Walk in the footsteps of Zanzibar’s legendary son, Freddie Mercury: lead vocalist and songwriter of the British-based rock band Queen. Born Farroukh Bulsara, Mercury’s family had immigrated to Zanzibar from India before his birth. He spent his early years amidst the winding cobbled streets, bazaars, churches and mosques of Zanzibar’s Stone Town. This part of the city is a multi-cultural mix of architectural influences, including 19th century coral-stone buildings, an old Arab fort, and a diverse collection of Swahili influences.
Take a guided tour through these surrounds, where he lived until 1964, when the Zanzibar Revolution forced the family to leave. Visit the Zanzibar Gallery Shop, once the home of the Mercury family, wonderfully decorated with faded photographs of the musical icon. Admire the colourful triangular streamers draped across whitewashed walls, wood-shutter windows, and blue-painted timber doors. Next, head off to the Zoroastrian Fire Temple where the Parsi family worshipped, and where Freddie Mercury was initiated as a child. End this special-interest tour with a seafront lunch at Mercury’s restaurant, a modern-day tribute to the man, his inimitable talent, and his music.
Note: It is advisable to dress conservatively when walking through Stone Town. Women should cover their shoulders, wear long skirts or trousers, and men should wear pants. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.