Activities to do in Zanzibar : Zanzibar Island has a lot to offer, whether you’re seeking a place to rest after a Tanzanian northern safari circuit or just want to hang out in an island paradise. Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Africa with a long history as a trading port and a colony, so there are plenty of things to do in Zanzibar other than go to the beach. Zanzibar is known for its magnificent Omani imperial architecture, colorful Islam-influenced culture, and white-sand beaches. Check out our list of the top things to see and do on this Tanzanian jewel off the East African coast to make sure you’re experiencing the most of what this Tanzanian island has to offer.
Check out Stone Town.
Stone Town, also known as Mji Mkongwe, is the oldest area of Zanzibar City, which is the capital of the Unguja Island. On your stone town tour you’ll get a clear idea of how old Swahili trading cities in East Africa look, sound, feel, taste, and smell when you visit. This town is the heart and soul of the island, with Islamic prayer calls in the air and evocative twisting old lanes fragrant with spices at every turn. Admire magnificent stone buildings, sip chai and coffee from bustling merchants, and eat coconut-laced fresh fish feasts. Stone Town combines Persian, Arabic, Indian, and European influences to create a memorable location.
Wandering about the city’s small tangle of streets is the best way to get a sense of it. On your stone town walk tour you’ll undoubtedly become disoriented, but that’s half the pleasure. You’ll undoubtedly notice right away that a lot of items haven’t been maintained properly since the colonial era. Stone Town is a rather small city, with about 16,000 people residing there in 2016. The town’s economy is now primarily focused on tourism, and it is one of Tanzania’s most well-known tourist destinations.
Visit Jozani Forest
Most visitors come to see the uncommon/rarely red colobus monkey, which is found in this huge and gorgeous green expanse that is part of the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. There are nature walks with butterfly-flickering shafts of sunlight, a boardwalk that drops into mangrove swamps, and a remote chance of seeing a leopard, though don’t get your hopes up too high because the last sighting was decades ago.
Explore the most beautiful and best beaches in the world.
You should know that the island of Zanzibar is regarded as being a paradise/romantic getaway with the nicest beaches of white sands. Bwejuu is without a doubt one of Zanzibar’s most beautiful beaches. Stone Town is about an hour and a half away from this palm-lined white sand beach on the island’s southeast shore. It’s one of Zanzibar’s most serene regions and a popular choice for anyone seeking ultimate relaxation, tranquility, and solitude. Nungwi Beach, on Zanzibar’s northwest coast, is also one of the island’s most beautiful and popular beaches, recently making TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2018 list of the Top 25 Beaches in the World. Water activities are available on Zanzibar beaches, as are sundown cruises, and deep-sea fishing excursions in search of leaping sailfish and mean-looking bull dorado can be arranged, Activities to do in Zanzibar.
Take a boat trip and enjoy snorkeling in Zanzibar.
The best snorkeling beaches in Zanzibar may be found in the northeast, near Mnemba Atoll, and on the southwest coast. The magnificent beaches, resorts, culture, and historical sites of Zanzibar draw thousands of visitors each year. It is, nonetheless, a paradise for divers and snorkelers. When visiting Zanzibar, snorkeling is one of the must-do activities. Similar excursions are offered by a number of firms, but Safari Blue is the most well-known. It’s also the most expensive, and while you can get similar ones for a lot less money, they might not be as good.
As the day turns to nightfall in Stone Town, Forodhani Gardens morphs into a calorific circus: welcome to Zanzibar’s amazing night-time food market, a flurry of chefs juggling spewing pots. The scents are incredible, and the menu selection is incredible, bring plenty of food. Some of the dishes may be familiar to you, such as tandoori lobster kebabs or falafel the size of your fist. The fish plates with fried potato balls, naan, and samosas might be some of favorites.
Wonder on the Palace Museum
The Palace Museum, which dates from 1883 and was built on the orders of Sayyid Sir Barghash bin Said Al-Busaid-the second Sultan of Zanzibar, is a beautiful confection of coral stone, silver fittings, and acres of marble beneathfoot. The Sultan commissioned it as a house in classic Omani architecture -Zanzibar was under Omani imperial administration for over 200 years, beginning in 1698. Since the mid-1990s, it has been a museum, displaying a plethora of fascinating royal antiques on three floors, including furniture, apparel, and writing sheets, Activities to do in Zanzibar.
