“Black people don’t swim!” is the general stereotype that gets portrayed time and time again. Well, I must have been an extraordinary black person because my mother certainly gave birth to a water baby.
Zanzibar is a little bit south from the equator so you can imagine that it lives up to what tropical weather should be: heat and humidity! As soon as I saw that clear blue water, it was O-V-E-R for me. All notions of a dark complexion flew out the water and I was splashing and swimming in the low tide like I was a fish myself. To say that I was sun burnt was an understatement…I was so dark even the locals thought I was a local! *hides* Some parts of the shallow water is just a bed of spiky sea urchins, which I dared not disturb.
Day 4 of our trip saw us going on a sea tour on a dhow boat which consisted of swimming, dolphin-spotting, snorkelling, island-hopping and exploring mangroves as well as a swimming (again) in a natural pool. After we had spotted 3 dolphins, we went to an adjacent island (featured photo) for a quick swim and then we were off to snorkel. Apart from our tour guide, my boyfriend and I were the only black people on the boat. As soon as we stopped in the right area, my snorkel goggles were already on and I was waddling with my flippers to the edge of the boat. My boyfriend on the other hand opted to sit this one out. So, I decided to feed my curiosity without him.
To say the ocean is a magical place is an understatement. I had Angel fish, Clown fish (Nemo), Parrot fish and Butterfly fish all swimming next me, around me and below me! It was breathtaking!!! The giant coral reefs looked like giant mushrooms or cabbages. The sea anemones (I still can’t say that word quickly) moved gently to the current of the water. I spotted different coloured star fish on the sandy sea bed, just chilling there with no worries or “Hakuna Matata” as the locals love saying.
There I was, with a group of foreigners from the US and the UK, snorkelling!!! *cue in ‘We made it’ song by Busta Rhymes ft Linking Park*. People say I’m living the dream. No, I’m just living one of MY dreams which is to travel and explore different places, especially Africa. Africa is so diverse and there is so much to still see and discover. We are not just about poverty and wild animals and Zanzibar (the spice island) reinforced this wanderlust in me all over again. So much history and richness is woven in this place.