Just outside the narrow lanes of Stone Town is the lively Darajani Market. This is the place where food supplies and ingredients from around the island are traded and sold. Here you find everything from spices, shoes, live chickens and fish to mobile phones and other accessories.
Walking past the small stalls you find an array of fresh produce – giant stalks of plantains, stacks of cassava (tapioca), seasonal vegetables and fruits are all stacked in small piles. Each pile usually costs 500 TZS or 1000 TZS. Makes shopping easy as one doesn’t have to spend time haggling like you do at the souvenir shops.
There’s a large section of the market dedicated to fresh meat and also a fish market where you can check out the auction and occasionally spot huge sailfish and tuna. This part of the market reeks of a combination of smells; you could either become indifferent to it (or enjoy it?), or hold your breath and walk past as fast as your feet can carry you.
In the evenings by 5.30pm as shops start closing down for the day (they always close on time!) and the by-lanes have a deserted look, business picks up at a frenzied pace in the evening market where the crowds gather.