Zanzibar calling
February 11, 2014

I love it when a plan comes together. Big news, I’m off to Zanzibar today! Its all happened so fast,  I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ve dreamed of the mystique and romance of the spice island, and what better time to visit than for the Sauti Za Busara festival which has been on my #Afritravel bucketlist for a while.

Ouside Venue at Sauti za Busara 2012 (photo: Birgit Quade)

Cheap flights – hell yeah! 

So when I learnt that Mango was offering flights to Zanzibar a few weeks ago, I tried my luck, and what do you know – I found flights direct from Joburg to Zanzibar for under R4000 (actually R3300 as I got a 20% discount due to my Momentum Multiply discount). Way too good to resist!

So that’s it! Off I go tomorrow to explore the exotic spice island of Zanzibar for a feast of African music and culture!! The festival is on from 13 – 16 Feb in historic  Stonetown.


Sauti Za Busara

Sauti za Busara, which means “sounds of wisdom” in Swahili is reputation as “the friendliest festival on the planet”.   The festival takes places in various in the Old Fort in the heart of Stone Town, one of the world’s ancient, oldest, still functioning cities and the cultural heart of the island.

Busara  has been described as ‘Africa’s foremost festival of music, performing arts and films’ and celebrates not only the best of East African music, but also showcases artists from around the continent and the diaspora. More than 200 artists will play to over 20,000 people under the island’s starry skies. More on the line up here.


Night time audience at Sauti za Busara 2012 (photo: Peter Bennett)

Night time audience at Sauti za Busara 2012 (photo: Peter Bennett)


In addition to the festival, the island  hosts a variety of fringe events known as the Busara Xtra which consists of events and performances organized by the local community.  These include traditional ngoma drum and dance, fashions shows, dhow races, open-mic sessions, after-parties, and performances of Zanzibar’s oldest Taarab orchestras (traditional music).  Sooo exciting!!


Utamaduni – Image by Robin Batista



To I’ll be spending my first 2 days relaxing at the 5 star Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa on the island’s North Coast, which from the website looks spectacular. Can’t wait to put in some beach time before the party begins.  Apparently this is what I have to look forward to…

The beach @ Hideaway of Nungwi Resort

The beach @ Hideaway of Nungwi Resort


After my 2 days in Nungwi, I head to Stonetown for the festival, where I will be staying for 3 days at the Funguni Palace Hotel, and then my last 2 days at the Mbweni Ruins Hotel which has recently been taken over by the Protea Hotel Group.

This photo of Mbweni Ruins Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Its really cool that the Busara festival is butting Zanzibar on the map as a place for cultural tourism nit just beach tourism. To get you in the mood here’s a little video they made last year on Busara’s 10th anniversary.



Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where I’ll be posting live under the hashtag #ZanzibarMG. If you’ve been to Zanzibar before, do leave me some tips in the comments below.

A big thanks to Hideaway Resort Nungwi and Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins for sponsoring accommodation as well as Gallery tours for transfers. 


About author

Meruschka Govender

Related items

You may want to read these posts too

Kenya Mel 7

Kenyan travel tips from a serial African traveller

I love it when a plan comes together. Big news, I&...

Read more

World Rhino Day: MyPlanet Rhino fund gives Kruger’s anti-poaching efforts new wings

I love it when a plan comes together. Big news, I&...

Read more
Exploring Swahili ruins in Lamu

My top things to do in Kenya besides a safari

I love it when a plan comes together. Big news, I&...

Read more

There are 7 comments

  • Jenna says:

    So much fun! I love it when a plan as good as this one comes together 🙂 Can’t beat those flight prices. Enjoy every minute!

  • Brilliant News!!! Glad it all came together. You going to love Hideaway of Nungwi. Very special place that. Looking forward to seeing all the pics as you go.

  • Sandy Nene says:

    Hun, go there and have FUN! I am so happy for you. I can’t wait to go on holiday again, heck I need it!

  • Helen says:

    Have an amazing time! Looks wonderful! I stayed in Nungwe once – not at the spa though! 😉 Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *