Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grannies on Safari Explore the Spice Island of Zanzibar

Marilyn Miglin, a cosmetic icon, traveled with Grannies on Safari best friends and co-hosts Pat Johnson and Regina Fraser to Zanzibar back in May 2009, to fulfill her quest to find ingredients for a new fragrance. The new scent, Zanzi, is infused with mysterious spices from Zanzibar Island. Their televised journey was tremendous fun and its excitement is seemingly captured in the fragrance. After a trip to South Africa, the famous duo made another trip to Zanzibar this year. What is it about Zanzibar that has visitors from far and wide returning to this fabulous Indian Ocean Island in Tanzania? This article will explore Zanzibar’s exoticness and how you too, drawing inspiration from the two globetrotting grannies, can seize the day and see the world.

Both cancer survivors, Fraser and Johnson, who sold their fur coats to raise seed money for their travel project, wanted to inspire folks of all ages to seize the day and see the world. Exclusively sponsored by AARP, their TV series airs on PBS stations nationwide across the USA and in 117 countries via UK Travel Channel. When they arrived in Egypt with a group, the day civil unrest erupted, they ended up reporting for news channels back in the States. In the third season of their Grannies on Safari, their itinerary includes travels to India, Peru, South Africa (Western Cape) and the Island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Like Fraser, who worked as marketing executive for Chicago-based United Airlines, I too worked as marketing executive for a travel agency in Dar es salaam for ten years. In so far as travel goes, those were my best years. I can’t honestly say anything out there can ever compare to travel. It’s fun, educational, relaxing…and to see other cultures and peoples is perhaps the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. If you haven’t traveled, for whatever reason, draw some inspiration from the Grannies on Safari and plan your own trip sometime soon.

"We are role models because we are women, we are role models because we are women of color, and role models because we are women of color who are articulate and who are not pulling each others' hair out," says Fraser. And what’s interesting is that their viewership includes a large number of 55-year-old white men. The two women have been contacted by viewers who wanted to know where they were going next because they (viewers) wanted to join them. And they did!

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its historic center, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. Spices, raffia, and tourism are its main industries... particularly, production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. Sun, sand and sea are a huge tourist attraction with crystal clear waters, and fascinating underwater life ideal for diving and snorkeling. And mainland Tanzania, only fifteen minutes away from Zanzibar by plane, with all its wonderful flora, fauna and wildlife in the Selous, Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Mount Kilimanjaro, is the perfect add-on destination to combine a spice island experience with the more rugged safari. The Grannies on Safari may have inspired a whole new generation of travelers from all walks of life, but I’m almost certain, if you put your mind to it, you too can get to see the world on YOUR terms.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

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