Our penthouse apartment in Zanzibar

It was always going to be too good to be true but I underestimated just how bad it could be.

‘Apartment sleeps 10 with kitchen, bathroom, washing machine (the first I’ve heard of since we left home), hot water and WiFi, $15 USD per night’ says booking.com…between 3 of us?! A whole apartment? How bad an it be? Awesome! Luckily I only booked two nights…

It started with the hour wait at the ferry terminal for a guy to take us to the apartment – why we couldn’t just have the address I’m not sure.

He walked us through lots of tiny run down streets to get to the place. Zanzibar has a European feel about it whilst the people, predominantly Muslim, look more Arabic and Indian as opposed to African.

He walked us up the stairs to the apartment which smelt of mould to a ‘chill out’ area of cushions on the ground where we had to take off our shoes. This usually implies the floor is clean 😳

The chill out area

We were shown one room with 3 single beds and another with two doubles, nothing flash, very basic but what we expected for the price (not sure how 10 would sleep here though)

Maybe here…?

I noticed dirty plates in the kitchen and random cups scattered around….

‘is anyone else staying here?’ I ask

‘just me, I live here’


No problem. A bit weird…not quite whole apartment, but we are in Africa.


‘i need to charge my phone first’

Oh yeah…we know the drill here.

We leave our stuff and go for a walk around the old town. Rainy season is supposed to be over by now however it seems to be hanging on just for us 😬

It was a Sunday so the streets were a little quieter than usual however there was still a huge food market of fish, fruit, veg and spices. The city would have been very beautiful once upon a time but now sadly, everything is in decay, like so much of Africa. Lots of burqa action here too which makes the place even more depressing and reminds me how much I dislike travelling in Islamic countries.

The rain came, we tried to stay dry but eventually gave in when we had to walk through streets of running water to get back to the apartment.

An interesting prison like cage hanging from the ceiling…

This is when I realised how dirty everything was…and the 10cms of dirty stagnant water in the washing machine….and the missing window in our bedroom…and the dirt on the floors (my shoes are staying on) and the dribble of water that came out of the shower head (neither warm or able to wash you) and most of all….my most despised smell of all time…dirty head smell in the bed. Truly vomit worthy.

I cover the bed with another sheet that looks like it may have been washed at some stage in its life, I used my sleep sheet to cover every centimetre of my body and the pillow but somehow, from somewhere it still smells 😷

Pretty sure this hasn’t been used for years

And just to confirm I’m not just being a fussy girl, Dean has just come back from the ‘shower’ with a look of distaste on his face

‘babe, don’t bother….there’s no water, the bathroom stinks, nobody washes in there, I’m pretty sure I left a clean spot on the floor… I don’t understand why they take their shoes off!? I can do cold water, but no water at all is a stretch, and it really fucking stinks in there of something…’

Thats the smell of lots of old urine.

Not just me.

And Martias has covered his bed with his hammock as he felt things biting him.

Not just me…one more night…