This Is Going To Be A Little Spicy. We’re Heading To Zanzibar For #AfricaFactFriday

Pack your bags ladies and gentlemen, because we’re heading to Zanzibar.

Of course, even though it is Africa Fact Friday, we would never recommend you spend just a single day in this amazing destination – after all, what other island off the coast of Tanzania has been fought over and ruled by, among others, the Portuguese, the British, the Sultan of Oman and a few other random pirate leaders?

And has amazing beaches? And its very own species of monkey?

Only one.

A lot of that has to do with the amazing spices that are found on the island. Because, once upon a time, for example, when the Portuguese were in charge of this African paradise some six centuries ago, it wasn’t so much that whoever had the gold made the rules, it was whoever had the spices that was in charge. This is just one of the reasons that the island of Zanzibar has been a prized destination for over 2,000 years. From the Arab traders who first settled in Stone Town, to the Portuguese who indeed ruled much of the 15th and 16th centuries, not to mention the British or the Sultan of Oman who also conquered the island at one point. the history of Zanzibar is a remarkable one.

It all starts with the main town on the island: Stone Town Stone Town can best be described as ‘living history’ as you can wander the alleys and back streets of this amazing city. From the famous Stone Town wooden doors to the Palace of Wonder, the combination of Asian, Persian, Indian, European and, of course, African influences make Stone Town an architect’s dream. The name, Stone Town, comes from the use of the coral stone that was used to construct most of the famous buildings in the town.

Zanzibar is, of course, more than just Stone Town. And you can do more than just visit the national parks or go on a Spice Tour and learn how Zanzibar dominated the world trade in spices for centuries. There are dozens of possible ways to help you spend a week or two on Zanzibar, and at Travel On The Good, we’d be happy to help you figure out the best way to do visit (and since we are Travel On The Good, a far higher percentage of the cost of your vacation will stay on the island.)

But if you really want to experience what it’s like to live and work or, say, volunteer on Zanzibar, then let us introduce you to two great opportunities from our friends at African Impact.

Zanzibar is famous for its dolphins – not to mention the fact the Menai Bay Conservation Area is the largest in Zanzibar and one of the largest in all of the east coast of Africa. Dolphins are great communicators – which is not completely surprising because Zanzibar is part of Tanzania and in this single African country, they speak over 120 different languages.

They will squeak, whistle and even use body language to get their point across. Sometimes, they jump as high as 20 feet out of the water or slap their tails on the water to get their point across. You’ll experience all these things first hand when you volunteer with African Impact. You can stay from two weeks to eight weeks. We’re told at the end of eight weeks, while we can’t guarantee it, most people are fluent in dolphin.

African Impact also has a wonderful community volunteer project in Zanzibar. It doesn’t involve any flapping of your tail on the water, but it’s equally rewarding. There’s more information here.

So while entire books have been written about what to do in Zanzibar, we think it comes down to two things. Visit with Travel On The Good and we’ll make a donation of at least 10% of the total cost of your trip to Happy Africa Foundation – they do amazing work on the island.

Or you can volunteer on the island with African Impact.

Either way, you’ll have the chance to wander the alleys of Stone Town, see the amazing beaches of the eastern coast of the island and, of course, add as much spice to your trip as you wish.

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Africa Geography 101

Hats off to the folks at The Safari Company for a great post on Ebola – which is surprisingly impacting tourist travel to Africa. Why surprisingly you say? Well, because where the Ebola breakout is happening, and it is a terrible disease that is having a major impact on that region, is far closer to say, Europe, than it is to the key tourist routes in Africa – primarily East Africa and Southern Africa.

London, Paris, Madrid and even, and this one actually did surprise us a bit as well, key cities in Brazil are all closer to the Ebola outbreak than say the Serengeti, Botswana or Cape Town.

Cape Town is just under 5,800 kilometers away from the outbreak while Madrid is a relatively cosy 3,600 kilometers. For all the Americans reading this, look at it this way. Cape Town is farther away from the Ebola outbreak than New York is from Los Angeles.

There are, of course, lots of flights in and out of the impacted areas but the issue with those flights won’t be internal Africa flights, it will be the hundreds of daily flights in and out of Africa from Western Europe and the United States.

There’s another part of Africa that is currently being impacted by the same relative lack of knowledge about distances – and that’s Kenya. The troubles in Kenya along the coast, which have quieted down substantially in the last two to three months, are hundreds and in some cases, thousands of miles away from many of the key safari destinations such as Naboisho. 

It’s a great time to head to Africa. Really. And it’s especially a great time to head to Africa with Travel On The Good – in case you want more information on why that’s true, read more here. 

Happy Africa Foundation. Happy #africafactfriday

This week, we were happy to announce our partnership with an amazing group, The Happy Africa Foundation. HAF does really critical important work all across Africa and, in their honor, we’re highlighting some of the amazing things that they do (we’re more than impressed and are sure you will be as well.) We’re also tossing in a few more facts about the countries and places where Happy Africa operates. So let the fun facts, and the fun retweets begin!

Here are a few fun things about Happy Africa Foundation and where they operate that we’ll be tweeting out today.

In Livingstone, Zambia, Happy Africa Foundation is working to renovate and improve the Zambezi Sawmills School. In Zambia, there are a lot of schools that need a lot of help so good thing Happy Africa Foundation is stepping up. (By the way, you can donate directly to Happy Africa Foundation here if you so desire.)

If you visit that part of Zambia though, bring your umbrella because the rainforest at the base of Victoria Falls is the only place on earth that receives rain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Further north and east, in Zanzibar, Happy Africa Foundation is helping with Nursery and Nutrition programs for children.

And, right there in Tanzania, Happy Africa Foundation is working with the Jambiani Educational English Center to facilitate English lessons and community services.

Tanzania is also home to the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro. Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.

In the Western Cape, South Africa, Happy Africa Foundation works Sporting Chance Street Cricket. This program brings everyone together to learn this remarkable game.

Based in South Africa, and with a lot of interesting people working there, maybe Happy Africa Foundation helps give SA the third highest biodiversity in the world?Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 9.46.29 AM

The Happy Africa Foundation planted 14 food gardens in KwaZulu-Natal in one year.

Speaking of plantings, Table Mountain in Cape Town has over 1,500 species of plants. That’s more than the entire United Kingdom.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 9.44.57 AM

Now reading about all these places is one thing but if you are interested in going to Victoria Falls and seeing the Moonbows that happen during full moons, or if you want to visit the amazing back alleys of Stone Town in Zanzibar, travel with Travel On The Good and a portion of your trip will benefit Happy Africa Foundation.

Happy Africa Fact Friday everyone. Check out our current deals and please, email Avery at avery@travelonthegood.com with questions.