Zanzibar is one of the most amazing places I’ve been too and I’ve been lucky enough to go three times, I did a post on the Blue Safari (also In the Travel section) but on my last trip there I decided to go for a walk into the ocean at low tide and ended up on my own sea Safari. Apparently you can walk to where the deep ocean meets the low tide and see dolphins sometimes, you have to walk for about an hour into the sea but unfortunately I had left it too late to walk for an hour as tide was beginning to come in already. I would have loved to see where you are literally standing ankle deep in water and just a foot in front of you is water hundreds of metres deep and the possibility of dolphins jumping around!
Anyways I started walking and within a few minutes these 3 African men kept trying to guide me and tell me where to walk so I don’t step on sea urchins. I just wanted to be left alone and enjoy a peaceful walk in paradise so I told them nicely that I’ll be careful and thanks for there help but they were relentless. They continuously kept telling me where to walk and eventually I gave up and realised if I just followed them I would enjoy myself more so I did. They would walk to rock pools full of sea-life and pick up what was in them and show me. I was grossed out at the sea cucumbers, sea sponges (they squeezed them and all this purple dye came out of it), sea urchins and various other slimy sea cretins but decided to take pictures of everything they showed me. After about half an hour I told them I was heading back but they kept pointing to these rows of sticks in the distance and insisted they take me there and show me what it is. I could see a lot of figures out there so I was intrigued but also worried as the tide was creeping in and I had my camera on me.
We walked fast and soon reached the mysterious sticks, it was an underwater farm. The guy explained to me in a mixture of broken English and Swahili that all these people were farmers. Every day they would wait for low tide to go into the sea and tend to their crop of seaweed. They would string a tiny bit of seaweed onto these ropes tied to sticks in rows and they would cultivate them and slowly they grew. Once they were big enough they would remove the seaweed dry it and sell it in the town where it was used for roofs (that was my understanding of what he said). I was amazed at how these people had created a business with no costs, they used nature to make a living and I had the utmost respect for them as East Africa is riddled with beggars so desperate that they often maim themselves as a means to earn more. These people were so resourceful and it was so inspiring, the men who were showing me sea creatures also caught around 8 octopus by hand which they would sell for money. Definitely one of the best walks of my life.