As the Zanzibar police officer waved for us to pull our scooter over, I could feel Tara’s grip on my waist get tighter. I breathed out gently, “I have nothing to worry about,” I reassured myself, but we were about to find out that nothing was as it seemed.

Police roadblocks in Africa are common, so as we came around a corner to confront two officers motioning vehicles to stop, I was not surprised. Only hours earlier, I had jumped through numerous hoops in order to drive away from Stone Town, Zanzibar with a Vespa, so I felt comfortable that we would have no problems with the police.

These hoops began upon arriving at Zanzibar’s port. We were introduced to Fazel (Africa Travel Company’s Zanzibar logistical contact), who told us that someone else would be bringing our scooter and working out the details of the rental. About 10…

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