Lee Frost Photography
ZANZIBAR - SPICE ISLAND PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR
I returned to Zanzibar in December 2019 on a new scouting trip. I had been twice before, but the last time was in 2008 and a lot can change in that time, so I wanted to refresh my memory and decide if Zanzibar was worth adding to my destination list again. It is! I returned feeling more inspired than on previous trips, and excited to go back again with a group of photographers. That was going to happen in December 2020, but Covid-19 put-paid to those plans, so the trip will now take place in December 2021. With Europe in the grip of winter, I can’t think of anywhere better to be at that time of year. The weather in Zanzibar is dry and hot, and the sea is 26°C. I promise you’ll get the chance to take a dip!
The tour will start in Zanzibar’s fascinating capital, Zanzibar City, more commonly known as Stonetown, where we stay for the two nights in the Mizingani Seafront Hotel, located on the waterfront near the port. The first two days of the trip will be spent exploring the town’s maze of narrow streets with a local guide I’ve known for years, photographing the amazing heavy carved wooden doors (a show of wealth), the crumbling old buildings, the bustling fish market and anything else that captures our imagination. We’ll shoot sunsets from a beach or rooftop bar and hopefully capture dhows drifting by as the sun goes down. The local kids like to dive off the seawall too, providing great opportunities to capture their acrobatics.
On the third morning, we check-out very early so we can reach the southeast coast of Zanzibar before sunrise. We’ll drive in an air-conditioned minibus – the journey takes around 90 minutes. We’ll photograph a tiny coral island off shore at sunrise then head to the villages of Bweju and Paje to take photographs on the beaches before reaching Jambiani, where we’ll stay for one night in The Loop Hotel. We’ll spend the rest of the day exploring Jambiani with a local guide. This will include photographing local women who farm seaweed off the beach, fishermen, traditional dhows and a walk around the local village to photograph people going about their daily lives.
After a dawn shoot on day 4, where we’ll hopefully see fishermen heading out to the reef and locals cycling along the beach (the roads are in a terrible state so the locals use the beach instead), we’ll have breakfast at our hotel then leave Jambiani for Nungwi on the northern tip of the island. En-route to Nungwi, we’ll stop off near the village of Bububu, where dhow fishermen land their catch each day after a night at sea and crowds of locals flock to buy fresh fish on the beach. It’s a fascinating sight! Next stop is the village of Mkokotoni where you’ll have the chance to photograph locals going about their daily lives and fishermen repairing their dhows on the beach. We’ll then head to Nungwi on the northern tip of Zanzibar, arriving early afternoon, where we’ll stay for the remaining 4 nights of the trip.
There are two sides to Nungwi – the tourist hotels on the northwest side and the local village a few minutes’ walk away around the beach on the northeast side. We’re staying in the superb Z Hotel, which is located on a beautiful white sand beach and metres from the Indian Ocean.
Our days will start early when we wander along the beach before sunrise to watch and photograph the dhows returning from their overnight fishing expeditions and landing their catch. You’ll have the chance to shoot portraits of locals carrying fish up to the village market by the beach – swordfish, shark, tuna, barracuda and a myriad of other species – the wonderful old dhows and the activity around the market. There’s also a wooden pier nearby that makes a great sunrise location.
Once the sun is up and the temperature rising, we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll spend some time walking the beach, shooting the ocean and boats. Each day in Nungwi we’ll take a break from around midday until 3.30pm as the sun is very hot and unforgiving and the light harsh. You can use this time to swim in the sea or the hotel pool, relax in the shade, process images, snooze, read a book – it’s entirely up to you. We’ll also have lunch at the hotel during this period.
Every afternoon, the local dhow fleet gets ready and heads out to sea. We’ll wander along the beach to watch and photograph this – the sight or 50 or more dhows setting sail and heading to the horizon is spectacular and offers great photo opportunities. The sun sets around 6.30pm. This is a good time to photograph local kids jumping and diving into the sea, and boats drifting by on the ocean.
On one or two of the days we’ll explore the village of Nungwi with a local guide. We’ll watch and photograph the dhow builders creating traditional boats from locally-felled trees using techniques that are centuries old – Nungwi is the dhow-building capital of Zanzibar. We’ll also shoot portraits of the local kids as we wander the dusty streets of the village and I’ll arrange a trip out to sea in a couple of traditional dhows – a memorable experience!
Once your booking has been received, I will advise on flights, visas, vaccinations etc. Recommendations for equipment and clothing for the trip will also be given approx. 2 months before the trip. If you wish to extend your stay and be a tourist (in paradise) for a couple of days, let me know and I’ll check availability with Z Hotel. As always, if you have any queries, feel free to email me via the Contact page.
At A Glance...
Deposit / Price
£300.00 / £2,750.00
Sharing Discount - £300.00
04th - 13th December, 2021
7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms for single use (2 nights in Stonetown, 1 night in Jambiani, 4 nights in Nungwi), all breakfasts, lunches and dinners x 4 at Z-Hotel, private airport and hotel transfers, local guides, included excursions, tips.
Flights to/from Zanzibar, insurance, meals not mentioned, drinks from the bar, any extras of a personal nature, photographic equipment and materials.
Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa
Max Group Size