10 Things You Can’t Miss When Visiting Zanzibar

Known for its turquoise waters and stretching white sand beaches, Zanzibar is a truly enchanting place. It is a place of rich culture, fascinating history and a culmination of Arab, Persian, Indian, English and Portuguese influence. Discover the rich heritage of Stone Town and explore the beauty of the coast on the trip of a lifetime…

 

1. Explore Stone Town

Whether you wander the streets with a tour group or by yourself, Stone Town is easily one of the most captivating places in Zanzibar. With its roots as a fishing village and trading hub, the island has an interesting and at times dark history. As you explore the town, be sure to visit the House of Wonders – the largest building in Zanzibar- and the Forodhani Gardens, the perfect place to get a delicious snack of fresh seafood.

 

2. Visit Jozani Forest

A trip to Zanzibar is not complete without visiting Jozani Forest, one of the last refuges in the world of the red colobus monkey. In the south of Zanzibar, and just an hour-long car ride from Stone Town, the forest is home to a variety of wildlife including birds, reptiles, and mammals big and small, such as antelope and squirrels. Admire the beauty of nature up close and do not miss one of the most lush, stunning places on Zanzibar…

 

3. Relax on the Breathtaking Nungwi Beach

When you dream of Zanzibar, you probably picture Nungwi Beach. With crystalline waters and soft white sands, Nungwi is the perfect place for a beach escape, or even just a day trip. If lounging by the water isn’t your cup of tea, be sure to wander along the shore where the locals build the iconic dhow boats.

 

4. Discover Authentic Zanzibar Cuisine

Those visiting Zanzibar are fortunate enough to sample the unique cuisine that the island has developed due to its many cultural influences. As you find yourself puzzling out the maze that is Stone Town, be sure to look out for iconic dishes such as Zanzibar Pizza, Biryani, Chipsi Mayai and Urojo. There is much to try on this delightful island, so be sure to venture out with an empty stomach…

 

5. Spice Tour

Nicknamed the ‘Spice Islands’, Zanzibar is the perfect place for a spice tour. With spices being introduced from Goa and Brazil from the 16th century onwards, the roaring spice trade began. Once the largest producer of cloves in the world, Zanzibar has a long history of involvement with the spice trade. Journey back many years whilst tasting delicious flavours and discovering new uses for plants you did not know before.

 

6. Enjoy a Sunset Dhow Cruise

See Zanzibar from the sea, with a sunset dhow cruise. The perfect way to end any day, leave the bustling Stone Town behind and venture out on a traditional dhow. Enjoy a new perspective of the breathtaking island and gain an unforgettable travel memory.

 

7. Visit Prison Island

Also known as Changuu Island, the name ‘Prison Island’ is a bit of a misnomer. Only briefly used as a prison for rebellious slaves, Prison Island was mainly a quarantine station for those with yellow fever. Today, it is an exciting tourist destination due to its incredible population of the endangered Aldabra giant tortoises. Other than the gentle giants, there is fantastic snorkeling around the island.

 

8. Learn About the History of Slave Trade on the Island

Zanzibar was once home to one of the biggest slave markets in the world, with more than 50,000 slaves being transported through the island every year. Between the 18th and 19th century, slaves were brought from West Africa and either sent onwards or used to work on the plantations. Although a dark element of Zanzibar’s history, it is an important part.

 

9. Wander Through Darajani Market

Get to the heart of Zanzibar life and visit Darajani Market, where locals congregate to sell and buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. Whether or not you purchase anything, Darajani Market is the perfect place to people watch and get an understanding of daily life on the island.

 

10. Go Snorkeling or Diving

Zanzibar is a paradise on Earth for the diver and snorkeler, no matter the skill level. With fantastic visibility and incredibly warm water, Zanzibar is home to beautiful coral reefs and marine life such as turtles, eels, dolphins, rays and scores of fish.

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