I didn’t truly see the garden until I was staring into the black face of a red colobus monkey. Up in the trees of the Oasis at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas, a David Lynch character with white hair flapping in wayward directions stared back at me, remaining so still that I wondered if he was simply a quaint statue placed in the branches. But then he blinked and I blinked back and I knew I was in the presence of something totally new to me. Such is Zanzibar. Or Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, off the coast of Tanzania.
I had been focused, like everyone else, on that impossibly blue sea surrounding us and the white sand meeting it, but the monkey had brought my attention to the nature all around. In the hotels grounds, all kinds of bright and unfamiliar plants and flowers wound around the paths from the Oasis spa to the restaurant and our private villa home on the beach.
At sunrise, the pink of the bougainvillea lit up against the orange glow and in the middle of the day the white bougainvillea drifted in the breeze like soft clouds. The flame trees shaded us on our cycles to lunch and the fronds of towering palm trees waved goodbye to us as we departed on trips to Stonetown. Beautiful frangipani framed our villa door, with flowers that would find their way into our afternoon coconuts.
In the large herb and vegetable garden, the origins of ingredients and flowers we were so used to seeing in supermarket-ready forms huddled together, raw, natural, ready with life.
Beautiful vanilla, chili, lemongrass, wild rocket, Thai basil, coriander, dill, chives, parsley, mint, thyme, micro beetroot, and young trees waiting to be planted in new homes.
Walking through the gardens, the scents of the island called us from bush to bush, from the beach to those trees and the monkeys that had shown us how much more to the island we still had to discover, see, taste, feel and smell. Which is the joy of gardens, after all: our senses wake up as though after a long slumber and we find ourselves faced with, unable to deny, the endless vitality and vibrancy of life, pure and simple.
Explore the secrets of Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas’ gardens below…
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