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Things to Do in Zanzibar

What to Do in Zanzibar?

Wander around Stone Town, Visit the Slave Trade, Explore the Jozani Forest, Go on a Sunset Dhow Cruise, Go Deep Sea Fishing, Scuba diving at Mnemba Atoll and many more.

Shaped by its unique location and blessed with some of the world’s natural wonders there is truly no dearth of things to do in Zanzibar- the tropical paradise on the Indian Ocean. With its shimmering sandy beaches, emerald waters and amazing wildlife, Zanzibar makes sure that all the adventure enthusiasts get a chance to try their hands on various adrenaline rushing activities like diving, hiking and wildlife safaris.

The splendid serenity of Nungwi Beach makes sure that one spends their evenings gazing into the uninterrupted scenery of the sunsets while walking along the sandy shores. The ones interested in local culture and heritage must not miss a trip to Stone Town and walk in it's alleys loaded with age-old monuments.

The Zanzibar Africa things to do are not limited to thrill and history only, as one can take part in calming activities as well like deep sea fishing and cruise rides. If you are looking for a different kind of holidaymaking, you can go for a spice tour in the large clove and cinnamon plantations where you can learn about the spices that help flavour up your platter every day.
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Zanzibar Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Zanzibar?

1.Wander around Stone Town- Stone Town is the old town of Zanzibar city, the capital of the Zanzibar archipelago. As you touch down this ancient town you will soak up the cultural vibe whose history dates 20,000 years back. The town still bears strong influences of a motley of African, Arabic and other cultures of countries that have colonized Zanzibar for centuries.

The island was initially a fishing village which later turned into a trading centre. Zanzibar had a history of slave trade as slaves were sent from other countries to this land through the port and made to work in the plantations. The Stone Town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Location: Zanzibar City, Tanzania

2. Visit the Slave Trade- A visit to the Slave Museum will give you an insight of the dark history of Zanzibar. It was the last functioning slave market in the world which was closed in 1873. As you make your way through the museum you will come across chambers where slaves were kept before they were sold. Thousands of Africans were brought to this island before they were sent to work on plantations. Zanzibar was also the basecamp of slave traders who used the port to send the slaves to Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Ottoman empire.

Location: Mkunazini St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Price: 5 USD
Timings: Between 8am- 6pm

3. Explore the Jozani Forest- Jozani is the only national park in Zanzibar which is regarded as a natural pharmacy due to its exhaustive resource of medicinal plants and herbs. The unique biodiversity of the forest makes it home to 168 species of birds, 291 identified plant species, dolphins, reef fishes, mangrove kingfisher, African civet and other faunal species.

The landscape of this forest is a medley of tropical trees, mangroves, groundwater, salt marshes, agricultural land and residential areas. You can go for a private tour in Jozani Forest with a professional guide who will give you information about the forest and its unique features.

Price: Starts from 55 USD per person
Timings: Every day between 7:30am-5pm

4. Go on a Sunset Dhow Cruise- Your trip to Zanzibar is never complete without sailing on the clear emerald waters of the Indian Ocean in a Sunset Dhow Cruise. As the sunset cruise leaves the shore, the hustle and bustle of a bustling town gradually fades and is eventually taken over by the melancholic song of love and loss or a tune played in a violin or oud or a taarab by the musicians.

You will be served canapes along with your favourite brand of beer or soda by the crew. Take a sip from your glass and sink into the romantic ambiance of the cruise.

Price: Starts from 56USD
Timings: Between 4:30pm-7pm

5. Go Deep Sea Fishing- Zanzibar has a global fame for abounding prime locations for deep sea fishing. Whether you are an amateur or experienced angler you can try a hand in snagging the tough catches in the sea waters. The channel lying between Zanzibar and Pemba offers angling expeditions round the year. All fishing gear and equipment are provided onboard.

Price: full day fishing charter (1000-1300) USD and afternoon/night fishing charter(900-1300) USD
Timings: 9am- 6pm

6. Scuba diving at Mnemba Atoll- Scuba diving at Mnemba Atoll is a great way to explore the exotic marine life of Zanzibar which is home to over 400 species of fishes, nudibranchs, turtles and rare varieties of corals. If luck favours you may spot whale sharks, manta rays and reef sharks on your expedition. Mnemba Atoll is a marine reserve and conservation area which is considered as one of the best spots for water sports in Zanzibar.

The best time for scuba diving in Mnemba Atoll is from mid-February till mid-May and from mid-October and mid-December when the sea is calm and visibility is optimum.