House of Wonders
The House of Wonders, also known as Beit-al-Ajaib, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site that is in danger of collapsing (and indeed, a partial collapse happened in December 2020, prompting the Omani government to pledge millions of dollars towards repairs). When it was completed in 1883, it was the largest mansion in East Africa, and it was the first to feature a lift, earning the name “House of Wonders.” It was also the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity. Despite its current situation, it remains at the top of the list of must-see things in Stone Town; the fascinating displays include clothing, fishing gear, and a classic Swahili dhow vessel.
Try kitesurfing in Zanzibar.
Kitesurfing is a sport in which you stand up on a miniature surfboard or kiteboard and ride the wind while holding on to a kite. Paje is the best spot to learn to kitesurf, but lessons are also available at Nungwi and Jambiani beaches. In fact, most tourist beaches offer kitesurfing instruction, so if you’re new to the sport, you can try it out pretty much anywhere.
If you wish to kitesurf, the best months to visit are January to February or June to September. If you go during this time, you might witness some professional kite surfers performing tricks and leaps. There are a variety of instructors and centers where you may learn to kitesurf, so shop around depending on where you are and what works best for your schedule and budget, Activities to do in Zanzibar.
Take Spice Tour
Spices, which were brought to Zanzibar by Portuguese sailors from their colonies in India and South America some 500 years ago, have made the island a trading centre for centuries. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices are still produced on small organic farms today. Following your nose through twisty backstreets accompanied by an experienced guide is one of the most sensual ways to explore the destination. The fragrances of turmeric, vanilla, cardamom, chili, and black pepper will fill your lungs. You’ll eat a Swahili lunch flavored with what you’ve smelled, and you’ll be able to buy goods to take home at the end of the Zanzibar Safari tour.
Visit Prison Island.
This island, also known as Changuu Island, is located off the coast of Stone Town. Although the term “Prison Island” in Zanzibar sounds threatening (and like it wouldn’t be a fun day trip ), it’s a bit of a misnomer. On the island, there was never any kind of prison. In the 1860s, they utilized the island to hold rebellious slaves and confine people with yellow fever. The island is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. every day. You may expect to spend roughly 2-3 hours (or longer, depending on the tour you’ve booked) there during your stay.
The island is now a popular tourist destination due to the presence of giant tortoises. It’s a tranquil haven for this endangered species. Some of the tortoises on the island are over 150 years old. Most hotels can assist you in booking a trip, or you may go to the beach and hunt for someone selling them. You can schedule a private tour if you want a more in-depth tour with the opportunity to snorkel. This tour is a better option if you want to see all of the things in Stone Town and Prison Island in one day. You’ll get a taste of everything Stone Town and Prison Island have to offer this way.
The Old Fort
The Old Fort, Stone Town’s oldest structure, is located on the beachfront, directly across from Forodhani Gardens. The Old Fort, which was built in the 17th century to defend the island from assaulting Portuguese, is today one of Stone Town’s most popular attractions. You can stroll around the courtyard in the center, admiring the ruins of the medieval fortress, and amble around the courtyard in the center, where vendors sell a variety of scented local produce, Activities to do in Zanzibar.
Try snorkeling or diving in Zanzibar at one of the atolls.
If you enjoy snorkeling or diving, Zanzibar has some excellent options. The best snorkeling beaches in Zanzibar may be found in the northeast, near Mnemba Atoll, and on the southwest coast. The conditions and visibility in these locations are excellent practically all year round, making Zanzibar a snorkeler’s paradise. Year-round visibility is good, ranging between 10 and 30 meters.
Zanzibar is a scuba diver’s ideal destination, surrounded by incredible underwater landscapes teeming with odd and amazing marine life. It is home to Africa’s best underwater safari and some of the world’s best dive locations, according to many professional divers.
The Freddie Mercury Museum
Mercury House honors Freddie Mercury, the colorful Queen frontman, who was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946. The family’s former home now houses a tiny museum dedicated to the island’s most renowned son. At the museum in Stone Town, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, admirers can find faded family portraits, the first piano he ever played, and a collection of stage costumes.