Stone Town is the capital of the island of Zanzibar. It was built in the 19th century, but has been known since the 8th century. Then it was a port city where merchants of spices, coconut oil and slaves sailed on their big ships. Today, Stone Town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, primarily due to its unique architecture. The houses here were built very chaotically and without any architectural plan, so modern Stone Town is a chaotic scatter of white houses with carved doors and lace balconies on narrow streets where not a single car will pass.
How to get to Stone Town
According to wholevehicles, Zanzibar Airport, Kisauni, receives flights from Dar es Salaam and other major cities in the country. From the airport to the city center 20-30 minutes by car. In addition, ferries run from Dar es Salaam to Stone Town, the journey takes 2.5 hours.
Entertainment and attractions of Stone Town
The ceremonial palace of Sultan Said Barghash, known as the “House of Miracles”, and an Arab fort built on the site of an old Portuguese fortification in the 18th century. There is a room in the Palace Museum dedicated to Princess Salma, daughter of Sultan Seyd, who in the 19th century eloped with a German businessman. In the Anglican Cathedral, built on the site of an old slave market, there is a crucifix made of wood, under which the heart of the traveler David Livingstone was buried. Nearby are the catacombs in which the slaves hid. Opposite Stone Town is Canggu Island, also known as Prisoner Island or Turtle Island.
And also: the ruins of Mruhubi, Mtoni and Kidichi baths, the Cathedral of Christ, the Cathedral of St. Joseph, one of the oldest mosques in the area – Malindi with a conical minaret, as well as the palace of Beit el-Adjaib, which previously served as the residence of Queen Fatuma.
Freshwater Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa is one of the oldest and deepest on the planet. It is the second deepest in the world after Baikal, and the water in it is just as clear: visibility reaches 30 m. Tanganyika is included in the book of records as the longest among freshwater lakes – it stretches from north to south for 673 km!
The lake lies on the border of four states: Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and Zambia. The most interesting thing here is the local flora and fauna. The central part of the east and west coasts is occupied by plantations of various spices and jungles, which are inhabited by monkeys and exotic birds. The north coast is savannas where antelopes, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and elephants graze. A variety of mollusks live in the lake itself, including rare ones, some of which you will not find anywhere else on the planet.
Translated from the local language, “Tanganyika” means “fish-rich water.” There are really a lot of fish here: it is here that the most aquarium fish are caught, and in March the sport fishing championship is held.
How to get there
The most convenient way to get to Lake Tanganyika is from Tanzania – there is an international airport in the city of Dar es Salaam. From there – by local airlines to the city of Kigoma (a large port city by African standards on the coast of Tanganyika).
- The flight from Moscow takes about 10 hours, excluding transfers (there are no direct flights).
- A ticket from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma lasts 2 hours without a transfer.
You can also come from Zambia, but it will be more difficult, longer and more expensive, since all the major cities where planes fly are located much south of the lake coast.
When is the best time to go
You can relax on the shores of Lake Tanganyika all year round, but the dry season, which lasts here from May to October, is considered the best time. There are rains in October and November, but, as a rule, they do not interfere with rest: they are not plentiful and short-lived.
Entertainment and attractions of Tanganyika
The most popular activity on Lake Tanganyika is sport fishing. Here you can effortlessly catch goliath fish, Nile perch and other exotic fish. In early March, on the coast near the border of Tanzania and Zambia, the annual Zambian National Fishing Championship takes place, which attracts amateurs and professionals not only from Africa, but from all over the world.
In April, the tropical fishing season begins, and anyone, even if he has never held a rod in his hands, can try his hand at sport fishing. The water in the lake is clear, fish can be seen at a depth of up to 5 m. There are a lot of different fish in the lake, they bite on everything, so even the most inexperienced will not be left without a catch. There are many hotels and campsites on the shore of the hotel, where you can rent an inflatable boat and other fishing equipment, instructors work.
Freshly caught fish in Tanganyika has a pronounced smell of mud. To get rid of it, the fish must be soaked in buffalo milk for several hours. It is also given to all fishermen in campsites along with boats and fishing rods.
From the territory of Tanzania, two national parks adjoin the lake: the Gombe Stream Reserve and the Mahale Mountain Reserve. Both are known as the chimpanzee habitat. Guided safaris are very popular here, during which you can watch primates in their natural habitat. If you wish, you can stay in these reserves for a few days – campsites and safari lodges are built right in the jungle for tourists.
There are also beach holidays on the shores of the lake, but remember that crocodiles live in these waters – in no case do not ignore the warning signs.