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What is there to do in Zanzibar

edited January 2011 in - East Africa
Hi - we are going to Zanzibar next month and want to know what is there to do in Zanzibar? We are staying at the North of the island, Ras Nungwi, but would like to spend at least one day doing something on the island other than sitting on the beach. We also have a night in Stonetown, what are the best things to do in Stonetown and are there decent restaurants etc? Thanks!
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  • edited 11:50AM
    There are a lot of things to do on Zanzibar Island. It just depends on where your interests lie. Stone Town, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ras Nungwi On the northernmost peninsula of Zanzibar Island, Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel overlooks a sparkling expanse of iridescent Indian Ocean, a cluster of whitewashed
  • edited 11:50AM
    i have this complete detail on what to do in Zanzibar
    There is no shortage of things to do on vacation in Zanzibar should you get tired of just soaking up the sun. The following are some ideas amongst the many activities available:
    Stone Town

    Stone Town Stone Town, Zanzibar's capital, is what makes the island so different from a thousand other tropical isles. Behind its elegant waterfront, it is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners fought with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. One of the most characteristic aspects of these ancient mansions is the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors - there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork.

    Stone Town, the Cathedral The vivid colours and perfumes and smells of Stone Town both pleasant and unpleasant leave a strong impact on the visitor. The senses are heightened and the impact is sometimes overwhelming. You either love Stone Town or you hate it, fortunately most fall in love with the town and never forget it.

    The following excursions can all be organised from Stone Town either by your hotel or through a local travel agent.
    Spice Plantations

    Spices The history of Zanzibar would be incomplete without the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices which brought the Sultans of Oman and the beginnings of the infamous slave trade. They can be seen in the plantations just outside Stone Town: a good spice tour includes opportunities to dazzle the senses with fresh spices and a detailed description about the variety of spices and their uses in cooking and cosmetics. Unfortunately with the exception of Salome's Garden none of the old plantation and country houses have survived but the experience is nonetheless not to be missed.

    About one hour South of Stone Town is the little village and beautiful beach of Kizimkazi. The local fishermen have organised themselves to take visitors on trips to see the dolphins. Sightings are almost guaranteed and it is not uncommon to be able to swim amongst them.
    Jozani Forest

    Jozani forest once stretched over large area of the centre of Zanzibar. It is now seriously reduced in size but is now a natural park and protection is improving. The park is home to an endemic species of Colobus Monkey as well as Sykes Monkey. Nature trails have been set up and a visit to the forest is well worth while for those who enjoy wild-life.
    Mangapwani beach

    Some 15 miles North of Stone Town is the beautiful beach of Mangapwani.
    This beach is surrounded by flamboyant trees and is a beautiful spot for bathing.

    There is also a restaurant at Mangapwani owned by the Serena Inn - bookings can be made directly from the Serena in Stone Town.
    The Palaces and Persian baths North of Stone Town

    A day trip to Mangapwani beach can be enhanced by a stop over at the ruins of the various Sultans Palaces along the coast. The closest is Maruhubi Palace. This impressive palace built for Sultan Barghash at the end of the 19th Century was destroyed by fire at the turn in 1899. There are interesting remains of the bathing areas. Mtoni Palace, was built at the beginning of the 19th Century for Sultan Said. This was a massive complex and was the house where Princess Salme was born. Only the main central structure remains relatively intact and provides an idea of how impressive the Palace once must have been. Beit el Ras Palace is still further up the the North Road out of Zanzibar near the teacher training School. This palace was constructed by Sultan Said but is now in a sad state of repairs. To reach the Persian Baths, simply turn left off the main North Road at Bububu and travel for a few Kilometres until you see the baths on your right. The baths are still relatively intact and interesting for a short visit.

    There are many other excellent snorkelling sites around Zanzibar and if you are travelling around the island you should carry a mask and snorkel with you.

    some restaurants

    Archipelago Caf
  • Dear Mathieu,
    Special greeting from the Sunny Island and wish you a unique holiday.
    Why Zanzibar Island?
    Zanzibar has Unique historical information when you stay a night at Stone, i request you to visit Old Slave Market, Old Zanzibar Market with different original spices, while you on the rood you will see different historical doors, you will have time to visit house of Sultan and to get live history in the Building how was Sultan was, all of this we call Sites Tour.
    Snorkling; different mind on snorkling, is your time to provide to you the mask and fliper for snorkling, we have good water, you can relax at the beach while you prepair your self to see tortoise and pickcoc, than we drive boat to the station.
    On the Local City Tour; we can arrange for you to visit one historical local city out of town, you will see how the people the are living, visit schools, old man and old woman they were on the place for sun to increase energy.
    Restaurants: We have different restaurant but i request you to join with local people to eat with them on their restaurant with having nice spice food, isnot your time to engage your self on the big and expansive restaurant as you still at your home,
    Also, we request you arround 7:00pm to relax with unique inveroment at Forodhani garden, at Stone town, you will see different spice food, meet different tripe and people walking around and every one happy with the envoroment while fron of you looking the see, it is free to sit and enjoyed

    Have a nice holiday and visit us Suhail Tours & Travel, for relax Tours and budget accommodation.
    Currently our office at Shangani beside Barclays ATM , but we expect to move to near Malindi Guest House you will at the second floor our Company name and address or email us ; [email protected] or [email protected]

    Thanks in advance - Enjoy your Holiday


    Salim Salim
  • edited 11:50AM
    Nice information i like it
    What do you want from your honeymoon? White sands on secluded beaches, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees? Wandering the narrow alleys of a historic old town? Gazing into the clear sky at night to see a star studded sky? The exotic East African island of Zanzibar has all this, and more besides.
  • edited 11:50AM
    If we want to enjoy local and not tourist things on the east side of the island. What can one do there.
  • edited 11:50AM
    @Liz - want to go local in Zanzibar? I suggest you work hard all day for about $3 or try to catch fish in the sea when Chinese trawlers have stripped the reefs through bribing local officials. You could also work in a resort hotel and practice smiling all day while serving cocktails that each cost the same as your weekly food budget.
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