Price: 150 USD
Timings: Between 8am-3:30pm

7. Explore the old fort- The Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) is the oldest building and a major attraction of the Stone Town. The massive fortification is located on the seafront of the Stone Town, adjacent to the House of Wonders and opposite to Forodhani Gardens.

The Old Fort is the site of cultural events in Zanzibar where Festival of the Dhow Countries and Sauti za Busara are held. There is a curio shop, courtyard, a restaurant, tourist information desk and an open amphitheatre in the premises of the fort.

Location: Mizingani Rd, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Timings: Everyday between 8AM-6PM

8. Dine out at Rock restaurant- For an unforgettable alfresco dining experience in the midst of the calm and turquoise ocean waters you must visit the Rock Restaurant. With stunning seascape and thoughtfully prepared food, it offers exotic dining to couples and groups up to 20 for special events.

Located in the southeast shore of Zanzibar archipelago in front of Michamvi Pingwe beach, Rock Restaurant was built with the vision of providing a natural dining experience with international standard menu and hospitality. You can reach the restaurant off the beach barefoot during ebb and by boat or wading out during high tide. The boat service is provided complementarity with your dining reservation.

Location: Pingwe Michamvi Kae, Michamvi, Tanzania
Timings: Every day from (12-8) PM

9. Shop at Darajani Market- A market is the place where not only goods are traded and sold but where we come across new people, socialise and interact. Darajani Market is one such place in Zanzibar as it is one of the central markets of the town.

As you walk along the streets you will spot vendors selling commodities ranging from local Zanzibar spices and dates and kofias (Zanzibari hats) to Chinese toys and other knick knacks. Spend an hour navigating your way through the serpentine lanes of the market place and you will certainly go back with an awesome experience.

Location: Market St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Timings: 8:30am- 6pm

10. Witness sunset at Nungwi beach- As the sun slips down the horizon casting golden and amber hues in the sky with its reflection on the tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean, the world seems to stand still.

Location: Nungwi Beach, Tanzania

What are the adventurous things to do in Zanzibar?

1. Paddle boarding- If you are a true adventure buff, explore the south-eastern part of Zanzibar through a lagoon surrounded by a mangrove forest by paddle boarding. This is a highly endangered zone of the island which is accessible only by SUP.

2. Go biking round the island- Touring round the small villages in Zanzibar is one of the coolest activities of your trip. You will be glad to meet the locals, enjoy food in a coconut hut and swim in a cave.

3. Enjoy kayaking on the sea waters- Rent a kayak and navigate your way through the calm sea waters. Being protected by a reef kayaking in Zanzibar is safe and enjoyable.
Kitesurfing- Paje a small village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar offers great kitesurfing experience to beginners with its shallow water, constant wind and sandy bottom.

4. Visit the Jozani Forest- From holding pythons, hanging out with chameleons to spotting Black Colobus there’s hardly anything you want to miss in Jozani Forest.

What are the romantic things to do in Zanzibar?

1. A romantic escapade at Prison Island- Once a prison for slaves as the name suggests, offers a romantic escapade to honeymooners who can spend the whole day in boat ride, sunbath and enjoying the solitude of the island.

2. Soak up the calmness of Nungwi Beach- Sink into the overwhelming calmness of the Nungwi Beach and let your romance bloom in silence.

3. Set sail on a romantic Dhow Cruise- In a traditional dhow, set sail in the turquoise sea waters around some picturesque islands and get to witness the virgin beauty of this tropical island.

4. Enjoy a honeymoon dinner at Rock Restaurant4. - What can be more romantic than having your Valentine's Day dinner under the star-studded sky and surrounded by the blue ocean waters with your bae by your side?

5. Watch sunset- Sitting under the canopy of palm groves in a tranquil beach and watching a surreal sunset with your partner while sipping on chilled champagne never goes out of time!

What is Zanzibar famous for?

A lot of things are made up of the history of the island nation of Zanzibar. In the earliest days it was a port city which was used as a base camp of slave trade. Zanzibar is also known as the spice island as it is one of world’s largest producers of aromatic spices viz. clove, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and others.

In Zanzibar Africa things to do are endless being a less visited beach destination which abounds with striking flora and fauna, crystal sea waters, breezy tropical climate and an undisturbed ambiance

Zanzibar boasts of having the premium hotspots for deep sea fishing. Also, there is an array of things to do in Zanzibar viz. scuba diving, wildlife safari, Dhow Cruise and other beach activities.

What clothes to wear in Zanzibar?

Although there is no fixed dress code in Zanzibar which has predominantly a conservative culture however, wearing revealing outfits may invite frowns of the locals. You can wear anything that covers their shoulders and knees. Wearing swim suits is accepted along the beach areas but do not go topless or wear thongs. If you visit a village in Zanzibar wearing proper outfit which shows respect to their culture is highly appreciated.

