Zanzibar #2 – a tale of a beautiful holiday

I call myself very lucky for having had the chance to travel quite often to many beautiful places. I’m not the type of person that enjoys shopping a lot, so I mostly save my money to travel. Coming from a family of many expats located in several countries, and having many international friends, on many of my travels I have been able to save on accommodation as I was travelling to visit friends or family. This was also the case of my latest trip to Zanzibar.

Also my boyfriend has family and friends around the world and this time it was his family that we visited – in Zanzibar lives his mom. She works in a beautiful resort, which is where she hosted us – and I am very grateful for this experience.

essque zalu zanzibar resortThe resort is Essque Zalu Zanzibar and is located on the northern tip of the main island of Zanzibar. Among the features that I have loved the most there were the three baobab trees in front of the main building (pictured above) and the infinity pool. I had read online that baobabs are leafless most of the year, but I was lucky to visit when all three were displaying a glory of leaves and fruits. As for the pool – the largest in Zanzibar – it overlooks the Indian Ocean and it features sea water. Fantastic.

essque zalu zanzibar resortessque zalu zanzibar resortThe shoreline is rocky and experiences tides twice a day. During the low tide you can take a walk on the white beach, or even venture further into the ocean and look for sea urchins and starfish. A few hours later the high tide will return – this is when the pool is at its most enjoyable: some waves will reach almost as high as pool level and you will have the feeling of swimming in a calmer section of that very ocean in front of you. An ocean that, at high tide, has an unbelievable turquiose colour (just like the pool).

essque zalu zanzibar resortWhat benefits the most of the tides is the Jetty (pictured above), which hosts a bar and a restaurant at its edge. That’s probably the best dining spot in the whole resort: nothing beats a lunch on the blue sea or an evening cocktail, admiring the sundown.

essque zalu zanzibar resortWhen the tide is low, you can actually take a walk all around the Jetty, which is what we did. It was very cool walking in shallow water, knowing that just the evening before the water had been 5 metres tall there.

essque zalu zanzibar resortAnd now the food. I have absolutely loved being treated to gourmet delicacies at the restaurants of the resort. With my blog in mind, I have photographed most of the things I ate, so here is a selection of my favourite dishes from Essque Zalu Zanzibar.

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodVeal tartare on a wasabi sauce with fresh avocado

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodGrilled tomatoes with feta cheese and pesto

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodSlipper lobster with chimichurri

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodGrilled slipper lobster and king prawn

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodSquid with capers and chorizo

essque zalu zanzibar foodThe seafood platter: king prawn, lobster, slipper lobster and squid

essque zalu zanzibar resort foodPrawns in tempura with ginger and soy sauce

On the occasion of the end of Ramadan, the resort served a traditional Swahili breakfast that featured various delicacies, including a liver soup which I really enjoyed but did not photograph.

essque zalu zanzibar resort food essque zalu zanzibar food essque zalu zanzibar resort food

Regular breakfast was not less notable. I particularly loved the fresh pastry selection (all baked in house) coupled with fresh jams and juices. My favourite combination was the donut, lightly scented of cardamom, dipped in tamarind jam and enjoyed with a glass of hibiscus juice. Not my regular breakfast, but I already miss starting my day with those flavours. Something that was completely new to me was baobab juice, which I have learned is incredibly rich in vitamins – a real morning treat. I will end this post with a picture of a baobab fruit I found one morning after my breakfast.

baobab fruit zanzibarZanzibar is renowned for its beautiful sceneries and the smell of its spices. I have written about my impressions on this beautiful place here. My stay at Essque Zalu was filled with about as many sensorial perceptions that it deserved a post of its own. Set aside the allure of the resort at large, the foods I got to try there needed to find a place on this blog.

27 thoughts on “Zanzibar #2 – a tale of a beautiful holiday

  1. The cardamom donut with tamarind jam sound absolutely divine!! It looks like such a truly paradise stay you had in Zanzibar- I have such a soft spot for the island as it was where I spent my honeymoon and would love to return one day 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I remember reading about your honeymoon before I visited Zanzibar myself. It is truly a beautiful place, and I hope you’ll get to return there – and try cardamom donuts with tamarind jam yourself 😉

  2. The resort looks so dreamy and I love how there are no people in your photos! I’d really like to take a dip in that infinity pool and feel the splash of the waves from the ocean, when the tide is high. Your photos of the food are perfect! It’s so nice that you can get so many different sea food dishes here, I can imagine how fresh and delicious they are.

    1. Thanks Joanna! Despite being summer, the resort was so well constructed that it never felt crowded. The food was great and I really appreciated their effort to make their guests familiar with the local cuisine and fresh catch of fish.

  3. This place looks amazing! Putting Zanzibar on out to-go-to list right now! It seems like you had a great experience there. These infinity pools are really a thing these days! I’ve never actually been to one but they look so cool… Loved reading this and enjoyed your photography a lot!

    1. Thank you very much Inge! Of course there is a lot of beautiful things to discover in Zanzibar so the resort was just half the fun. I tried to experience a lot outside of the beautiful resort, too, but I must admit I also loved the chillax days when I just enjoyed the sun and the pool (and the poolside food).

    1. Thank you! I had always been a little dubious about resort travelling, but I have really enjoyed my stay there. The amenities and food were definitely worth it!

    1. When the tide is right that place would prove great for your half-underwater photography! The Jetty seen from the water is amazing! Just be careful with all the sea urchins 😀

  4. What an amazing location for a restaurant. It must have been a magical experience. The fish and shrimp all looks so fresh too. I love sea food.

    1. Thanks Stephanie. It was super fresh and delicious, definitely the perks of being located right by the sea. I love seafood too, I’m happy I’m not allergic to it.

  5. Zanzibar is high up on my bucket list and I might go there this winter. It sure looks amazing and like you had the perfect place to stay!

    1. If this resort is out of your budget to stay, I still recommend to visit one of its restaurants or just for cocktails. Cocktails at the Jetty were a great experience I can only recommend! It was also very well priced, I expected to pay more for drinks in such a place.

  6. WOW wow wow! This is just too beautiful. Last time I visited Zanzibar I only was in stonetown and Paje so next time I will definitely go to the northern tip and visit Essque Zalu Zanzibar resort. I aim planning to relocate to Tanzania next year for the year so I will have tons of time to explore zanzibar again. Does your boyfriend’s mom work there year round? P.s. 100% agree, I also don’t shop so all my spare money goes to travel 🙂 Great post.

    1. If you relocate there you’ll definitely have occasions to explore some more. We flew from Dar Es Salaam, it was much faster than the ferry. My mother in law used to work there year round but now she has moved to a different resort in the Seychelles. From one paradise to another 😀

  7. Isn’t it the best when you can visit family and friends around the world? This looks like an incredible vacation too. What type of camera do you use? Your photos are beautiful!

    1. It is! As an expat myself I’m always inviting friends and family because it’s such a great way to combine travel and seeing family!
      I shoot with a Canon eos 6D and mostly with the Canon 17-40 mm f4 L lens. For portraits and food I use the Canon 50 mm f1.4. Thanks for the compliment!

  8. Omg that looks like such an amazing resort – beautiful, and look at that food (I’m drooling now)! It looks like such an incredible place to visit!

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