After an insightful stop in Rome (more on that later), Zanzibar Airport awaited us as our plane unloaded into the steamy, tropical environs. It's a small airport as you can see below, with very little in terms of Western-style modernities (I would say it was even less structured than the tiny airport in Male, Maldives!):
The immigration section consisted of 2 small windows -- hardly enough to seamlessly accommodate the couple hundred people swarming the sweltering room. No signs, no guidance, nothing! Of course a massive mob formed instead of anything resembling a line.
Luckily we had arranged our entry visas well in advance from Washington DC, so entering was pretty quick once we realized where to go. The authorities simply glanced at my passport, literally threw my customs forms into a window (cutting in front of about 100 people), and told me to walk past the guards. Interestingly, nobody ever asked for my yellow fever vaccination certificate, which was recently touted as a new requirement due to a nearby outbreak in Uganda. (Of course, I don't regret having it done in the least!) Below is the mob:
The scenery just seconds outside of the airport:
A few minutes going to the east side of the island gives way to more trees, grass and various animals. Our entire drive took approximately 1 hour from Zanzibar's airport:
Our driver closely skimmed this baby cow drinking milk in the middle of the one paved road:
It was barely 7:30 in the morning but the locals were already well into their workday:
Upon arrival at our accommodations the view was absolutely spectacular. This sort of scenery in Zanzibar is almost exclusive to the east coast, and perfect for snorkeling (the west coast and Stone Town's ocean front is much more of a developed port):
Monkeys galore in this area, and they aren't afraid in the least to approach you if you happen to have food around!
This guy was the main competition for our resort's resident cat: