Top Zanzibar Attractions & Tour Options
Stone Town, Description
Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar and little has changed in the last 200 years. The narrow streets and winding alleyways are lined with grand houses as the original Arab owners vied with each other for the most extravagant. Over 500 examples of handiwork are reflected in the brass-studded, carved wooden doors. The majority of homes in ... More >
Stone Town were built in the 19th C when Zanzibar was one of the most important Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. The trading activity between Asia and Africa is evident by the architecture and urban structure of Stone Town.
As the world's oldest functioning Swahili city, many of the landmarks in Stone Town are being restored to their original glory. Coral was used in most of the buildings but has easily eroded leaving most of the houses in a poor state of repair.
Here, one can spend many hours wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways especially a walk along Creek Road to the original Stone Town area and the location of the Central Darajani Market, Beit el-Amani, City Hall and the Anglican Cathedral.
Forodhani Gardens is a must visit area with formal gardens and a popular meeting spot for local residents and tourists. Once the location of the port's customs shed, Forodhani Gardens is perfect for an evening stroll and provides a chance to sample some local delicacies. Vendors serve grilled octopus, goat meat, samosas and other delicious snacks
While visiting Stone Town, tourists can enjoy 'Spice Tours' which take them on a tour of plantations, sights of historical interest and to some of the ruins. On the tours, tourists can sample many spices, herbs and fruits that are produced on the island and see what they look like growing wild. These include cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, breadfruit and lemongrass.
Stone Town Tour: 3 Hrs
This is a late afternoon tour that gives you an opportunity to visit historical sites by either driving or walking. You are guided to tour such areas as David Livingstone's House of wonder, Palace museum, National Museum, Slave Market, Central Market and walking around the streets where you do your shopping for antiques and souvenirs.
Rates: From USD 75 per person: (Time 1530 hrs 1830 hrs)
Short Spice Tour: 4 Hours
The tour start around 9000hrs driving to the North of Zanzibar, where the spaces and fruits such as cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, pineapples, mango steam, avocado, cumin and many others grow.
Rates: From USD 40 per person
Long Spice Tour: 7 Hours
Undertake the short spice tour (or morning stone town tour) and after lunch to proceed to North West of Zanzibar, Mwangapwani slave caves and chambers where slaves were kept after their long sail from different parts of African continent ready for auctioning at St. Monica cathedral church. Then lastly you'll be taken back to your hotel.
Rates: From USD 300 per person
Jozani Forest Tour :(Half Day Or Full Day)
Jozani Forest is the only remaining natural forest on Unguja Island (which, along with Pemba makes up the islands of Zanzibar). If you are interested in eco-touring (great terrestrial adventure) this is the option. All nature conservation areas can be visited in a way it suits you best. Most interesting are the Jozani Forest Reserve to watch red colobus monkey, Masingini Forest, Chumbe Island Coral Park etc. In these areas nature trails have been developed and it is worthily seeing the diversity of ecosystem. Full day tours allow you to visit or the three distinct areas. 45 minutes drive from Stone Town.
Rates: From USD 50 (0830 to 1200 hrs)
Prison Island: (Full Day)
Full day tour starts at your hotel around 9000hrs. Driving to the harbor where you board a boat destined to prison Island (CHANGU). Here you will enjoy snorkeling on the coral reefs and sunbathing on the beach. It is here you will find and play with giant and small tortoises and see preserved peacocks in the small forest. You are then taken back to your hotel at prison Island. There are two restaurants where you can take lunch.
Rates: From USD 50-300
An early morning tour driving from your hotel to Kizimkazi at the South coast of Zanzibar, the only home for dolphins. It is a one hour drive. An outboard engine is used for excursion. You can also swim and play friendly with the dolphins. Meals are taken at the shore restaurant.
Rates: From USD 50-450 per person depending on desired activity (Time: 0730 to 1600hrs)
These cultural tours take you through the central part of the Island to the Spices Villages of Zanzibar and are suitable only to those who wish to experience the Swahili culture and art in their making. It involves visiting women groups at their work be it sea weed and horticulture farming, mat making, hunting, fishing etc.
Rates: From USD 25 per person (Time: 0830 to 1600hrs)