Is Zanzibar good for a honeymoon?

With picture postcard beaches canopied under palm and coconut groves, abundant flora, exotic marine life and alluring sea waters, Zanzibar is a great honeymoon escapade. Booking online honeymoon packages, you can spend an intimate vacation in the most luxurious resorts, eat great seafood and participate in adrenaline rush water activities.?

Honeymoon packages are specially designed for you to enjoy a romantic vacation and indulge in unique things to do in Zanzibar such as Dhow Cruise, boat sailing, scuba diving and others.

Is Zanzibar dangerous for tourists?

Zanzibar is in general a safe and hassle-free town for the locals as well for tourists. In fact, Zanzibar is ranked as the most peaceful country in East Africa. However as in Zanzibar Africa things to do are many, it is advisable not to roam around in isolated areas of the island especially near the beach areas.

How expensive is Zanzibar?

A 7 days’ trip to Zanzibar will cost you around 2,386USD for a solo traveller, 4,285USD for a couple and 8,034USD for a family of 4. Zanzibar hotels cost around (38-217 USD) per night with an average charge of 64USD. If you rent a home it will cost you around (20-400) USD per night.

What is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

Whether you want to go on a rustic vacation or participate in things to do Zanzibar the best time for both is between the months of June and October. Africa has spring during these months when the climate is cool and pleasant. Another favourable time to visit this tropical paradise island is between December and February. It is winter during these months and Zanzibar experiences hot and dry climates.

How many days do you need in Zanzibar?

To explore the archipelago of Zanzibar, you need at least 7 days. You may break your 7 days’ itinerary for Zanzibar Africa things to do in the following way:

Day 1: Flight to Zanzibar
Day 2: Zanzibar City Tour
Day 3: Spice Tour
Day 4: Jozani Forest safari
Day 5: Beach Activities
Day 6: Spend leisure
Day 7: Transfer to airport

If you want to add a few more things to do in Zanzibar, you may need to extend your trip to 10 days which gives you ample time to explore the island paradise.
Whether you want to go on a rustic vacation or participate in things to do Zanzibar the best time for both is between the months of June and October.

Africa has spring during these months when the climate is cool and pleasant. Another favourable time to visit this tropical paradise island is between December and February. It is winter during these months and Zanzibar experiences hot and dry climates.

What can I buy in Zanzibar?

Among all the things to do in Zanzibar, shopping is one of the foremost. You can buy Masai jewellery (bracelets, necklaces and anklets) made of colourful beads as souvenirs. Besides, you can also buy Masai handicraft items that include wood carvings, coloured fabrics and baskets from the local markets. As Zanzibar is the largest producer of spices in Africa, you can also buy premium quality clove, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper and other spices in your trip.

What are the best things to do in Zanzibar at night?

1. Dhow Cruise- Set sail in a traditional wooden dhow and be witness to a surreal sunset on the Northern Zanzibar coast.

2. Get a henna tattoo- The artisans who are mostly the females of the households will create intricate designs with utmost dexterity on your palms. Get your tattoo done after all your water activities are over so it may last longer in your hands.

3. ‘Seafari’ tours- For those you want to experience all the fun and adventure activities just in one day, your best options are the ‘seafari’ expeditions. The expeditions are Zanzibar Seafari, Dolphin Safari and Whale Watching Tours.

4. Catamaran charters- In a 60 ft long luxurious catamaran set sail across tranquil ocean waters and enjoy half or full day activities along with onboard refreshments.

5. Take a tour round the Forodhani Market- Visit the local food market and pamper your taste buds with some mouth-watering local foods. You will come across street vendors selling samosas, grilled maize, Zanzibar pizzas, Mishkaki, Zanzibar chocolate and others alike.

What are the best water sports to do in Zanzibar?

1. Water skiing and wakeboarding- This is meant for hard core adrenaline junkies. Hold on tight as the boats take off with high speed as you ski on top of the water surface. Trying this sport on a wakeboard is an easier option than on 2 skis.

2. Boat tour- This easy-going adventure activity gives you an opportunity to spot dolphins in their playful gestures along the southern end of Zanzibar coast. It is an early morning activity because dolphins tend to be most social at this time of the day.

3. Kite Surfing- Ride on a surfboard and propel against giant waves by a large kite which you are connected to calls for real adventure in Zanzibar.

4. Scuba diving and snorkelling- Mnemba Atoll is a prime location for snorkelling and scuba diving where you can get to see incredible marine life under the crystal sea water.

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