You will be crazy to think over the things to do in Zanzibar while you visit this heavenly tourist spot. East Africa has an irresistible fascination and you must be fascinated by its vibrant kangas (patterned fabric), its friendly people, and its crystal clear water.
So, to correct my next Kiswahili, you can set off on the island of Unguja – commonly known as Zanzibar – just a two-hour ferry journey from Tanzania’s coastal capital, Dar es Salaam, or a direct flight to many cities in Africa.
Thanks to its proximity and budget airline options, the largest island in the Zanzibar archipelago is an easily accessible and relatively affordable original idol where South African residents can spend their crashing coins on their itching feet.
Not everyone who walks around is lost
Your first stop can be Stone Town – a historic landmark in Zanzibar City and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 10 minutes from the International Airport on the Western Highway that enters the Indian Ocean.
Stone Town has all the stature of a magician, in which the distractions of words and wrists surprise his subtle changes and surprise amateurs as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
This is a hypnotist whose acquaintance lets you innocently deceive while you are wandering about under the spell; Submitting his sparkle at every unselected turn.
Its smoke and mirrors are a labyrinth of Coleraine ragstones and mangrove timber architecture and its urban fabric tells the story of the city’s former life as a Swahili trading port.
The now-ruined buildings were once molded from Asia to Europe under the influence of different cultures and are notorious for their captivity on the basis of the primary slave market in East Africa.
Its bells and whistles are elaborate hand-carved doors that have been cut on narrow walkways, with spice shops in the dirt on the dirt, the smell of spices that surrounds the dry cloth on the porch.
A look at the theft in the inner courtyard is indicative of a different life. Each lane is in an active state of evolution, barely disappearing at every angle before it even exists.
At first, you may feel the chaos, but as you would surrender to the call of color and prayer, you will find yourself relaxing and immersed in the city’s creases; Another smile line on its crooked face as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
For you, the smell, sights, and sounds are as warmly familiar as a box of Christmas Quality Streets, and the first day of your aimless exploration invoked countless memories from previous trips.
However, it could be the monotony of this wide range of memories that will definitely surprise you.
How fascinating it will be to take a stroll through the rough alley of Italy, then look at the wooden porch that is reminiscent of Nepal.
After a few hours of ambulating, you would find yourselves throwing tents of octopuses and salesmen at the Darazani Market, which would be nothing fancy, but all obliged.
After some serious discussion about whether to buy our coffee bin or vanilla pod, you could settle on a bag of saffron as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
It could seem appropriate, and although you may have no idea how to cook with it, the little threads in red represent the memories of our rendering in a way that no cappuccino can ever.
After a day of enjoying the lost, your tired legs stumbled before the House of Wonders – the first building in East Africa that received electricity and an elevator, and then to the Forward Night Market, where you can kiss Zanzibar’s Pizza and Naima (barbecued meat) and Coconut drinks outdoors near the sea until our senses are allowed to unfold It is upon.
As much as you could enjoy being short on schedule, you can start with a purpose the next day.
(Zanzibar’s coffee) Full of beans, we boarded a boat with Zanzibar’s callers and can go to see Prison Island’s old quarantine station and giant Aldabra turtle colony as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
This endangered species is given as a gift from the Seychelles government in the nineteenth century, and the presence of these experimental remains was a surprise – one of which was 158 years old!
At the end of your tour, while snorkeling in clear water around the island, you can drive through harmless jellyfish.
Useful facts about a trip to the Zanzibar
- Zantel has the island’s finest coverage for sim cards.
- Although many hotels and tour operators take USD, it is preferable to have Tanzania Shillings for dining and shopping.
- Although the airport isn’t awful, Stone Town offers a better rate than the other locations for currency exchange.
- Located on the same stretch as the famous Rock Restaurant, the boutique hotel offers an indoor experience with a stunning stretch of motley-mchamway-ping way.
- Guests are served a butler service with just six bedrooms across two buildings – Asili House and Villa Kidosho – making it a truly personalized experience.
- You can wake up in a king-sized four-poster bed to watch the sunrise in front of your eyes and enjoy a romantic dinner in the privacy of your porch in the evening. Nevertheless, the hotel’s most impressive feature is arguably its swimming pool as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
- Perfect for movie sets, its dramatic creatures roam the beach and create the right place to dream while relaxing in a floating beanbag. You don’t have to imagine it because it could be your reality!
- If you like scuba diving or are interested in joining the Safari Blue Tour, Fumba Beach Lodge is a great place to visit the Menai Bay Conservation Area.
- Before heading back to the lodge to read a good book on your hammock surrounded by barren birds, you can hopefully spend your days filled with dolphins, islands, sand dunes, and coral walls.
