Zanzibar – Been There

Hunting for prey on Zanzibar

The name Zanzibar is derived from a Perso-Arabic word meaning "coast of the blacks" and referred to a loose confederation of city-states along the East African coastline.

Photo by Ton Koene

Zanzibar – Been There

Hunting for prey on Zanzibar

The sandy white sand beaches of Zanzibar are a hunting ground as well as a playground.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

The four Maasai warriors spot their prey and split into pairs, careful not to spook the approaching females. Two circle away while two walk towards the target, looking as if they mean to pass by. At the last minute, they veer towards it, raising an arm ready for action. The two blondes have no chance. Brought to a stop by a cheerful “Jambo!”, the tourists are soon in conversation with the men who have claimed them. Whether it is buying a small souvenir, or a longer-term arrangement, they are now at their mercy of the hunters. The rest of the beach carries on with its business. They have seen this circle of life many times before.

Here, at Paje on Zanzibar's east coast, the bright sun burns the eyes as it reflects off the white sand and penetrates the clear waters of the sea. A few wooden fishing boats lie stranded by the tide. Others bob at anchor, moored by a line stretching ashore and another out to sea. The fragile link suggests storms are not common. The sky is bright blue, decorated by a dancing assortment of coloured kites, connected invisibly to the tiny figures on surfboards below. The skilled ones soar through the waves, while others splash into the water before picking themselves up and trying again.

Local life and tourism co-exist, intersecting but seldom meeting.

I want to go to Zanzibar!

Many European women come to Zanzibar looking for sexual liaisons with African men, a demand filled...

Many European women come to Zanzibar looking for sexual liaisons with African men, a demand filled by the “guides” who haunt the island's beaches. Most such men are from the Tanzanian mainland, with "Masai warriors" – few are genuine – in particularly high demand. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Aperture
ƒ/11
Exposure
1/640
ISO
160
Focal
24/1 mm

Many European women come to Zanzibar looking for sexual liaisons with African men, a demand filled by the “guides” who haunt the island's beaches. Most such men are from the Tanzanian mainland, with "Masai warriors" – few are genuine – in particularly high demand.