There are a lot of things to do on Zanzibar Island. It just depends on where your interests lie. Here are some travel tips what you might like to do.
In the tourist areas around the waterfront, Kenyatta Road and Shangani Road, you will be beset by all manner of papasi, touts and others wanting to offer you taxis, spice tours, music, gifts, etc. A polite but firm No, thanks usually does the trick, but it can get exhausting. Best thing to do here is wander into the more residential alleys where you won't be disturbed.
- Stone Town, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most unique cities in the world. Blending Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African traditions and architectures, it is possible to spend days winding through Stone Town's labyrinthine alleys; shopping; drinking tea; and visiting the city's historic sites. Be sure to take sun screen, a hat and lots of water since your tour through Stone Town can be quite tiresome.
- Visit Slave Market, The site of the old Slave Market is quite an experience. Go into the holding chambers to see how this wretched piece of history played itself out in small dark dungeon-type cells. Priced at $3 or TS3.5 its well worth it.
- Be certain to have dinner on the wharf near Blue's Restaurant in Stone Town. Every evening, for just a few dollars, you can sample local fish, food, drinks, and hear local music.
- Visit Forodhani Gardens. If you are not scared of local food, then this place is definitely worth a visit. It is possibly the cheapest food you will find on the island, and value for money too. Ranging from crab claws, calamari steaks to plain old chips done in big woks. You are well advised to try the local sugar cane juice. The curio market can be found next to the food market. Here you will find all the gifts you may want to take back to friends and loved ones. Do not buy the first thing you see. First take a walk through the market, and you will see prices get progressively less. You must always haggle and bargain with the vendors or try to set the prices off against each other. This is their way of doing business and it also ensures that you get the best price.
- Spice tours are being offered by many companies, they take you out to a spice farm, where your guide will show you how things like cinnamon, jack fruit and kukurma are grown, and will let you taste most of them. Be wary of buying them on the street, in which case the tout might just take your money without a booking. Another common scam is for a tout to follow you into (or give you directions to) the office, in which case the tour price will change from $10 to $15, with you paying the commision.
- The East Beaches are popular among travelers. The sand is brilliant white, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are a deep teal. Here, you can scuba dive or do a dolphin tour. Or arrange a ride on a local's dhow (a carved, wooden boat). Another highlight might be to sit and stare at the water for hours on end.
- Kendwa Beach on the North Western coast is beautiful. Here you can swim during low and high tide, which is not always possible on the East side of the island. Just beware of the "Sea Urchins" that gives a powerful sting if stepped upon during low tide. Kendwa offers lots of beach bars and restaurants serving everything from pizza to local curries. Kendwa Beach is also known for the Full Moon Party, arranged Saturdays just before or after a full moon. While not as big or extreme as those arranged in Thailand, the parties on Zanzibar attract quite a large group of people, especially when the full moon coincides with public holidays in Europe and North America (i.e. easter and christmas).
- Africa house in the stone town was the old english club and explorers like livingstone and stanley relaxed in the bar and billards rooms before exploring the main land. the billards now is a pool hall that plays english pool with american looking balls.
- Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is a community development project and tourist destination just down the road from Jozani Forest. Revenue from admissions is used to pay farmers in the village sustainably farming butterflies. This genuine little project really makes a real difference to the farmers' income and provides a wonderful experience for visitors as they can see spectacular local species flying close at hand in a beautiful tropical garden. $5 per person.
(Located near to Jozani National Park) - Opening hours: 9AM - 5PM.
Zanzibar street scene - video in DivX Quality:
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