High 10 Unmissable Issues to Do in Zanzibar, Tanzania

High 10 Unmissable Issues to Do in Zanzibar, Tanzania
High 10 Unmissable Issues to Do in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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High 10 Unmissable Issues to Do in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Whether or not you’re searching for someplace to chill out after climbing Kilimanjaro or simply wish to hand around in an island paradise, Zanzibar Island has quite a bit to supply!

This island is positioned off the Japanese coast of Africa and it has a wealthy historical past as a buying and selling outpost and a colony, which means there are various extra issues to do in Zanzibar moreover simply hitting the seashore.

I visited Zanzibar after climbing Kilimanjaro. After the trek, we had been exhausted and all we needed to do was chill on the seashore or close to a pool.  However after a day of rest, we determined to find the island a bit and take a look at some Zanzibar vacationer sights.

When you’re already planning a visit, congratulations!  When you’re simply wanting round on your subsequent journey, hold studying, you’ll get impressed! I’ll provide you with my hand-picked record of what to do in Zanzibar for per week or much less, relying on how lengthy you’re planning on staying.

So, let’s discover out what to do in Zanzibar and what I like to recommend seeing and doing within the metropolis, based mostly on my expertise!

right here’s an inventory of Zanzibar actions you shouldn’t miss:


Zanzibar doors

Folks have been dwelling on the island for over 20,000 years, however Stone Town is the central level of Zanzibar. Due to its location off the coast and its sheltered harbor, Stone City turned from a fishing village right into a buying and selling middle. The island additionally was ruled by many colonial rulers, from Portugal to Oman to Nice Britain, till it turned unbiased in 1963.

As a buying and selling middle, the island has loads of cultural influences from colonizers and merchants from India and Arab nations.  Slavery additionally affected the island because it was used as a port to ship slaves overseas whereas lots of of slaves additionally labored on plantations on the island.

An extended historical past of slave buying and selling and a wealthy colonial heritage – these are simply a number of the the reason why I discovered Stone City so fascinating to go to!

It’s a mixture of African, Arabic, and colonial types all packed into one metropolis. Due to all of the distinctive influences, Stone City was really declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000!

A Perfect 3-week Itinerary for your Tanzania Trip zanzibar 8

One of the best ways to get a really feel for this metropolis is to wander across the slim maze of streets. You’ll undoubtedly get misplaced, however that’s half the enjoyable!

You’ll additionally most likely be capable of inform rapidly that a whole lot of issues haven’t been correctly maintained because the colonial period. The older facades of the buildings are a part of what offers Stone City it’s distinctive appeal!

Stone City itself is pretty small with a inhabitants of simply 16,000 residents dwelling inside town in 2016. The city’s financial system is now based totally on tourism and it is likely one of the most outstanding vacationer sights in Tanzania.

FUN FACT: Stone City is definitely one a part of Zanzibar Metropolis. The opposite space of town known as Ng’ambo, which is extra fashionable. Stone City is the extra historic part. So when you see the 2 names used interchangeably, it’s as a result of Stone City is a part of Zanzibar Metropolis!

Issues to do in Stone City

Apart from simply wandering across the streets, there are many issues to do in Stone City. That is the right metropolis to actually get a greater understanding of Zanzibar folks and tradition.

Right here are some things I like to recommend testing in Stone City:


Once I first bought to Stone City, I thought of strolling across the metropolis and not using a information. That will’ve been an enormous mistake as a result of I might’ve missed out on some hidden gems and plenty of cool tales concerning the city! 

Most motels supply guided day excursions across the metropolis and I undoubtedly suggest doing the tour with a information. All of the vacationers you’ll see strolling round are led by guides. You’ll be taught a lot extra info with a information and it’s not that costly both! I undoubtedly suggest it – you received’t remorse it! Your information may also let you know concerning the darkish previous of the island.

In case you wish to e book a tour your self prematurely and never ask on the resort, I like to recommend this 3-hour strolling tour or this sundown cruise the place you will note the fantastic thing about the shoreline!


The fascinating structure of the buildings begins with their doorways! As you wander via the streets, ensure you go searching on the stunning, carved doorways which can be a particular function of town.

The designs and carvings of the doorways inform concerning the residents who lived there. You may as well inform whether or not the doorways are Swahili, Indian, or Arab based mostly on the form and design!


When you love Queen, don’t miss out on the prospect to see the place Freddie Mercury was born – it’s positioned proper within the metropolis middle, so that you received’t miss it! (Or simply search Freddie Mercury’s birthplace on Google Maps). Some folks say this won’t be the true home (as a result of his father moved a number of instances when Freddie was younger), nevertheless it’s nonetheless an awesome alternative to be taught a bit extra concerning the background and upbringing of this superb singer!

UPDATE: I hate to be a celebration pooper, however certainly one of my followers on Instagram who’s from Zanzibar, stated that the home you may be proven throughout most excursions is NOT the one the place he really lived. 🙁


That is precisely what the title says it’s! Have a look round a singular piece of historical past and take a look at The Old Fort. That is an outdated fortification constructed by the Omani Arabs in 1699.  Additionally it is one of many oldest buildings on the town.

