Sunday 26 February 2023


Dear Mohamed,

RE: Web: Karibu Paradise

On behalf of all our special members and friends connected to our new website I wish to thank you for all your support with your posting of old photographs of our Paradise Island besides keeping us up-to-date with all the latest developments taking place on our Paradise Zanzibar.

It is wonderful our good friendship now goes back many years but most of all, and I feel so proud you were good friends of my grandparents family, my Uncle Pantu and Alaric, being neighbours in Stone Town.

Thank you for your kind brief note listed below keeping us advised on Zanzibar which with your permission I share with others.

I look forward to your further postings.

Best regards Benny

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Dear Benny,

Feel free to post my messages if you think they are worth it.

Like most countries and cities, Zanzibar has changed too fast 60 years after you left.

Changes have been both good and progressive.

Land area has decreased due to erosion by sea caused by global warming with heavy swells on the beaches.

Population has increased from approx. 300 K in 1963 to almost 2 million in 2022. May be 30% of them are recent mainland immigrants including Masais who have built small villages to entertain tourists. This has put heavy burden on infrastructure as well as reduction of arable land. Widening old roads, building new, housing, hotels etc. means the central areas of Zanzibar are producing less food today. With increasing number of visitors as well there is daily import of fruits, vegetables, meat, grain and even coconuts from mainland.

Tourism also has two sides, good one is it creates employment, revenues for government and market for local products. However, it puts heavy burden on infrastructure, water consumption by tourist is far higher than locals and Zanzibar has no rivers or lakes, it’s thru boreholes and depleting underground water level. For tourists’ consumption, lots of food, drinks and other items are imported costing in Forex. The worst is garbage production is too high and there is no recycling as such. Only water bottles and aluminium cans collected for exporting somewhere. So, landfills are full and some places they even burn garbage, imagine plastics burning.

All those vehicles you see there, mostly 6–7-seater vans are taxis, no place in town to park anywhere and no car park building planned yet. Taxis are over saturated now.

Two flyovers are under construction outside town, an overpass for pedestrians in Darajani, new port at Mangapwani so old one will be for cruise ships. Petroleum tank farm at Mtoni will be shifted to new port.

A fishing industry port planned for Marhubi in the mangrove area of Mpigaduri. There is a new hotel at Mtoni, VERDE owned by tycoon Bakhresa, has done a lot of dredging. New multi storey schools are being built to cope with increased number of children, one of them to replace St. Joseph’s Convent School.

Nowadays new hotels are going multi storey, the biggest Spanish owned in Nungwi has almost 1000 rooms, all-inclusive type.
New investors in tourism are Israelis and East Europeans including Russians. Many buildings in town have been leased to developers as well.

Zanzibar is aiming to attract a million visitors from 500 K nowadays. You can buy a flat or Villa in new development area like Fumba, Paje, Nungwi and family can get residency.

Zanzibar aside, when will you plan to visit Seychelles? It’s very different from Carib Islands, Paradise!

Oh yes, there is one Goan chap there from Mombasa (ex UK as well), my good friend Arnaldo Antao, cousin of legendary sprinter late Serafino Antao.

Keep well and love to all,


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Dear Benny and Betty,

Hope this mail will find you all well. I am OK.

To be frank we didn't know each other well as we lived in different areas and went to separate school, beside 4 years age difference. However, I knew who you were, as my maternal uncle once lived in that building with long balcony opposite Pantu's house and I used to come there often. Used to see you happy go lucky chap with your uncle Alaric on Scooters, sometimes Betty as well. Then I left ZNZ in Jan 1961 for Norway. However, since I had Goan friends, used to hear about you in UK and your band on P&O Cruise vessels. So, it was just luck for me to meet you both and get acquainted. I am glad we met and have kept in touch since then.

It makes me happy to know Betty remembers me with your booze at Tembo. If I was the owner, I would not restrict at all. Those owners are religious so don't allow booze, and today they are number 1 in hotels in town. Latest acquisition is Usagara House, the old Hindu girls’ school next to Tembo and a building next to old Port Office now Mizingani Front Hotel. Besides Tembo has 4 more annexes in Tembo/Shangani area including Talati's house.

The owner of Park Hayatt hotel, Ex Mambo Msige, Steven’s registrars building, has taken 3 buildings on the water front including ex SJCS, there will be a marina built there.

Last I heard he is taking Africa House Hotel, ex English Club and the open area in from where the police band used to play on Mondays for Wazungus. Someone told me even Soto’s demolished house is taken by him He is a Dubai tycoon.

Fish and meat market has been renovated and opposite some bandas built to accommodate some 450 shops.

At Funguni port area of the old clove distillery a wholesale fish market has been built with cold storage on upper floor and two trawlers bring in big quantity some for export.

As for photos I got many old ones about Zanzibar and its people, like schools, sport teams etc. as it’s my passion to know ZNZ, its people and cultures. So, I shall keep on posting. Anything else let me know only.

Highly appreciate the super work you are doing to maintain the blog, website etc. Very good hobby.

Love to all,