- A local Zanzibar Kolobas monkey was also recently screened here for the first time!
- Zanzibar is a predominantly Islamic island, which creates a pretty rich culture.
- Expect to have five calls for prayer during the day, beef for breakfast, and most women – even young girls – to wear the hijab.
- It would be impossible for any Scatelli clubbed tourist to take this offense. Still, it’s always nice to consider covering your bits of junk and being respectful in how you dress.
- Getting around the island is not an easy task unless you rent a taxi. Some roads are not nice, and police officers are out to pick up a few penny pockets so they will happily detain someone in false premises, such as not having a valid driving license if you rent a car or motorcycle.
- Although you can escape without any run-ins, they can keep you damp during your day and waste a lot of valuable tanning time.
- So if you don’t want to smell petty tyranny, it’s worth spreading cash and jumping in a taxi.
- Consider staying at a beach spot just to waste time and dollars on the road as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
- Zanzibar is still a low-risk malaria zone, so consult your travel clinic before you go and make the decision that best suits you.
- You can visit during the winter season in late August and some of the upsides that many others couldn’t even bite once as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.!
- You can wash your teeth with tap water, but you should only consume bottled water.
- It utilizes British plugs since it was once a British Protectorate.
- Although people are accustomed to tourists because it is a predominantly Muslim island, it is best to dress modestly if at all feasible. Swimwear is not appropriate outside of the beach.
- You will constantly be approached by tourists and locals who want to sell you something. Just be nice and decline.
- It’s a safe spot to visit, but if you’re a lady, I wouldn’t recommend going alone at night. No of your age or gender, it’s better to move quickly and deliberately.
Memorable Things To Do In Zanzibar, Tanzania
You will be amazed at such a peaceful and primitive environment at the close of Stone Town’s troubles and turmoil as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
The sneak peeks of the marine world will give you the thirst for more water-based activities and thus, after a late-night meal in the city, you can take a drunken beautiful sunset cruise ride with Jama Tours.
As you pass the wonderful things of architecture along the coast and watch the sunset over the fishermen by dipping into the Indian Ocean, you can eat spicy cassava chips.
At the same time, look at the sky which is turning pink and the stars counted as the magician Zanzibar finished another day.
1. Beach Nungwi
It was nearly noon when we arrived at the beach because we left Stone Town early in the morning. There are a lot of businesses and individuals offering tours, but be sure to shop around before signing up for one.
We came here for a beach holiday before continuing on to mainland Tanzania for a safari, so we spent the remainder of the day lounging on the beach! You can locate a stretch of sand to lay on, but there are a few restaurants with sun loungers.
Be ready for individuals to approach you; one smart move I discovered is to partially conceal your face with your hat. They are less likely to annoy you if they avoid eye contact!
Around noon, when the tide is at its lowest, villagers venture onto the beach to go fishing and shellfish collecting. It’s a great time to go for a stroll, but sandbanks that arise might pull you out.
If you are departing today, you may replace Day 2 with a day excursion (see my Stone Town post); for those who wish to visit the gigantic tortoise, I suggest the blue safari or prison island.
Although Jambiani is another well-liked destination for beach lovers, we traveled from Stone Town north to Nungwi.
In a word, Jambiani is closer to home whereas Nungwi offers more amenities and activities.
It takes two hours and costs $35 to organize a shuttle via our hotel. The main road on Zanzibar is decent, but as we got closer to Nungwi, it changed to a muddy track full of potholes, which made for a very rough ride.
3. Stone Town’s Dhow Palace
There are several historic hotels in Stone Town, but we chose Dhow Palace. It is located in the city’s heart, close to the main street and the old home of the 16th-century trader Sheikh bin Mujbia.
With wonderfully restored furniture made of the same material, it still exudes the allure of the Arabian era. It’s a great hotel to stay in, with everything from the main pool to the vibrant stained glass. The rooms might occasionally be a touch dusty, but the balconies more than makeup for it.
4. Scuba Diving on Mnemba Island
A snorkeling excursion to Mnemba Island from Nungwi is the ideal kind of day vacation. Mnemba Island is a private island, therefore we can only snorkel nearby. Keep that in mind before you get carried away with the idea of you on an island composed of sand. Drone usage is severely prohibited nearby, and entering the island will result in a 200 USD punishment.
From our hostel, we made a 20 USD reservation for a snorkeling tour that included snorkeling equipment. The boat was supposed to return at 3:30 pm, and we were picked up from our hotel at 9 am. Fun fact: They probably return and leave again because that was the same boat we used for our sunset trip!