A more moderen addition to the fort is an open-air amphitheatre the place you may watch native reveals or different occasions. You’ll be able to ask on the vacationer info desk on the fort if there are any upcoming occasions that would match into your Zanzibar journey plans.


ATTENTION: The constructing remains to be present process main restore and is presently closed!

This was sadly closed for renovation whereas I used to be there, however I’ll undoubtedly be visiting on my subsequent journey to Zanzibar!

That is the tallest and largest constructing on the town and was initially a palace going through the city’s central sq.. The constructing is now dwelling to the National Museum of History and Culture.

As I discussed earlier than, the island has a darkish previous. This market was the final functioning slave market on the planet and it solely closed in 1873.  Though this may appear to be a little bit of a downer, it’s an necessary a part of the historical past of the area.

Hundreds of Africans had been delivered to the island as slaves to work on plantations. Slave merchants additionally used the island as a base camp earlier than sending slaves on the lengthy journey to the East to be offered in Persia, Arabia, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt.

On the Slave Museum, you may tour chambers the place they stored slaves earlier than they had been offered.

We went all the way down to see the “rooms” the place slaves had been stored – a 12 by 12 foot basement with one tiny window close to the ceiling. They stored over 30 folks in a lot of these rooms. Though this occurred lots of of years in the past it nonetheless gave me shivers as I stood there!

You may want a pick-me-up after, nevertheless it’ll enable you perceive extra concerning the island and its folks.

The museum is open each day from 8am to 6pm. There’s a $5 USD entrance charge and you’ll count on to spend about an hour within the museum.


As a result of town is true on the water, one thing you HAVE to do whereas in Stone City is to benefit from the superb view from a rooftop!

After an extended day of taking within the websites and the tradition, I like to recommend discovering a rooftop restaurant for dinner and a drink because the solar units.

  • I like to recommend The Tea Home Restaurant. It’s an awesome place to see the sundown, however be certain that to make a reservation prematurely! The restaurant will get busy with different vacationers who wish to benefit from the view as nicely.
  • Another choice is The Seaside Home Restaurant, which has an incredible out of doors balcony overlooking the water. The meals is a mixture of Italian, French, and Mediterranean and it’s scrumptious!
  • You may as well take a look at 6 Levels South, which is ideal for a romantic dinner looking on the ocean.


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Whilst you’re there, why not wander round the principle bazaar on the town? You’ll undoubtedly get a style for all times in Zanzibar – and a whiff as nicely! I discovered the market to be a very genuine expertise.

There’s an indoor part of the market, but in addition a whole lot of pop-up distributors on the encompassing streets.  You’ll be capable of expertise a whole lot of conventional Zanzibar meals and substances, in addition to admire garments, footwear, and conventional hats.

NOTE: Be ready for the scent since a part of this market is a fish market!


Though I wouldn’t name these precise “gardens,” that is the central sq. of Stone City.  It has a lot of bushes and is a hotspot for locals and vacationers alike.  I like to recommend going after sundown and having fun with the road meals market. To get the total expertise, go searching for the stands which have the longest traces of locals and check out some genuine Zanzibar dishes right here (this implies the meals is nice!).

PRO TIP: Locals suggest avoiding the seafood right here although – it’s not at all times recent!

PRO TIP 2: As a central spot for vacationers, watch out of individuals making an attempt to overcharge you or pretending to be waiters. Some vacationers have had points with “waiters” making an attempt to cost them ridiculously excessive costs!


It’d take you some time to seek out it because it’s among the many slim streets, however Jaws Nook is a small plaza. You’ll be able to cease by and check out the Arabic-style native espresso. Simply be ready – it’s undoubtedly not like a cup of espresso with cream and sugar such as you is perhaps used to! It’s sometimes served black and bitter, and it’s VERY sturdy.


There are such a lot of little boutique shops throughout Stone City. There’s a bunch on Ginzenga Road, Kenyatta Highway, and Changa Bazaar Road. You’ll additionally make sure you see some nice shops for souvenirs as you’re wandering round.

I wasn’t planning on shopping for something, however I cherished the jewellery a lot, I purchased myself a pair of earrings! There are glorious locations there the place you will get some Zanzibar souvenirs to carry dwelling!

NOTE: Zanzibar is a predominantly Muslim island. As a feminine traveler visiting Stone City, you may wish to costume conservatively.


If you wish to do a safari in Zanzibar, you may take into account a sea journey safari as nicely! Safari Blue is an organization that provides full day excursions the place you may swim or snorkel. Leaving from Stone City, these excursions are probably the greatest methods to expertise snorkeling in Zanzibar. You may also get an opportunity to swim with dolphins!

Relying on which tour you select, you may be taken to a number of completely different locations, from a sandbar to a lagoon. You’ll additionally get a full buffet lunch, which is normally grilled proper on the seashore! You may as well sail in one of many custom Dhows (boats utilized by Arabs and Indians which have massive triangular sails).

There are a bunch of firms that supply related excursions, however Safari Blue is essentially the most well-known. It’s additionally the costliest and, whereas you could find similar ones for a lot much less, they may not be of the identical high quality.

By way of Safari Blue, you may e book the “Safari Blue Expertise” for $70 USD an individual. There’s additionally a Safari Blue Snorkeling Journey. When you’re searching for one thing extra unique, you may e book your individual Dhow (at $450 USD for 2 folks) and even constitution a non-public yacht! There are many different choices to select from as nicely, relying in your preferences and funds.

Additionally, make sure you e book instantly via the corporate, as some locations cost you further for the reserving!

NOTE: You might have heard of dolphin excursions in Zanzibar. These excursions sometimes use the boats to scare the dolphins and stop them from leaving an space in order that vacationers can swim with them. It’s harmful and scary for the animals. Safari Blue doesn’t supply a selected “dolphin tour,” so you may see and swim with dolphins in the event that they occur to be round the place you might be, however they don’t scare the animals or do something unethical!


The historical past of the island doesn’t simply come out within the structure – it’s also possible to discover it within the meals!

The island is dwelling to a number of the most numerous meals in Africa!

You will get these native dishes anyplace on the island if you understand the place to go, however Stone City is perhaps the best place (and most genuine!) to attempt them.

For you foodies on the market, there are additionally a number of meals excursions you may take, in case you don’t wish to uncover every thing by your self or in case you are quick on time. For instance, the 3-hour “Style of Zanzibar” guided tour will carry you to varied native stalls and eating places the place you may attempt genuine flavors. You may as well do a 2-hour Afternoon Meals Expedition which features a conventional lunch, in addition to different samples.

If you wish to go across the metropolis and check out some genuine meals by your self, listed here are some conventional dishes I can suggest:

Zanzibar pizza

You is perhaps considering that you just’ve had pizza earlier than, however not like this! This isn’t like every pizza you’ve ever seen. It’s extra like a pancake or pupusa. The dough is folded up so that each one the substances are inside after which it’s cooked on a scorching steel pan. You will get these with rooster or beef, and so they normally additionally embrace an egg, cheese, onion, bell peppers, and mayo. You may as well get it with chili when you like spice! When you’re searching for a candy deal with, some distributors even make these with Nutella or mango and cheese.

Biryani and pilau

There are two rice dishes which can be conventional on the island – biryani and pilau.

To make biryani, the rice is cooked individually from the meat and sauce. As soon as every thing is completed, then every thing is mixed and it’s served with an incredible sauce.

Pilau is cooked all along with all of the substances in the identical pot, giving the rice an unimaginable taste. You will get it both together with your alternative of meat or with none meat. I like to recommend that you just attempt each and see which you want higher!

Urojo Soup

It is a flour-based soup with mango and lemon flavors. It additionally normally has potatoes served 3 ways in it – cubed, fried mashed potatoes, and potato shavings- together with a lot of spices and meat. With a barely bitter taste and a whole lot of tang, this soup is one thing you undoubtedly must attempt! It’s a lunchtime favourite of Zanzibar folks.

Zanzibar tea

Zanzibar isn’t often known as the “spice island” for nothing! Once I got here again from my hike to Kilimanjaro, I used to be feeling a bit beneath the climate. This tea was a very superb mix of spices and helped me clear my throat!

Mishkaki (perhaps with octopus!)

Mishkaki is a meat kabob the place the meat is marinated in spices after which grilled. These are a standard snack meals and you will get them with any type of meat you want.

When you’re feeling adventurous, you may even attempt them with octopus! The island is thought for its “octopus hunters”, so octopus is a standard addition to a lot of dishes.

PRO TIP: Watch out the place you get these, as some locations reheat them after they’ve been sitting out. It’s finest to look at them grill yours so you may see that it’s recent.


Mandazi is a fried dough, a bit much like a donut, however not as candy. These are eaten alone or with dips and accompany a whole lot of dishes.

Be taught to Cook dinner Zanzibar Meals

When you utterly fall in love with the flavors of Zanzibar, you may take a cooking class and learn to carry the meals dwelling with you! Most excursions will take you out to the market to gather the substances after which present you put together conventional Zanzibar meals. You’ll finish the day with a full stomach and a whole lot of new information! Some courses additionally embrace a spice tour so you are able to do each on the identical day. Costs begin at $41 USD an individual.


Zanzibar is often known as “spice island” and there’s an excellent cause for that!

Early settlers quickly realized that the island was excellent for rising a wide range of completely different spices. Because of this, there are many spice farms on the island. You’ll additionally style the spices within the meals, after all!

One enjoyable factor to do is to take a spice tour the place you may go to a spice farm and study how they develop and course of all of the completely different spices.

I did a spice tour mixed with a city tour of Stone City. It was an extended day (and it concerned a little bit of strolling!) so you may take into account doing them individually, nevertheless it’s as much as you! Plus, that is additionally an awesome Zanzibar attraction when you’re touring with children.

The spice farms are free to go to, however the guides work for ideas. You may as well e book a 3-hour tour for $36 USD an individual if you would like a non-public expertise. When you’re quick on time and wish to see the city and a spice farm, the 6-hour Sultan Panorama Tour will present you every thing you wish to see in Stone City – you’ll go to a spice farm, and also you’ll get to see a neighborhood village!

