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Today, we went snorkeling around Bawe Island off the coast of Zanzibar.

From Aidan: When my mom got in the water, she MADE me put on a life vest against my will. She said it was for my safety. I got used to it and stopped complaining. My mom and I saw zebra fish, angel fish, and cool blue fish. We saw this long bottle-nosed fish. It was like 3-feet long and like 2-inches wide.

From Nathan: While Mom and Aidan were snorkeling in the water near Bawe Island, I sat in the boat. I did not want to go snorkeling, because I thought there were too many risks involved snorkeling there.

Mind you, Nathan has snorkeled in Hawaii. He’s snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef in Australia! But no matter what I said, he would not budge. In the end, he didn’t miss that much. The reef wasn’t that spectacular.

Travel TipTravel Tip 23: Try Chumbe Island for snorkeling.

We had wanted to go to Chumbe Island, a protected marine park about a 45-minute boat ride from Stonetown. It’s supposed to have exceptional coral reefs. You can only book 2 days in advance, and by the time we tried, the tours were full.

Zanzibar’s history is centered on two things: slave trade and spices. In the afternoon, the boys and I went to a demonstration spice farm. It was more fun than we anticipated.

From Nathan: The spice tour was very interesting. There are a lot of plants that can be used to help stomach illnesses, cuts, and headaches. The cool thing was that Vick’s, the stuff you rub on your chest when you have a cold, comes from a cinnamon tree. The root of the tree actually does smell like the Vick’s cream.

From Aidan: My favorite thing that we did there was (try to) climb a coconut tree and get a woven grass hat and tie.

We had dinner near the Forodhani Night Market. Dinner is served on Zanzibar time which is even slower than African time! Here’s how we entertained ourselves: