The tropical island of Zanzibar is a jewel in the Indian ocean. An exotic mix of laid-back beach life and ancient culture. Its renowned for its white sandy beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters, rich marine life, exciting water sport activities, spice farms and delicious food. Apart from this, Zanzibar also offers a colourful history and rich culture. Here are 8 fun things to do when visiting Zanzibar.
Take a boat to this beautiful untouched paradise only 20 minutes away from Stone Town. Nakupenda Beach is a large sandbank in the middle of the sea. White sand, crystal clear azure water and breath-taking views. A great place to relax, snorkel, swim and enjoy the sun. Tip: go early morning so you have the beach to yourself. Remember to bring food, water and sunscreen.
Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
If you are a nature lover and like some activity, try this great jungle walk. A guide takes you on a walk through the last indigenous forest on Zanzibar and the impressive mangroves. Here you can view different kind of monkeys, like the rare red colobus monkeys, trees and plants. The tour takes around 1,5 to 2 hours. Jozani Park is about 20 min drive from Paje (East Coast). Tip: plan your visit early in the morning when the monkeys are most active.
Zanzibar is known for its spice trade, so what better way to learn about the local culture than to visit a spice farm. Walk with a guide through the villages and spice plantations where pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc grows. The guide will explain how the plants grow and what we use it for. You get the chance to smell and taste samples of the plants and tropical fruits from the tree.
Snorkeling and scuba diving
Zanzibar is excellent for its diving and snorkelling. There are many different locations on the island where you can take a trip. Sail on a traditional wooden dhow boat with the wind in your sail along the Zanzibar coast. There a many great reefs where you can snorkel and dive. Spot the most beautiful tropical fish, turtles, stingrays and dolphins. Most trips include lunch and drinks.
The Darajani in Stone Town is a traditional food market. Locals buy and sell here vegetables, meat, seafood, spices and fabrics. This vibrant market is well worth a visit and will give you a great insight into local life. The gardens are a nice place to eat your food and enjoy the ocean view.
Forodhani night market
This night-time food market is a must for sea food lovers. Here you can find freshly grilled fish, meat and vegetables. The seafood options are by far the most popular. The market opens late afternoon in Stone Town and is bustling with life. A great atmosphere and change to get a feel of the local cuisine.
Dhow sailing cruise
Sail on a traditional dhow boat through the tropical waters of Tanzania. This wooden boat has been used for thousands of years by fishermen and traders along the Tanzanian Coast. Try this authentic way of sailing, it’s truly a great experience. Just relax and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the Indian Ocean. Most of the Dhow day sailing cruises includes snorkelling, swimming, relaxing and a sea food buffet. You can also choose a Dhow Sunset Cruise of 2 hours, starting late afternoon.
A half-hour boat trip from Zanzibar, Prison Island was once used as a place where slaves were detained and later it functioned as a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Today the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison.