Zanzibar is actually an archipelago consisting of two large islands, Unguja (Zanzibar Island) and Pemba, plus several smaller islets. Zanzibar Island is steeped in Arabic history and is famous for its exotic spice industry and stunning white sand beaches.
Historic Zanzibar Stone Town has the main port of Zanzibar and is the main trading centre. It is was home to both the Omani Sultans and colonial administrations as well as the current leadership. Stone Town is a world heritage site and well worth a visit.
Zanzibar was also the setting for the shortest war in history which occurred in 1896 and lasted just 38 minutes before capitulation to the British navy. This marked the end of Zanzibar as a sovereign state.
There is a central forest (Jozani) with endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys and mangrove swamps teaming with bird life. There is also the opportunity to swim with dolphins or to go to a butterfly farm. It is possible to arrange a sunset dhow trip and visits to the smaller islands, and of course no visit to Zanzibar would be complete without taking a Spice Tour to learn about the main traditional economy of the island. Scuba diving is also a big attraction, with good coral reefs around the island and several certified dive centres and schools.
Zanzibar Archipelago Locations view all
- Chumbe Island
- Historic Zanzibar Stone Town
- Just Outside Stone Town
- Nungwi and Kendwa
- Sailing the Indian Ocean
- South East Coast
- Zanzibar East Coast
Chumbe Island is a luxury resort on a private island off the coast of Zanzibar, and is really famous for its amazing ventures into the world of sustainable eco-tourism, combined with high levels of luxury and exclusivity.
The old Zanzibar Stone Town is a World Heritage Site. The famous narrow streets literally pulse with life and are perfumed with the rich aroma of the plentiful spices. There are also many excursions from the town to visit the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys, relax on the white sand beaches or to swim with dolphins. There are several great restaurants - for example Emerson & Green's rooftop, and Mercury's. The bustling sensory overload that is Forodhani Gardens' numerous fresh food stalls provides a culinary delight for the more adventurous diner, and worth a visit even if you are not eating. Unless arranged otherwise your accommodation in Stone Town will be on a Bed & Breakfast basis only.
There are a few nice places to stay that are outside Stonetown itself, but still within easy reach. Their advantage of these places is that you can enjoy the beach and Stonetown from the same hotel.
Kizimkazi is a fishing village on Menai bay on the south west of the Southern tip of Unguja Island (Zanzibar Island). The village is most famous as the starting point for Dolphin Safaris (boat trips) where you can actually swim with up to 50 bottlenose and humpback dolphins. If you stay in Kizimkazi this is an amazing experience, if you travel from elsewhere on the Island it is likely that you will arrive late and there will be many boats and little reward
Nungwi and Kendwa have picture postcard scenery and eptomises Zanzibar's relaxing and truly romantic feel, perfect for a honeymoon safari or as a relaxing end to a busy and action-packed mainland Tanzania safari.
What better way to explore the Zanzibar Archipelago than by boat? Wild Things can arrange the private chartering of either a beautiful sailing yacht or luxurious catamaran.
The East coast of Zanzibar can be split into the North East and the South East. Both have unspoilt beaches and beautiful white sand then main difference is that the North is much busier and the hotels and beach resorts tend to be much closer together.
Zanzibar Archipelago Activities
Historic Stone Town Tour
Zanzibar's historic Stone Town is a winding labyrinth of alleyways with curio shops and rich bazaars. A tour includes visits to the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, the city market, the site of the old Slave Market and the National Museum. You will also have the chance to visit Livingstone's House which was where he and many other explores stayed prior to departing for the interior
Zanzibar Spice Tour
A Zanzibar spice tour is a walk through the spice farm with your guide where you can touch, smell and taste different spices and tropical fruits. Try to guess which is which, from the crushed leaves, the fruit, shoots and vines. Learn about their uses, their origins and their medicinal properties. A visit to a spice farm village gives you an insight into local life and the opportunity to try some Swahili dishes, taste the fruits in season and try some spiced tea.