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Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara right here in Stone Town. His father worked at the British Colonial Office and young Farrokh was sent to school in England where he learned to play the piano. Because of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, his family fled permanently to England and the rest is show business and music history. A good guide in Stone Town will take you to his humble home down one of the many narrow alleys. About 6 families live inside the apartment building now. It is so humble that I did not take a picture of it or even inside out of respect for the current residents.
There are 3 gift shops that have a nice Brass Plaque near the entrance that grandly states that the building was the home of Freddie Mercury. It is a total lie. They invented this for the tourists who come on cruise ships and only see a small amount of Stone Town. Unfortunately there are some tips that repeat this lie here on VT
**The photos are just of normal housing in Stone Town.**
If a guide takes you to a gift shop and says this is where Freddie was born, get a new guide! Quickly!
Tell your guide you want to see Freddie’s real house. People live upstairs and it is a tall building. No signs, nothing to buy.
Updated Mar 10, 2012
Note that you have to pay 30 USD in terminal fee (October 2008). And you have to do this even if you have paid the airport tax in your airticket. This is an irregular fee claimed by the Zanzibar airport.
Even at the security scan, the officers asked for a tip. I have never seen a behaviour like this at any airport. And the stupid charter tourists paid. The old german woman in front of me paid 10000 Tanzanian shilling to the man who checked her luggage. That is almost 10 USD the security officer could put in his own pocket.
I noticed the same bahaviour in Dar es Salaam when I took the ferry to Zanzibar. I'm sorry to write this. For the Tanzanian people the passengers are just tourists with too much money.
Updated Dec 12, 2008
For you Weedsmokers:
While it is no problem to find weed on zanzibar like in whole tanzania, be aware of guys you don´t trust. It happens that they cooperate with the police and tell them after selling. You could get into deep troubles!
Fun Alternatives: You travel and therefor have time.If you need weed, just have a long chat with these guys and folow your instinct.if you trust them, it should be alright.
Written Feb 25, 2005