NOTE: Please word that spice excursions are a VERY touristy factor to do. The guides will begin making you crowns out of palm bushes or different equipment earlier than you understand it. When you’re not a fan of those sorts of issues, you is perhaps higher supply avoiding these excursions. However, when you don’t thoughts one thing touristy, you’ll really get to be taught quite a bit about spices! We bought to see cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and cloves.


Need to see some monkeys? Jozani National Park is dwelling to the Zanzibar purple colobus, a kind of monkey that solely lives in Zanzibar!

These monkeys are black and white with purple backs and also you’ll make sure you see just a few when you go to the forest. You’ll additionally see a lot of birds and distinctive butterflies, too!

The park is open each day from 7:30am to five:00pm. There’s an entrance charge of $8 USD that features a temporary tour. Then you may wander across the mangrove boardwalk by yourself. You’ll be able to tip your information when you like, nevertheless it’s not obligatory.

Once I visited Zanzibar, we had simply got here again from an incredible safari, so we opted out of visiting Jozani Chwaka Bay Nationwide Park solely as a result of we didn’t suppose there was any likelihood it may evaluate to our epic safari journey!

It’s finest to hit the forest when you’re heading from Stone City to Paje Seaside (or the opposite approach round). That approach you may cease alongside the best way and never make a detour for a fast go to.

NOTE: Tanzania is stuffed with nationwide parks. In truth, 45% of the nation’s territory is a protected space! However there’s just one on the island so you actually ought to go to it if you would like the prospect to see some distinctive Zanzibar wildlife!


If you’re looking for some adventurous issues to do in Zanzibar – attempt kitesurfing! It’s probably the greatest spots on the planet to do it!

Kitesurfing is a sport the place you experience standing up on a small surfboard or kiteboard and let the wind drag you alongside when you maintain onto a kite. It is a full physique sport and also you’ll undoubtedly be feeling a bit sore the following day!

Paje is taken into account to be the very best place to kitesurf, however it’s also possible to take classes at Nungwi seashore or Jambiani seashore. In truth, most vacationer seashores supply kitesurfing classes, so when you’re simply beginning out you may just about give it a go anyplace!

PRO TIP: The very best time to go if you wish to kitesurf is from January to February or June to September. When you’re there throughout this time, you may additionally get to see some professional kitesurfers doing methods and jumps!

There are many completely different instructors and facilities the place you may be taught to kitesurf, so store round based mostly on the place you might be and see what works on your timeframe and funds. One choice is Kite Centre Zanzibar, which affords classes for newbies (all gear included) beginning at round $330 USD per particular person.

NOTE: By the best way, if you wish to take a look at a spot in Zanzibar to surf, most kitesurfing locations additionally supply browsing as nicely.


Most of you might be most likely already planning on hitting this standard seashore and, if it’s not in your must-see record, it ought to be!  That is the island paradise you’re dreaming of – picture-perfect delicate, white sand seashores and clear turquoise water.

NOTE: Zanzibar seashores that aren’t a part of a resort or resort aren’t very well taken care of and there tends to be a whole lot of rubbish on them so don’t waste your time visiting them. As a substitute, go to the seashores which have some infrastructure. If there may be at the least one restaurant close by, that’s an excellent indication that the seashore round it’s most likely swimmable.

Kendwa seashore is true across the nook (10 minutes by automobile) from Nungwi Seaside. It is best to test it out too and, when you’re there, don’t neglect to look at the superb sundown!


Zanzibar doesn’t have a ton of sights within the typical sense of the phrase, however The Rock Zanzibar may simply be certainly one of them! It’s one thing that you just’ve most likely already seen on postcards as nicely!

It is a distinctive restaurant that’s off the coast of Pingwe, positioned on an precise rock. Relying on the tides, you might have to wade out into the water to succeed in the restaurant.

To get the total expertise, the very best time to go there may be through the day for lunch. For dinner, it’s going to normally be too darkish to actually see all the environment (and it will get darkish fairly early – round 6 pm).

NOTE: Due to its reputation, the restaurant has pre-set seating instances. It’s essential to e book prematurely and arrive to eat both at 12pm or 2pm (for lunch).

The Rock Zanzibar costs are a bit greater than another eating places within the space due to how distinctive the eating expertise is. Count on to pay at the least $60 USD per particular person for a correct lunch.


prison island zanzibar

This island is off the coast of Stone City and is often known as Changuu island (don’t combine it up with Canggu in Bali!).  Though Jail Island in Zanzibar looks like an intimidating title (and prefer it won’t be a enjoyable day journey!), it’s a little bit of a misnomer. There by no means really was a jail on the island. They used the island to deal with rebellious slaves within the 1860s and as a spot to quarantine folks with yellow fever.

