Feb-March 2010

Day 1 of Diary

Day 13 - Mbweni Ruins Hotel, Zanzibar

Babs in the nursery
Babs in the nursery with one of the two friendly Mbweni dogs

Morning dawned bright and sunny - my friend Babs Nagorsen was arriving to spend the day looking at the Mbweni Gardens. She is an expert on all things horticultural and particulary on palms. During the course of the day we photographed every palm in the grounds, so that we could check the list of palms still surviving there. Many have died over the years, while others are thriving.

Attalea Cohune  Babs examining the palms

Bismarckia nobilis
The palms are from all over the world - this one is Bismarckia nobilis, from Madagascar.

Garden Ladies
Saumu, Mwanmkuu and Consolata

The garden ladies came round with us and helped with clearing and cutting - this jungle has to be maintained constantly! They were all three helping when the hotel was built in 1993, and stayed to work in the gardens.

Mbweni Gardens
The gardens were planted from 1991 onwards, near to Sir John Kirk's experimental gardens at Mbweni

Pool and Palms  Pool and palmsz

We took a dip in the pool to cool off before heading for the restaurant for a salad lunch with octopus and mango followed by a dessert of lime cream and ginger. Followed by a much needed siesta!

Zanzibar Fruit Market

In the afternoon we took a trip in to Stone Town, to buy Mangosteens in the fruit market and search for fresh peppercorns. These little green nuggets of spice are wonderful in salads and for many cooked dishes.

Zanzibar RC Cathedral  Zanzibar Door

We wandered through the narrow streets and browsed in the many little shops selling all sorts of interesting wares, from exotic ladies' clothing and shoes, to gold and silver jewellery, antiques, spices and carved wooden chests and furniture.

Palace Museum Veranda

We strolled into the Palace Museum - the quiet halls with ancient chandeliers remind one of the days of the Sultans.

We returned to the peace and quiet of Mbweni in the evening, glad to be back after the bustle of Stone Town!

.....forward to Day 14

back to top