Zanzibar is a rising destination for a beach holiday, as its white beaches, green palm trees and turquoise sea invite you to sunbathe.
Adventure in the maze of Stone Town
Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, charmingly combines the past and the modern. The winding streets of the old part of Zanzibar City have a history of about 200 years. Both Arab and European conquerors, whose heritage is mixed with African culture, have left their mark on the city. The city’s buildings are a masterpiece of carpentry.
The colorful history of the island is told in more detail in Beit el-Ajib, the House of Miracles. Built in 1883, the Sultan’s Palace now houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar. The history of the Sultanate of Zanzibar can be found in the Beit el-Sahel, or Palace Museum.
Stone Town also houses East Africa’s first Anglican church, built on the site of an old slave market. The area is a stopping reminder of the island’s harsher history. Next to the church, you can still see a few farms where slaves were held before the auction.
According to Freddie Mercury, the island’s most famous resident , the restaurant has been named. The restaurant is located in Stone Town, right next to the ferry terminal. There, as elsewhere in Zanzibar, you should eat fresh fish and other seafood.
In Stone Town you should also cycle in the bazaar area to buy fresh fruit as well as wonderfully fragrant spices. You can also buy wooden sculptures as gifts from there. Bargaining is an integral part of trading.
Dive in clear waters
The turquoise waters of Zanzibar are crystal clear and attract divers and snorkelers. The water temperature averages 26 degrees and visibility up to 30 meters. The best time to dive is from November to March. The easiest way to go on a diving trip is to leave Stone Town, as the best destinations are located in the northern parts of the island.
Numerous fish species as well as dolphins and sea turtles live in the waters of the area. Especially in the tranquil area of Mnemba, it is good to spot colorful marine life. For more experienced divers, wrecks, falls and currents present a challenge. Night dives are also organized.
When diving in Zanzibar, you should pay special attention to the organizer of the diving trips, as there are many actors in the industry. Certified operators can be checked, for example, on the international website of the PADI Diving Association.
Relax on the beaches
The best beaches in Zanzibar are located on the east side of the island. White fine sand, swaying palm trees and turquoise water create the ideal environment for a beach holiday.
The most popular beaches are Matemwe, whose long and white sandy beaches make it easy to forget the busy life. Matemwe is also the closest to Mnemba’s dive sites. For those looking for more life, head to the beaches of Kendwa. Kiwengwa Beach offers services, but you can also find peace and quiet there if you wish. The most spectacular scenery is provided by Jambian beach. If you want to party and kite surf on your holiday, you should head to Paje, which is especially popular with young people.
When swimming in Zanzibar, it is good to keep your eyes open, as the sea currents carry small blue jellyfish with them. They are not life-threatening, but when they hit the skin, they cause stinging . The beaches are also occasionally rich in seaweed.
Explore the animals of the island in the Jozan Natural Park
Jozan Natural Park is the largest natural area in Zanzibar. You can explore the area by walking the nature trail for about an hour. Jozan is home to a variety of monkey species, over 40 different bird species, and 50 species of butterflies. The best time to see the monkeys is early in the morning or late in the evening.
The Best of Zanzibar
A large part of the inhabitants of Zanzibar are Muslims, which is worth remembering, for example, in dress.
Experience these in Zanzibar
- Diving in crystal clear waters
- Getting acquainted with spice plantation
- Kite surfing on the shores of Paje
- Shopping in Stone Town
- A visit to the former slave market