Miquel Casaramona is from Sant Quirze del Vallès but has lived in Zanzibar since 2014. Miquel is the chef at the Hotel Karamba.
Why did you leave Catalonia?
I had an offer to come here to manage the bar and restaurant in a hotel owned by a Catalan and with the economic situation of most European countries, especially in Spain, the job situation was quite complicated.
Why did you choose Zanzibar?
Zanzibar is where the hotel is and it is very stable, and it is a paradise.
How long have you been living there?
I arrived in October 2014, so it's been a year and a half now.
Are you happy with the job opportunities there?
Working in a country like this is not easy, the local administration makes it fairly difficult. Things are quite scarce all round. And getting things fixed or work done, which in Europe might take no time, here things like that can be a big problem. However, the work is fun and there is something new every day. The risk of falling into a routine is non-existent.
What do you think is the best thing about living in Zanzibar?
Living in Zanzibar for me is great. But being realistic, I live in a little piece of Catalonia with the all of the scenery and climatic advantages of Africa. It is a little like living inside a dome.
What do you think a first-time visitor should see?
Zanzibar and all Africa are very interesting for anyone who has never been in this magnificent, gigantic continent. Zanzibar has a capital city that is officially World Heritage, Stone Town. It is very interesting to visit any part of the coast; it is like a paradise and luckily where I live and work even more so. For example, the fishing boats are still small wooden canoes.
And if visitors get a chance to come back?
We have a lot of people coming back to the hotel. The air we breathe here is very relaxing. Almost “dolce far niente”.
What do you miss most from home?
What I miss most from Catalonia has three names: Marc, Aleix and Pol, by order of age, along with other family members and friends. Then there are the long spring afternoons and having a beer with friends on the terrace of a bar.
Do you plan to go back home?
To Catalonia? Sure, I just do not know when.
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
A place to share a good lunch or dinner....I would have to say the hotel KARAMBA at Kizimkazi Dimbani. It is my restaurant and I'm the chef. I get very good reviews.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
Any time outside of April and May, which is the rainy season. When it is winter in Europe the weather here is quite hot, but the rest of the year is fantastic.
What is the best kept secret about the area?
It is a Muslim country and is very tolerant, welcoming and warm. Here there is no misery or poverty, people lead simple lives, it is a privileged setting, away from the big resorts like in the Caribbean. There are incredible coral reefs, white sandy beaches and a huge ocean, full of tasty fish. From my home I can see the most amazing sunsets and a sky filled with stars in the deepest darkness.