These days, the island is a vacationer vacation spot as a result of it’s dwelling to large tortoises. It’s a peaceable sanctuary for this weak species. Some folks estimate a number of the tortoises on the island are greater than 150 years outdated!

prison island

To get to Jail Island, it’s a must to take a 25-minute boat experience from Stone City. Most motels will help you e book a tour or you may head to the seashore and go searching for somebody promoting one. If you would like a extra in-depth tour with an opportunity to snorkel, you may e book a non-public tour! If you would like a tour that takes you to all of the sights in Stone City and Jail Island all in someday, take into account this tour as a substitute. That approach, you’ll get to see a little bit of every thing that Stone City and Jail Island have to supply!

The island is open each day from 9:00am to 4:15pm. You’ll be able to plan to spend about 2-3 hours there throughout your go to (or longer, relying on the tour you’ve booked). The island does have a $4 USD entrance charge, which can be included with the price of your tour (be certain that to examine or ask beforehand!)


When you’re a fan of snorkeling or diving, there are some nice locations to do that in Zanzibar as nicely. Mnemba Atoll, positioned proper off the north-east coast, is taken into account to be the very best spot. You’ll see all kinds of colourful fish!

NOTE: Divers, bear in mind – you must have at the least a 24-hour relaxation between your dive and your flight (on your security!).

When you’re close to Mnemba (Kigomani or Matemwe seashore village), you may rent a ship from somebody proper on the seashore. That is the most cost effective method to do it, however don’t count on luxurious! These boats aren’t fancy and are about so simple as they arrive. Additionally, when you do it this fashion, don’t neglect to carry your individual snorkeling masks!

However, it’s also possible to e book an all-inclusive tour with a information and all gear included. This 5-hour tour features a snorkeling expertise at Mnemba atoll, in addition to alternatives to swim. Or you may select a tour that provides two locations to dive or snorkel, beginning at $45 USD per particular person. A full diving tour, after all, prices extra – round $200 USD.

PRO TIP: If you’re into pictures, you may want a waterproof digital camera or a goPro to document every thing you see round you!

NOTE: Please don’t contact the coral whereas diving or snorkeling. They’re actually delicate and it takes years for them to regenerate when you disturb them. Deal with the coral with respect. Keep in mind, you’re a visitor there, so simply look, don’t contact!

🌆 Should go to attraction: Stone City
🎡 Finest children exercise: Jozani Nationwide Park
🥽 Finest water exercise: Snorkeling
🏠 Distinctive attraction: The Rock Zanzibar
🍕 Should attempt meals: Zanzibar pizza
🚕 Common taxi worth: $7
💵 Avg resort worth: $60
☀️Finest time to go: Yr-round


If you wish to get extra off the crushed path, there are two seashores which can be barely extra out of the best way – Matemwe and Pingwe. That is the place I like to recommend heading for an escape to serenity.

These two spots are identified for personal luxurious resorts. They’re nice for disconnecting and pampering your self and particularly standard for honeymooners.

Right here’s a bit extra about these much less standard, however nonetheless good locations:

Matemwe seashore

Matemwe seashore village is generally hidden behind beachfront resorts and motels on the east coast of the island. This is likely one of the island’s most relaxed spots. If you would like some peace and quiet, and to flee from the world for just a few days, Matemwe is the best place for you! You may as well fish, snorkel, and dive right here.


Pingwe can also be on the East coast, however additional south, by Chwaka Bay on the Michamvi Peninsula. Once more, this seashore city options a whole lot of luxurious resorts. It’s additionally an awesome place to look at the sundown from the beachside bars and eating places. Nevertheless, count on issues to be pretty laid again right here.


Now that you’ve got loads of concepts of what to do in Zanzibar, let’s check out just a few different issues that may assist make your journey excellent!

Finest seashores in Zanzibar

best beaches in zanzibar

There’s a whole lot of debate as to what the very best seashores in Zanzibar are. For my part, all of it relies on what you’re searching for.  The northern seashores, like Nungi and Kendwa, are extra standard. They’re stunning seashores, however you may be surrounded by a lot of vacationers. Nevertheless this additionally implies that there could be extra to do – extra excursions, extra actions, extra nightlife, and extra new mates to satisfy!

The Japanese seashores are my favourite due to their tranquility. There are fewer folks round and if you would like a seashore getaway, you may’t do higher than seashores like MatemwePingqwe, or Paje (the place we stayed as nicely).

Though Stone City isn’t identified for its seashores, you may nonetheless discover a paradise not too removed from there. Thought of one of the crucial stunning locations on the island, Nakupenda seashore is simply 20 minutes off the coast and is one lengthy strip of seashore in the course of the ocean. There are many methods to see this piece of paradise in a day journey. I like to recommend beginning your day early and attending to the seashore earlier than it will get too crowded within the afternoon.

Finest eating places in Zanzibar

There are many nice locations to eat on the island whether or not you’re searching for genuine Zanzibar meals or worldwide dishes. Listed below are a few of my favorites:


I discussed this restaurant earlier once I was speaking about Stone City, however I’m going to say it once more as a result of it’s simply that good! It’s the right place to have a chew and watch the sundown in Stone City. It’s important to make a reservation forward of time and so they solely serve dinner at 7:00pm, however you may arrive beginning at 6:00pm to look at the sundown. The set menu prices $35 USD, not together with drinks.


