We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Walking at night?

Caribbean dreaming!
Level Contributor
122 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Walking at night?

I am confused. I am reading conflicting reports about walking in Stone Town at night. Is it safe or not unsafe. Or does it just feel unsafe because of the narrow streets and walking in a foreign land thing? This may effect my decision on what hotel I choose to book.

Thanks in advance.

nyc
Level Contributor
8 posts
1 review
Save Reply
11. Re: Walking at night?

Hi about walking around at night, last March, we were two women staying in stonetown alone, our hotel was in the middle of an alley so taxis were not an option. The first night, the nightguard walked us to a restaurant nearby, and picked us up. After wandering the alley ways and getting lost alot and also getting to know thhe place, we started to recognize many local faces, the next couple of nights we would simply stop by a shop we knew and ask if anyone would like to walk us, a dollar and some conversation was all it took.

Moray
Level Contributor
9 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Walking at night?

HI Dacqri

I visited Stonetown briefy in July after a safari in Tanzania.

We travelled through it to get to the beach to catch our boat to the Chapwani Island. Didn't like the beach too much. Too many people trying to sell you stuff, hassling etc. My wife and children hated it.

We loved Chapwani Island but did do a two hour rapid tour of Stonetown but accompanied by a guide firstly to show us about but also to keep the hawkers at bay.

After the tour we were glad to get back to the peace and quiet of Chapwani.

Our last night was spent in the Coffee House and we walked about Stonetown before heading out to the airport for a late afternoon flight.

Stonetown is interesting but it is busy, noisy, dirty and seriously rundown. People hassle you too much and one guy who we asked for help to find the Coffee House was unpleasant. No-one tried to rob us or mug us but if we were to go back to that part of the world I would avoid Stonetown and spend all my time in a place like Chapwani.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
Level Contributor
1,834 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: Walking at night?

"Stonetown is interesting but it is busy, noisy, dirty and seriously rundown. People hassle you too much and one guy who we asked for help to find the Coffee House was unpleasant. No-one tried to rob us or mug us but if we were to go back to that part of the world I would avoid Stonetown and spend all my time in a place like Chapwani."

Stone Town is an ancient, historical town in a country with a very low GNP. What were you expecting?

Moray
Level Contributor
9 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Walking at night?

Hi Brian

Stonetown is an old and historical town and if you happen to be in that part of the world then a must for a visit.

The United Nations describe Stonetown in designating it a World Heritage Site:-

"The Stone Town of Zanzibar is a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It retains its urban fabric and townscape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium."

However, we still felt it was very dirty and rundown. The rundown part will no doubt in part relate to GDP and priorities for expenditure but also presumably politics. The dirty part just means that someone has to sweep the streets occasionally.

We found everyone we met on safari exceptionally kind and welcoming. Similarly, the people who staffed Chapwami Island, about 30 mins by boat from Stonetown, were as pleasant as you could find anywhere. Therefore, perhaps for us Stonetown was a disappointment. Interestingly, the people on Chapwami Island walked round the Island everyday picking up all the flotsam/rubbish that arrived everyday on the tide showing that it can be done.

You mention the slave trade. On Chapwami Island there is a small cemetery containing the graves of British sailors who were killed in skirmishes with the arab slave traders in the attempts to enforce the abolition of slavery in the mid to late 1800s.

I worked for 5 years, albeit some 20 years ago, as a volunteer in central/southern Africa assisting on agricultural projects so have had an idea of what to expect but we were still disappointed with Stonetown.

15. Re: Walking at night?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 3:18 pm, October 05, 2009