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Zanzibar Travelogues









Zanzibar has inspired many people to write, starting wtih Ibn Batuta long ago.We have listed here some travel articles about the Islands, by Flo Montgomery, a British artist and writer who was born and brought up in Tanzania. She has written three books and many articles about Tanzania and Zanzibar which have been published in magazines all over the world. If you would like to send us your diary entries or articles, we would be glad to include them here.

Please send them to us at:


"From Harem to Hausfrau", by Flo Montgomery
One Sunday I made my way to the shop of my friend Tamim, to the strains of the Agnus Dei, being sung in harmony by hundreds of musical voices in the Catholic Cathedral nearby. His house, from a lower room of which he sells antiques and curios, has a doorstep decorated by a row of pretty English flowered ceramic tiles - the kind with a raised design, which were fired in the late 19th century. They are often seen in Zanzibar octagonal tables or set around bevelled mirrors on cupboard doors....

"Home Away from Home, for Tropical plants in Zanzibar" by Flo Montgomery
In August this year I visited Peru and was surprised to find that a large section of the Amazon Basin lies in that country. One morning in Iquitos we rose at 04:30 and caught a motorbike taxi from the hotel to a landing post on the Amazon river. The only sign of the river was a mysterious rushing sound in the humid darkness ahead. As the dawn slowly appeared, brown waters appeared and in the distance the faint outline of the opposite bank, over a kilometre away....

"The Trail of Tears" by Flo Montgomery
Zanzibar was the main entrepot, on the east coast of Africa, for the slave trade which operated out of central Africa from time immemorial until the 5th April 1897, when Sultan Hamoud bin Muhammad partially abolished slavery in his domain. Even after 100 years, the visitor can still see enough of slavery’s traces to be able to reconstruct those traumatic times.

"Up the Mountain, down the Isle" by Flo Montgomery
Little did my fifteen year old daughter Michelle think, when she was asked to be a bridesmaid in July this year that she would have to follow a long long trail up and down the biggest mountain in Africa to reach the wedding venue.
Especially as the wedding was to be in Zanzibar, at sunset, overlooking the Indian Ocean. ...

"A Dream in Zanzibar" by Flo Montgomery
The afternoon was hot and humid and flies buzzed inches from my nose as we drove along a rough track that petered out at a tumbledown stone gateway. A wooden pole barred the way, half lying across the entrance. Tall trees draped with creepers created a thick canopy and in the darkness below them a shadowy silence lay thick and dense. Leaving our car, we ducked under the barrier and edged along the overgrown driveway, only the occasional glimpse of sky and blue sea in the distance lighting the way. Suddenly massive crumbling walls towered over us and I craned my neck to gaze up at moorish arches filled with leafy vines and fig leaves....

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