Once more, I already talked about this place, however it’s a must to go! It’s simply such a singular eating expertise and completely definitely worth the trek when you’re not staying close by. The place else are you able to eat at a restaurant surrounded by water on all sides? The Rock has two seating instances for lunch (12:00pm or 2:00pm) and two seating instances for dinner (4:00pm or 6:00pm). Be sure you reserve forward of time so that you don’t miss out!


Situated in Paje, this festive restaurant has an outside seating space beneath a thatched roof. It is a great spot to pattern some good meals and chill out.


The Loop is a superb resort with a pool in Jambiani, however it’s also possible to simply go for the meals. The restaurant is adorned with a lot of fashionable artwork and graffiti artwork, giving it a singular look. They serve seafood and all dishes are made with native substances.


You is perhaps shocked, however there are many Italians in Zanzibar! Some locals will communicate to you in Italian. They even know Neapolitan and different Italian dialects! This additionally means there are some nice Italian eating places run by Italians, so you understand the meals goes to be good, similar to in Italy! Listed below are just a few locations I believe are nice:

  • Seconda Stella A Destra in Jambiani – Nice pizza, as when you had been magically transported to a pizzeria in Italy!
  • Blue (Dongwe Membership) Jetty Restaurant in Dongwe – Wonderful Italian meals and seafood proper on the water. Good for a romantic dinner or only a good dinner for a gaggle.
  • Zanzest Seaside Bungalows Restaurant in Jambiani – Italian meals with some native aptitude thrown in. Nice recent seafood and an attractive beachside spot for a comfy, laidback meal.
  • Bistro’ del Mar in Kendwa – That is one other nice choice for pizza or for some seafood. The meals is superb. It’ll make you wish to return to eat there many times!

The place to remain in Zanzibar – The very best motels

Zanzibar is totally completely different from mainland Tanzania. You’ll instantly really feel the distinction once you get off the ferry or airplane. It’s a way more relaxed environment and there’s barely any site visitors. The minute you arrive you already really feel such as you’re at a resort!

There are all types of lodging – from funds hostels (although not fairly as standard in the meanwhile) and center priced bungalows to luxurious 5 star motels overlooking the ocean. It’s as much as you (and your funds) to decide on! Under I’ll let you know all about my handpicked suggestions for the very best motels in Zanzibar.


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Once I visited Zanzibar, we stayed at Nyumbani Residence. This charming resort has a pool and is 2 minutes away from the seashore in Paje. I bought to remain at this place when it was model new – it had opened actually a few weeks earlier than we checked in!

The proprietor of the resort, Daniele, even awakened at 3:30 within the morning simply to say goodbye to us after we left for the airport! And I promise you this wasn’t as a result of he knew I used to be a blogger!

More often than not once I journey I’m going “incognito” as a result of I don’t need any further consideration and I wish to get an actual expertise – with out anybody making an attempt to impress us without spending a dime publicity!

Daniele bought as much as say goodbye purely within the title of hospitality. He and his spouse had been additionally extraordinarily good and welcoming throughout our complete keep.

zanzibar resorts

So, Nyumbani is definitely a residence, which means we had the entire residence (60 sq. meters) to ourselves with a completely geared up kitchen and large lounge. They solely have about 7 rooms, I believe and so they all face the pool – how cool is that?  I cherished making smoothies for us each morning and having breakfast with this excellent view – it was an incredible method to begin the day!

Laundry service and meals supply in addition to the switch from the airport could be organized (I believe it was about 40 USD one method to the airport). They will additionally name a taxi so that you can get to the closest “city” (Paje); this may value about 7000 TSZ ($3 USD) a method. In any other case, we discovered tons of eating places inside a 5 minute stroll (ask the proprietor for suggestions as they’re Italian and so they know the nice locations! 😉 )

When you’re hooked on Wi-Fi, I’ll let you know that the web isn’t tremendous quick (it’s not quick anyplace on the island to be honest!). However there’s a router proper in your bungalow, so no have to go to the foyer or something like that.

All in all, I actually loved my time there and I extremely suggest this place if you would like someplace tranquil and intimate.


Since most of it would be best to keep within the Northern a part of the island, I’ve created a collection of fabulous motels with superb critiques and sorted them out by worth. If you would like a full record of lodging choices all around the island in Zanzibar (East Coast, North coast, Stone City and so forth.), I like to recommend studying my article about The place to Keep in Zanzibar.

Luxurious ($170 USD and above)

One choice I like to recommend is Nungwi Backyard Boutique Resort. It has non-public bungalows and is simply 3 minutes from the seashore.  The rooms are spacious and have superb views of the backyard. You may as well get pleasure from an exquisite restaurant on web site. Zuri Zanzibar is one other nice luxurious choice as a result of it affords beachside bungalows in Kendwa for {couples} or for households when you’re on a household vacation. If you’re not on the seashore, you may wander via the backyard or hang around by the pool. That is really probably the greatest luxurious motels.

