Zanzibar; bright, vibrant, timeless, full of colour & texture and beautiful honest shiny smiling faces. It's a magical place, one I was privileged to visit many years ago and have very fond memories of. Today we're featuring beautiful images by Valeria from EFFLEURER PHOTO who also shares some of her thoughts on this tiny little island off the coast of East Africa.

"Standing on the rooftop terrace, gazing at the silhouettes of the dhows sleepily drifting in the harbour I was listening to the echoes of Swahili songs from the shore. Soft breeze laced with the scent of sandal and cinnamon was blowing through my hair. 

Stone town - soulful and vibrant - hypnotised me. There was something magical, deep about it, hard to explain. It seemed you entered a secret world where the past and present intertwined in a beautiful manner. The place that made my heart beat with the rhythm of African drum.

I didn't use any maps or city guides, instead I let my feet wander and get lost in the maze of coral stone walls eroded by monsoon winds, paused every few steps to capture the details of massive ornate doors, scenes of local life, and African smiles. The history could be seen and felt everywhere. Black-skinned women wrapped in colourful kangas appeared from all ends of windy narrow streets were carrying groceries on their heads, kids were rushing off to school, vendors selling handmade goods. It was a riot of noise, colours, textures, and contrasts. 

Streets were twisting and turning until I finally stumbled upon the seafront. The African sun was going down, the sky turned colours and sunset jumpers were diving into the boundless ocean. It felt so lovely being there in a beautiful chaos with countless "jambo's" and warm and genuine interactions, soaking up the atmosphere of the unique cultural fusion, being a part of a simple life where the only nowness matters."