5. Lunch at Blue Ocean
It’s an excellent deal to dine at one of the seaside eateries along the section of the beach close to Nungwi House. Although it is situated a little further back from the shore and has a beach as its dining area, the cuisine was still delicious despite the delayed service.
The barracuda was excellent and had a fantastic barbecue sauce, but the tuna was a touch overdone.
6. Zanzibar shopping
We stepped outside after getting situated and unwittingly started shopping on the main street. There are many exquisite handicrafts produced in Zanzibar, among the more well-known examples being textiles made from Khanga and Kitenga. They are made of cotton that has vibrant colors and patterns, and you can find them on their own or use them to create lovely accessories and bags that you can purchase.
There are ready-to-wear items at certain stores as well, although the costs are often higher. Do not forget to bargain, and it is preferable to look at it before returning.
7. Dinner at Mama Mio
Yes, Mama Mia is an Italian restaurant where we had supper. Amazing gelato is available there, which is ideal for an afternoon pick-me-up.
There is a daily special in addition to their regular menu of seafood and Italian dishes, and the cuisine is alright. It’s a lovely place to be at sunset when the tide comes in because their location overhangs the beach.
8. Stone Town city walking tour
We chose to go on a private city tour, which we scheduled through our hotel. At 9:30, our guide greeted us and gave us a fantastic introduction to Zanzibar’s history before we embarked on a tour of the city.
If you are interested in the island’s history, culture, or architecture, I strongly suggest it. The fee for the trip is 15 USD per participant, which is essentially the same for everyone.
9. Hurumzi and Emerson
In Stone Town, a rooftop meal is certainly not to be missed. The second-highest structure in the city, Emerson on Hurumzi, belonged to the King’s Indian financial advisor. It is a hotel and restaurant now. It’s a well-liked location for a sunset set lunch, so reservations are absolutely worthwhile.
You have the choice of dining on tables or the more conventional floor sitting. While the meal is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., it is advisable to arrive earlier to get a spot and take in the sunset.
We got water to share and I also had a Hibiscus Champagne cocktail because water and beverages are separately priced. Each of the two meals is presented on a plate. Arabian flat bread, beetroot tahini, and spice-salted squid are included in the starter. Samaki wa chicha, pumpkin tagine, Massaman goat curry, rice, and papaya salad are available as the main dishes.
10. Lunch at The Silk Route
It turns out that the restaurant our tour guide suggested for us was close to our hotel. The restaurant is on the third story of a building, but there are signs pointing the way there so you won’t get lost.
We had some great grilled prawns, calamari, and biryani rice, along with both Zanzibarian and foreign cuisine. Although there is a lot of Indian and Arabian influence, I enjoy how the cuisine isn’t as hot.
11. Sunset cruise
We paid 10 USD per person for a sunset cruise that we reserved via our hotel. Z Hotel picked us up from our hotel at 4 o’clock and took us to the beach. Depending on your height, you may have to wade over the river and get wet up to your crotch area. Wear a swimsuit underneath and anything water-resistant.
A leisurely sail around the southern coast and return is part of the sunset cruise. About halfway through, we stopped for some fruits and picked up some more individuals. The cruise is more of a skirt around the coast and takes in the beauty kind because there isn’t much to do with it.
12. 6 Degrees South Grill and Wine Bar for dinner
Although it mostly comprises rooftop bar tables, this is another well-liked location to watch the sunset. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the vista is nice. We had a salad to share, which was alright but obviously not as wonderful as lunch because the food is on the pricey side.
Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar City, Tanzania, Plot 60, Waterfront, Shangani St.
Hours of operation: 10:00–1:00
13. A spice trip
What better way to learn about the culture than by taking a spice tour because Zanzibar is often referred to as the “Spice Island”? You may go to a variety of spice farms, many of which provide guided tours that let you stroll around the plantations and discover more about the spices and their therapeutic applications.
Of course, you can also observe how they cultivate other spices, like coffee, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and chilies.
You’ll undoubtedly love discovering how plants like the henna plant and the lipstick tree are utilized in cosmetics if you’re a beauty addict. There are also fruit farms that cultivate durian, star-fruits, jackfruits, custard apples, papayas, mangoes, neem, lychees, and coconuts since the soil is so fertile and beautiful.
14. A kite surfing
Those seeking adventure will find fantastic kite surfing chances at Paje. Imagine being propelled by the wind as you speed through stunningly clean seas, the sun blazing down, and the beach in the distance. In this idyllic area, there are also schools that provide equipment rentals and lessons. Both mid-December and mid-March are prime times for kiteboarding. The first season spans from mid-June to mid-September.