Center-priced ($56 to $170 USD)

For middle-budget vacationers, Nungwi Home is a superb spot when you’re searching for spacious rooms and an awesome, free breakfast. It’s centrally positioned and is a fast stroll from the seashore. I additionally suggest Aluna Seaside Lodge. It’s steps from the seashore, and has a pool, backyard, restaurant, and bar. You’ll by no means even wish to depart the property! When you do really feel like leaving although, the Lodge is true subsequent to a maritime conservation middle the place you may be taught all about turtles.

Price range (as much as $56 USD)

Makofi Visitor Home is an incredible funds choice in Nungwi. You’ll be able to go for a less expensive hostel expertise in a blended dorm or choose a non-public room. The patio additionally will get busy at evening when you’re trying to meet different vacationers! I additionally suggest Kidoti Wild Backyard. It’s excellent when you’re searching for some R&R. About 6 km outdoors of Nungwi, this eco-friendly resort is photo voltaic powered. I like to recommend it when you’re searching for a little bit of a quiet escape.

What number of days ought to I plan for my journey to Zanzibar?

where is zanzibar

Hm, that’s a tough query! If you wish to chill out and see the island, then I might say at the least per week or 10 days. It additionally relies on how lengthy you wish to simply lay on the seashore with out actively doing one thing.

For my journey, I solely had 4 days whole, as I point out in my article about our Full Tanzania itinerary. After the safari, someday was sufficient for us to relax and regain our energy after which we had 3 days to actively discover the island. Though I might’ve cherished to remain longer (sadly, we had a restricted period of time), I believe that for me personally 4 days was sufficient to see the principle sights. I might’ve appreciated to see a number of the smaller islands off the coast as nicely, however we didn’t have time for it. We additionally didn’t have time to do the Blue Safari.

So, when deciding how a lot time to spend in Zanzibar, calculate how lengthy you wish to simply chill out and hang around on the seashore. Then add 4-5 days to discover the island and also you’ll have sufficient time for every thing!

What are some good Zanzibar souvenirs?

zanzibar souvenirs

There are such a lot of distinctive items in Zanzibar. Listed below are few souvenirs I like to recommend attending to carry dwelling:

  • Spices and oils – The island is thought for the spices and flavors. You will get these on the Darajani Market in Stone City, otherwise you’ll most likely see them on the market as you’re wandering across the island.
  • Coconut oil – It’s less expensive within the supermarkets than in a memento store. Keep away from shopping for one with paraffin although.  It’s cheaper, however not nearly as good!
  • Tea with hibiscus or lemongrass – As I discussed earlier, I cherished the tea in Zanzibar! The tea is normally of a very good high quality and is a superb deal with to carry dwelling!
  • Tanzanite – That is the image of Tanzania. It’s a really costly and uncommon, blue valuable stone. It may well solely be discovered within the Arusha area (Northern a part of the nation). It’s very helpful all around the world. When you’re visiting Tanzania earlier than heading to Zanzibar, there’s a tanzanite museum referred to as The Tanzanite Experience in Arusha.
  • Native crafts – I seen some actually nice work and handmade crafts. There are many “honest commerce” retailers that assist the native poor inhabitants make some extra cash with their expertise. You’ll pay 3 instances greater than in souvenirs retailers, however you’ll supposedly assist the native inhabitants.
  • Garments with conventional shiny prints – You’ll be blown away by the colours and prints right here. You received’t have the opportunity to withstand taking some dwelling!

Can I hire a bike in Zanzibar?

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Similar to I point out in my publish a couple of 3 weeks itinerary of Tanzania, I do NOT suggest renting a motorcycle to drive across the island. However, if you wish to use it to drive quick distances solely, then it’s a nice thought!

The worth is $20 USD per day.

NOTE: When you don’t have a global driving license, you’ll must pay an additional $20 USD as a one-time fee for the allow.)

PRO TIP: If attainable, I like to recommend going to the bike rental firm instantly. That approach you may examine the bike and select your helmet your self. Our bike was delivered to us at our resort, however the speedometer didn’t work and the helmets had been not likely good high quality.

I don’t suggest going too far both. (We went from Jambiani to the North which was 2.5 hours by bike). It’s windy and dusty and the street situations aren’t excellent. I additionally didn’t suppose the street was spectacular in any approach.

PRO TIP 2: Beware that generally Google Maps reveals an asphalt street (in yellow) however generally it finally ends up being a totally off-road path!

How you can get to Zanzibar

There are just a few other ways to get to the island:

By airplane

Flights to Zanzibar depart from Dar es Salaam on the jap coast of Africa and normally value round $100 USD. There are additionally many cheap flights to Zanzibar from Europe (each direct and with stops) as it’s a standard seashore vacation spot now.

By ferry

The opposite choice is the ferry. These additionally depart from Dar es Salaam and there are a bunch of various choices. Nevertheless, I like to recommend you e book prematurely here.

The boats replenish rapidly and likewise you shouldn’t belief any resellers outdoors of the terminal (They’ll attempt to overcharge you!)  When you get to the port, simply proceed to the money register. Understand that you may solely pay in money in the meanwhile. It prices about $35 USD per particular person and it takes about two hours to get from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar.

