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Mercury RisingShangani, Zanzibar

Not many may know this, but the famous musician and Queen front man, Freddie Mercury, was actually born Farouk Bulsara to Parsi parents. While he spent years studying in Bombay, it was in Stone Town, Zanzibar that this showman spent most of his childhood. In Shangani, where Mercury was born and later returned before leaving to London at the age of 18, the Bulsara family home still stands, now labelled ‘Mercury House’. It’s not open to the public, but Zanzibar Gallery, also where Mercury once lived, sells a bunch of souvenirs and no doubt a Freddie Mercury t-shirt or two in this Freddie-obsessed town.

Visitors to the Tanzanian archipelago can also visit the Zoroastrian temple where the Bulsara family once worshipped. A number of tours offer the chance to trace his footsteps along Shangani’s streets, connecting you to the life of Freddie before he was Freddie. Plus, no visit is complete without a stop at the gimmicky-named Mercury Restaurant.

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Tags: queen, Shangani, tanzania, Zanzibar

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