15. Smack the city
The capital of the island, Stone Town, is a location you’ll want to get lost in. The city provides a wide range of services. The Old Fort, a relic that now houses an art gallery and curio market, is one thing, while there are several bazaars and food stalls to explore. The former slave market and the museum at Sultan’s Palace are also worthwhile stops for history buffs.
You may arrange an excursion to Prison Island from Stone Town to observe the enormous tortoises. In order to combat cholera and bubonic plague outbreaks that afflicted the island’s inhabitants, an ancient colonial hospital that was constructed as a jail in 1893 was converted into a hospital, giving rise to the moniker Prison Island. Trips here take three hours or so and include some snorkeling time on the island.
The Beach of the Sun
The weather is mutual horror for the weather. Zanzibar was our light at the end of the tunnel after we were part of the sunshine hunt and another winter in Cape Town.
So, with nothing more than a thirst for vitamin D and crayfish, you can bid farewell to Stone Town and can take a tour of the beaches for your rest as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
For the next few days, you can travel along the west coast, from the peak of Kamah to Menai Bay on the southwest of the island, on the east coast of Michmaway-Ringway.
Your Little Circuit will make it clear that, although only 85 km in length, your beach towel in Zanzibar is diverse and has something unique to offer for every nose and cranny.
From the rocky shores with the private jetties to the beautiful expanse of white sand beaches, it is fascinating how much Spice Island has to offer.
Even the same region can change dramatically at different times of the day, depending on the tide or the weather.
There are a variety of activities to spice up your day – from swimming with dolphins to walking in mangrove forests, scuba diving, or engaging in spicy village tours with cooking lessons.
As a result, you’ll be able to relax, secure in the knowledge that your days will ensure a splash through the ocean as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
Where to stay in Stone Town
Zanzibar Palace Hotel provides the perfect launchpad for staying in Stone Town. And the climb up to the Dunia honeymoon suite is especially worth the lactic acid build-up.
Although it feels like Rapunzel in its tower, this suite around antique Zanzibari furnishings presents a great view over Stone Town, and a further short plane in the next bathroom provides a loo with a view and loungers to keep it all soaked.
For those who are on a budget, the Ware Town House is a great option located close to the ferry terminal. Basic but clean and comfortable, the beautiful fabric design and other Zanzibari decorative touches make it a welcoming place to put your head.
Its rooftop restaurant – where you can start the day with a champagne breakfast – also offers great surveillance throughout the city as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
The House of Spices doubles in products. Not only is it a centrally located hotel, it has made it a convenient base for exploring the streets of Stone Town, but it is also one of the city’s most renowned restaurants.
Some of the local icons, Spice House offers a fantastic fusion of Italian and Zanzibari dishes, thanks to its Modena breed owner and local chef.
The spices are honorably woven with a variety of dishes that will help you understand how Spice Island got its name.
Book your stay from Adventure Campus Tanzania and do not miss chili chocolate mousse for dessert as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.!
Where to stay next to the beach
People often go crazy about resorts along the north coast of Zanzibar, which certainly provides much-needed research and proposals for many.
However, if you take the beaten beach to some more secluded coves, there are plenty of fantastic accommodations.
From beach huts and private villas to luxurious boutiques and first-class resorts, Zanzibar has something for everyone.
And it’s best to take a break from bronzing to explore the shoreline, both above and below the water.
Zanzi Resort offers privacy and luxury in a tropical setting on the island’s west coast. The moment you enter the field and drink your welcome coconut, you know it’s time to kick back and relax.
A luxurious villa with a private pool is the way forward here, especially if you are looking for some time together with your nearest and dearest.
Everything has been considered to make you feel at home – from DVDs to televisions to a mini-library as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
South Africans have had the fortune of being able to waltz to Zanzibar for free on their green mamba, but thankfully most Europeans do not push it too hard as a part of the things to do in Zanzibar.
You can sense the charm of Zanzibar everywhere you go. From the distinctive and exquisite architecture (take note of all the gorgeous doors) to the flavors of the cuisine and the lingering aroma of the spices.
Additionally, the locals are kind and inviting, and they have a great sense of humor! In the end, Zanzibar has something to offer everyone, whether they are interested in history, gastronomy, adventure travel, or even just lounging on the beach with a good book.
The identical procedure as yesterday night’s boarding applied this morning, as the ship rounded Zanzibar’s northern edge. Watch out for dolphins since we saw some of them when we were just east of the point.
The two-hour trip is a little bumpy, but we passed the time by sunning on the upper deck. The sun is rather bright, though, so you might want to seek cover beneath the sail.
We went snorkeling for approximately an hour and a half when the ship made a stop close to the island. The crew also throws in fruits, which draw a lot of neighboring wildlife due to the abundance of corals and marine life there.
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