Tides in Zanzibar – How unhealthy are the tides there?

The tides on the island can exit very far throughout low tide. In some areas, they’ll stretch for a kilometer! This is likely one of the causes the northern seashores are extra crowded – as a result of you may swim at each low tide and excessive tide.

However, regardless that the water goes out on the jap seashores, you should utilize it as a possibility to find the reef!  You’ll be able to stroll out and see small octopuses, sea cucumbers and plenty of different curious sea creatures. However watch out for spikes – there are some areas stuffed with sea urchins!

The water comes again at about 3 pm on the east facet of the island so you may get pleasure from a day swim. You’ll be able to take a look at the tide forecast for the place you’ll be staying.

When to go to Zanzibar?

We visited Zanzibar in January as a result of it was additionally an excellent time to mix it with the safari and Kilimanjaro hike as nicely!

In any other case, Zanzibar is positioned so near the equator, it may be visited nearly all 12 months spherical. It’s higher to keep away from visiting in April and Might as a result of it’s the wet season and also you received’t know when you’ll be fortunate or not – perhaps you’ll have sunny days, perhaps you’ll have rain! However they are saying it’s so unpredictable today that I might not take it with no consideration! I do not forget that we had a few gloomy days with a bit little bit of rain in January too, so that you by no means know.

When you go in the summertime, count on temperatures round 38 °C (100 °F). Even within the cooler months, the excessive each day is normally 29 °C (84 °F).

Issues you must plan earlier than your journey to Zanzibar/Tanzania

There are few issues you might want to know earlier than you allow on your journey:


You do want a visa to enter Tanzania and Zanzibar. As a result of Zanzibar is a part of Tanzania, you simply want one once you enter the nation initially after which they are going to examine your passport once you enter Zanzibar.

For many nationalities, it’s best to get a Tanzania tourism visa once you arrive within the nation.  (This isn’t true for folks from Morocco, Sri Lanka and Lebanon.) You’ll be able to ship your passport to your native Tanzanian embassy forward of time when you’re involved, nevertheless it’s normally easy to get a visa upon entry.

The price of the visa relies on the place you might be from.  For the UK and Australia (and most nationalities) it prices $50 USD, whereas this doubles to $100 USD for People. You might want to indicate that you’ve got a round-trip ticket and enough funds on your keep. You’ll be able to examine for any updates about visa necessities and costs right here.


When you’re visiting Zanzibar otherwise you’re coming from a rustic that has a yellow fever danger, you’ll additionally want to indicate that you just had your yellow fever vaccination accomplished. Understand that you might want to get the vaccine at the least 10 days earlier than any journey, so don’t wait till the final minute!


Don’t neglect to purchase insurance coverage as nicely!

When you haven’t sorted out your journey insurance coverage but, I can wholeheartedly suggest World Nomad Insurance coverage – they’re my chosen ones every time I really feel like defending myself and my belongings throughout my journey.

Getting insurance coverage for Tanzania is essential for my part, particularly in case you are planning on performing some excessive actions equivalent to conquering Kilimanjaro! You will get a quote on your journey right here.

Is it protected to journey to Tanzania and Zanzibar?

I felt protected in Zanzibar. I by no means felt frightened, even strolling alone in the dead of night.

Folks may attempt to strategy you to ask you for cash, however aside from that, I discovered the folks to be very pleasant and constructive individuals who imply no hurt.

One factor to bear in mind is that Zanzibar is generally Muslim. You will notice the distinction with how ladies are dressed in comparison with mainland Tanzania. I like to recommend making an attempt to be thoughtful of their tradition as a lot as attainable.

One other factor is to ask folks for permission earlier than taking footage of them. Fishermen and different folks working are simply making an attempt to go about their day by day lives. It’d appear to be one thing distinctive to us, nevertheless it’s their day by day life. Footage are normally superb through the excursions, however some folks will desire a small tip for posing.

SIM playing cards with Web in Zanzibar

When you want a SIM card in Zanzibar, there are just a few choices. They’ve Vodacom or Tigo, however Zantel is extra standard on the island. Zantel even affords a selected vacationer pack with knowledge for the web. You should purchase a SIM card for $10 USD.


On this article, I talked concerning the 10 finest issues to do in Zanzibar, in addition to some bonus info. I additionally gave you some excellent restaurant and resort suggestions based mostly in your funds and private preferences, and advised you about the very best seashores within the metropolis. Past that, I discussed some sensible info you might want to know earlier than planning your journey, like get a visa, why you want insurance coverage and when to go to the nation.

A Zanzibar journey is a trip that mixes historical past and tradition with rest and all kinds of actions! I cherished my journey to Zanzibar and likelihood is the island will likely be every thing you anticipated and way more!

The island is turning into increasingly more standard, however it’s nonetheless sheltered from massive vacationer crowds so it preserves its very unique really feel. However hurry up and plan your journey earlier than this turns into too standard of a vacationer vacation spot (and overpriced as nicely)!

I hope you loved this record of issues to do in Zanzibar! When you have any questions, depart them within the feedback part and I’ll get again to you! Get pleasure from Zanzibar!