Most prominent of the Spice Islands, Zanzibar has a potent mix of history, legends and unique cultures. Visually stunning with exceptional natural beaches and the haunting architecture of Zanzibar town, the island has lured travelers to its shores for centuries. Its past was dominated by merchants, rulers, explorers, scholars – today tourism is playing a key role. Zanzibar provides the perfect compliment to an East African safari.
Zanzibar is famous for being a major producer of cloves, and infamous as being a slave entry-port, the old stone town of Zanzibar has a fascinating labyrinth of narrow winding streets lined with whitewashed, coral-rag houses with overhanging balconies and magnificently carved brass studded doors, shops, bazaars, mosques, courtyards, squares etc. Outside town there are more ruined palaces, Shirazi remains, Persian baths, and magnificent palm fringed beaches with warm clear water, ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
Excursions in Zanzibar
Zanzibar City Centre – Half Day
he half-day city tour visits Zanzibar’s colourful market, which exudes a heady smell of herbs and spices. Other sites visited include the Anglican Cathedral, which stands in silent testimony on the site of one of the last open slave markets in the world, the residence of the late Sultan of Zanzibar; ‘Tip Tip House’. The Old Fort and the House of Wonders – all locations rich in antiquity and full of intrigue from the days of long ago. The tour ends with a romantic stroll along the narrow lanes of the Old Stone Town.
Spice Tour – 4 Hours
The spice tour is guaranteed to sharpen your senses. Drive through the countryside to visit spice plantations – with an opportunity to pick, smell and savour exotic fruits and spices.
Jozani Forest – 4 Hours
Jozani is the only remaining natural forest on Ungunja Island. Covering an area of 10 sq km it consists of high forest, swamp forest and evergreen forest. It provides an important refuge for the remaining Ungula fauna such as the rare Red Colobus Monkeys, small Zanzibar Leopard and two antelope species – the Zanzibar Duicker and Sunni.
Prison Island – Full Day
Changuu Island is a historical island once used for the detention of recalcitrant salves. Today Giant Tortoises, some over 100 years old, act as unlikely vigilantes over the island. The beach is superb and the crystal clear sea excellent for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and diving. This trip is perfect to while away a complete day.
Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed dolphins and Humpback dolphins, which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim quite close to the dolphins, which can be a very rewarding experience. We are doing this trip in the afternoon to avoid the crowds of tourists in the morning, which in big numbers disturbing the dolphins. Kizimkazi is also the site of a 12th century mosque, the earliest evidence of Islam in East Africa, and is thus worth a visit for both natural and cultural reasons.