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.
The 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.
The 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).
What 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.
When 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.
And 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.
Veal tartare on a wasabi sauce with fresh avocado
Grilled tomatoes with feta cheese and pesto
Slipper lobster with chimichurri
Grilled slipper lobster and king prawn
Squid with capers and chorizo
The seafood platter: king prawn, lobster, slipper lobster and squid
Prawns 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.
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.
Zanzibar 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.