As a break from working in Abyei Sudan, I flew to the tropical island of Zanzibar where, though activities abound, one can have a wonderful vacation doing nothing but wading in the ocean, sitting in hammocks on the beach, wandering aimlessly through villages, and drinking local beer with foreigners and locals.

This island is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in east Africa that shows the results of hundreds of years of foreign trade and invasion. While the shoreline is the domain of tourists and sun worshipers, the interior is filled with spice plantations and natural preserves where monkeys and exotic birds abound. I chose the low-key southeast section near Paje out of circle of high profile resorts in the north. My time there was spent photographing cows that walked on the beach, children playing in the water, the architectural gems, and the native wildlife.

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Beach from far out

When the tide goes out, it is possible to walk for over a mile and still be only waist deep in water.

Seaweed gatherer

Fishing boat on beach

Though this looks abandoned, this dhow is used every day. When the tide is out, it is beached. But, when the tide comes in, the fishermen get in and head out to sea.

Beached dhow

Children exploring the beach

Women rest from their work

Relics of a mini revolution