Very few places on earth can induce images of crystal clear turquoise waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and swaying palm-trees like Zanzibar. Located just off Tanzania’s coast, this dazzling east African archipelago leaves visitors awestruck with its many, many wondrous offerings. From its own unique heritage and cultural flavor to providing a tranquil setting for pure relaxation and thrilling activities, Zanzibar is a personal slice of paradise that you should definitely get in on.
What makes it even more fascinating is that even though Zanzibar is a relatively small island, it’s still big enough to require having a proper plan of where to go and which activities to do in Zanzibar during your stay. In any case, it promises to be a holiday that you will always remember. As one of Africa’s top beach destinations, you’re probably thinking there isn't much else to do here beyond lounging on the sand, drink in hand… these six unique activities certainly add a new dimension to your Zanzibar experience:
Immersed in rich socio-cultural history and brimming with rustic charm, Stone Town is an incredible mashup of winding streets, historic museums, bustling markets, and Arab style buildings. As Zanzibar’s capital, it is one of the few places where you can temporarily lose yourself (both physically and mentally) and enjoy every bit of the experience. Here, you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture as you unveil unique spots at every turn. As the sun starts to set, head on to the famous night market in Forodhani Gardens where you can savor various aromatic cuisines.
Formerly a detention center for slaves and a quarantine zone for people with yellow fever, the island now has a new purpose, one that actually makes it worth visiting. Prison Island is home to ginormous tortoises, some as old as almost 200 years. You can also visit the Slave Trade Museum to learn about the history of the region.
This is particularly helpful if you arrived in Zanzibar directly and not as a final stop at the end of a typical Tanzanian safari tour. Jozani forest is one of the last few indigenous forests left in Zanzibar and is home to several rare wildlife species, including the endangered red Colobus monkeys, bushbabies, and the incredible Zanzibari Leopard.
If you’re a spice lover, then there’s no better place to be than here in the ‘spice islands’ of Zanzibar. There are several spice plantations to explore, all offering a fascinating and fragrant experience. You’ll also get to learn more about these spices and how they are used in Zanzibar’s local delicacies. It’s also possible to pick up a few cooking lessons here and there which you can then replicate when you return to your home country. Either way, it is a hands-on educational experience that will be one of the highlights of your stay.
If you’re not into spices, you can also explore the coconut plantations on horseback! It’s more exciting since you get to enjoy a more vantaged view of your surroundings. Some equestrian clubs even let you take the horses to the water after your tour for an evening swim.
Zanzibar offers a full lineup of adrenaline-packed water activities, including snorkeling, kite surfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, fishing, diving, and dhow boat cruises. The famous Mnemba Atoll, one of the world’s most popular snorkeling destinations is just a few minutes ride away offering what is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. This area boasts an abundance of various marine species like barracuda, eels, and snappers. Tired after a long day? Indulge in a sundowner. This is basically a cocktail at sunset whether on the fine sand shore or on a traditional dhow cruise. The sunsets here are pretty much the stuff of picture postcards.
No trip to Zanzibar would be complete without a visit to this stunning restaurant, a fascinating little house situated on a solid rock slab and surrounded by water. You can reach here by foot during low tides but will have to arrive by boat as the water level starts to rise. The food here may be a bit pricey for the average traveler, but it’s really all about the experience and basically a dream come true for many visitors.
Zanzibar is not your average beach holiday destination. It feels like an entirely different world, one that will leave you wanting to plan a return visit again and again. Contact us to enjoy the unique experience of horseback riding in Zanzibar!