Travel Beauty: Zanzibar

I’m kind of worn out lately, so I’ve chosen an easier topic to cover this time with lots of photos. I’ve been planning anyway to enrich my blog with a »Travel Beauty« section, where I’ll cover beauty related topics when abroad, which means beauty buys and everything related. Our last trip was to Zanzibar and to be honest – there isn’t much to buy in terms of beauty products, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t full of beauty worth mentioning. So, a little different this time too, with some eye candies that I hope you’ll enjoy. Afterwards, I promise I will be back with »by the book« beauty topics.

Beauty buys

As said, there’s nothing much to buy or discover. It isn’t like Asia where you can indulge in an Asian-beauty haul without even visiting a proper drugstore. Not even close to European cities packed with cosmetic wonderland stores. It is rural, it is simple, and makes you smile everyday, which is all you need beside some SPF protection. They are mostly known by spices and they make spiced hard soaps. I bought some, to support the local »industry« and because they offer interesting blends, that I’ve never seen before. Otherwise, If I say that I’m not a fan of solid soaps is a big understatement (pH issues!), but I really wanted to bring some of this peculiar soaps home. Cinnamon soap, Turmeric soap? Of course I need that! But I have no idea whatsoever how are formulated. Because INCI is non-existing, I just had to trust the »This is a good soap« claim – close enough right? After all we’re on the laid-back island of Zanzibar! They didn’t turn that bad neither, they’re kind of creamy and have a lovely natural / spicy scent.

Another thing that caught my attention on a spice farm was actually the production of Ylang Ylang and I bought an ini mini tiny bottle of perfume. Or EDT, or who knows? Anyway, it smells heavenly. Never crossed my mind that Ylang Ylang is a tree and smells so nice by itself. I’m a self-proclaimed olfactory snob and It is really hard to please me with a scent, but this baby is just lovely. Not really strong or lasting, but perfect for a little throwback to this Indian ocean heaven. Another reminder of this fantastic vacation is a blend of oils I bought. Again, of course, with no INCI provided (damn, was I relaxed or what) which they use for massages and I had to have it, because of the light monoi-like scent.

And that’s basically all. Some fancier tourist trap stores had African-made cosmetic brands, but they were really expensive and didn’t really strike me as special or interesting. I had some hopes for pharmacies (because I was under the impression that all pharmacies are as interesting as Asian, not really sure where I got the idea…) but they were very basic and not interesting at all, just expensive, if have to point out something. No drugstores whatosoever, just ordinary stores with some basic cosmetic products. If you’re planning a vacation on Zanzi, I’d strongly suggest you to take everything with you – even Mosquito repellent. We paid 20$ for a shady repellent in a pharmacy. I thought I’ll find some nice citronella oil blend, but without success.

Beauty treatments

When on Zanzi you have to try THE braids. It takes about an hour of time, it hurts a little bit (I have to say, I hate my hair being touched, so this was a big decision for me), but is very practical and pretty. And so different! You have to watch out for scalp sun burns afterwards but otherwise, you’ll feel light and the high temperatures seem so much lower. It is all an experience by itself, as the nice ladies sing to you and tell you stories. You get a back rub, hear them chuckle and chat in Swahili, something you really don’t want to miss.

Beautiful things

While it is not a Mecca for cosmetics, you can most definitely find some interesting bijoux and wood works. Their craftsmanship is amazing and very creative. Definitely worth checking! I bought some bracelets from the Masai, that were perfect for the beach and summer vibes. Well made too!

Zanzibar is beauty

While I don’t want to get too much in a »travel blogger« vibe, I’d stil like to give you a hint how amazing Zanzibar is. We had our share of travels with my Husband, but Zanzi will always be one of the top destinations. We absolutely plan to return, because there are no beaches like Zanzi beaches and there is no food like Zanzi food. And the people! They literally have nothing, but they smile all the time, they are kind and funny, honest. The most pleasant surprise was the food. Of course we are foodies and very much spoiled respectively, but their food is beyond amazing. Freshly prepared with an amazing and not overpowering blend of spices is one of the best we ever had. Beats Thai! And we are a big fan of Thai food. I very much recommend to put Zanzi on your travel log! Nevertheless it is not perfect, of course. I’d point out that Zanzibar and Africa in general it’s definitely not cheap, not easy to travel and everything happens really slow compared to e.g. Asia. Still, It is all worth it!


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