had taken us far far into the ocean in his search for dolphins. No other boats were anywhere in sight. Just us….in the middle of the ocean.
we were told before the trip began that the weather was safe that day for taking this trip.
By now the weather had begun to change. The sun was disappearing…grey clouds started appearing…the winds were getting stronger, the waves were reaching new heights. We sat there inside the tiny rocking boat …panicking! every few seconds a new big wave would rise and then pass …and each time we feared it would flip our boat. Even during this stormy weather our skipper was still keen on going further.. the wind waves started intensifying.
By now we had started screaming, pleading and begging him to take us back on shore. The chance of our boat toppling over was now very high!
Heavy rains had started. He stopped the boat and put it on standby. We sat there in sheer discomfort, a tiny little boat enduring heavy rains in the middle of the ocean. Anything could happen.
Lucky for us nothing did. Our skipper finally listened to our requests and gave up his search. He must have felt he was doing us a favour all this time by trying so hard to find dolphins but the only favour we were grateful for was him quitting before it was too late.
We managed to eventually see two dolphins on our ride back but we were simply just happy to be alive.
Following our eventful morning in Kizimkazi, we headed to nearby Paje beach to experience snorkeling and kite surfing.
While we were waiting, we were approached by two Maasai men who showed us hand crafted jewelry to sell. The jewelry was nice but what I was more impressed by was their top notch English fluency and more interestingly how well traveled one of them was. He was proud of mentioning he had spent 2 years living in Italy.
Upon my return back home, I was reading further about Zanzibar and came to learn a disturbing fact. This paradise island is a hot spot for female sex tourism. A disturbing fact indeed but I mention this in connection with the Maasai men we met.
It’s not fair to assume or label but I can’t help it but wonder if these men were regularly involved with older western women for financial gains. I also found it very bizarre, the one who had spent time living in Italy was not even able to answer which Italian city he had lived in.
Was he simply fabricating a story or was he living abroad under strange circumstances to accompany a female “love interest”?
I guess there are some answers we will never know.