Zanzibar is the semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic Centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site. Portuguese invasion and control of the Swahili Coast in the late 16th century ended the golden age of the archipelago, although the Omani Arabs returned to power less than a century later. Today, many of the winding streets and high townhouses of old Stone Town remain unchanged and visitors can walk between the sultan’s palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and gardens, the merchants’ houses, and the Turkish baths of the old city. Day-long spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to observe the cultivation of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that have made the island famous. Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on what side of the island you’re on. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun. The port city of Stone Town dominates the west coast, and although the beaches of Mangapwani, where slave caves are visible at low tide and nearby Bububu are less than half an hour’s drive away, a night or two spent on the east or north cost is well worth the extra hour it takes to drive there. That said, the Chole Island Marine Park just off Stone Town – and nearby Prison, Grave, and Snake Islands – make a refreshing day-trip and a good break from exploring the winding passageways of the old city. On the south coast of Zanzibar lies the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection area for the endangered species that come to breed on the island. Roads to the southeast coast take visitors through the Jozani Forest, home to Zanzibar’s rare Red Colobus monkeys and a number of other primate and small antelope species.

ACTIVITIES TO DO IN ZANZIBAR

To get acquainted with Zanzibar’s people and authentic traditions, there is no better place nor better insight than an excursion to Muyuni village in the southern district of Zanzibar and an incursion into the lifestyle of its people.

Discover local culture, traditions and artisanship as you interact with the villagers while they are at their skillful activities of mat and basket weaving, Makuti plating and rope making.

At the local Ngonga Cave, you will also get the opportunity to admire nature’s own artistry, chiseled and carved out by years of weathering into mesmerizing subterranean hallways, cavities and corridors.

Ngonga Cave is the sanctuary of vampire bats, more scary for their name than in reality. More eerie still, local folklore has it that this cave is also a favourite with spirits and ghosts. Will you dare find out for yourself?

Programme
Half-day excursion. starting around 9:00 am to 13:00

You may choose a private excursion, which allows you to set your desired time of departure.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear walking shoes and bring along some money should you wish to buy some souvenirs, local handicraft and artifacts.

Note
Lunch is not included.

Expect to have a gleeful bunch of kids walking in your footsteps. Awaiting for your kind generosity to be treated to a handful of sweets. Kids will be kids!

Kizimkazi fishing village is home to numerous bottle-nosed dolphins and humpback dolphins. They can often be sighted within just a quick boat ride from the coast. This is also the chance for a memorable swim with them. Dolphins generally come close distance allowing you to enjoy the unique experience of their renowned friendly attitude and playfulness. You will also have some time to snorkel within the Menai reserve and discover wonderful sea creatures.

Programme
Half-day outing. For higher chances of sighting the dolphins, it is better to start off early morning (around 06:30 am.) to Kizimkazi, south of Zanzibar. Once back to shore your transport awaits to take you back to the hotel around noon.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear or bring your swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, a hat or cap.

Note
Snorkeling equipment is provided.

Ride across splendid Menai Bay in a private motorboat to discover and enjoy the pristine pleasures of an idyllic and almost desert sandbank cast away amidst crystal-clear aquamarine waters.

There, you can soak up the sun, go for refreshing dips and snorkel leisurely around, immersed in the natural splendor of the tropical marine world with its amazing array of colored coral and fish. Just revel in a sheer moment out of this world, out of time. You will feel as close as can be to paradise.

Programme
Half or Full-day outing. Setting off from Stone Town, departure time ideally is early morning and can vary according to the tide.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear or bring your swim gear, towel, sunscreen, a hat or cap.

Note
Snorkeling equipment is provided.
Soft drinks and fruits provided. A picnic basket can be added for a supplement.

This sea outing takes you island hopping between historical Prison Island and a pristine sandbank, for an idyllic island experience.

Prison Island is located off the western coast of Zanzibar and accessible with a 30 minutes motorized dhow boat ride across amazing hues of sea blues and greens.

The island takes its name from the prison that was built there in 1893. At a later stage, the buildings served as a quarantine hospital. The sea trip offers the opportunity to catch a view of historical Stone Town.

Today, only the ruins of the building remain from these days as well as frangipani lined path around the island where the former patients took their evening walks.

Here you can admire beautiful peacocks flaunting their spectacular tail of feathers as well catch a close view of giant century old Seychelles tortoises. The excursion allows ample time to stroll around, venture into the forested interior, have a swim or just relax on a white sandy beach by the alluring lagoon.

Around midday, embark for the pristine setting and pleasures of an idyllic and almost desert sandbank cast away amidst crystal-clear aquamarine waters.

There, you will be served lunch and thereafter just allow yourself to drift away revel in elementary pleasures – soak up the sun, go for refreshing dips and snorkel leisurely around, immersed in the natural splendor of the tropical marine world with its amazing array of colored coral and fish. Just revel in a sheer moment out of this world, out of time. You will feel as close as can be to paradise.

Programme
The full-day outing, starting around 08:00 am.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear or bring your swim gear, towel, sunscreen, a hat or cap and a change of clothes.

Note
Snacks and soft drinks served on Prison Island. Local lunch, fruits and beverages served on the sandbank.

Catch the wind and ride the surf with a kite. Zanzibar is known to be one of the best spots in the world to practice and learn this exciting water sport for its flat-water and shallow sand-bottom lagoons and kite-friendly breeze almost year-round. There is nothing more exhilarating as you gather speed, spin, and splash along an idyllic tropical landscape drawn by Mother Nature herself: warm beryl blue waters, kilometers of ivory beaches sheltered by the feathery fronds of palm trees. Whether you already are an aficionado or would like to be introduced to the sport and coached, you will enjoy the company of knowledgeable and patient IKO certified professional instructors.

Programme
The time frame to be set upon booking. Departure is subject to the weather forecast.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear or bring your swim or kite gear, towel, sunscreen, and a change of clothes and your water bottle.

Note
IKO certified professional instructors at your service.

Best quality equipment provided.

Safari Blue is a Full-day boat trip on a traditional hand-built mahogany sailing dhow. A mini bus will ensure transfer from your hotel to Fumba, where your dhow boat awaits to sail off and sweep you away to revel in the unspoilt beauty of isolated sand banks and rugged island shorelines. You will explore the Menai Bay marine park, which is a refuge to two different species of dolphins, the indo-pacific humpback and the bottlenose – both so friendly and playful. Slowly drifting around mangroves, casting anchor along some of the best coral reefs of Zanzibar for enchanting snorkeling into their marine wonderland, landing for a seafood barbecue on a castaway sandbank. Time seems to suspend its flight, allowing you to indulge in an out-of-this-world feeling.

Programme
Full-day outing starting from hotel reception around 08:00 am, returning around 05:30 pm.

Recommendations
It is advisable to wear or bring your swim gear, towel, sunscreen, a hat or cap and a change of clothes.

Note
The seafood barbecue lunch is inclusive as well as drinks.

In the 19th century, after the abolition of the slave trade, Zanzibar was one of the worlds’ reputed and most important producers of spices, particularly cloves. Today, it is still acknowledged for its clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, chili, and pepper. The Spice Route excursion is a unique opportunity to see and buy them at the source. As you will discover, spices are woven into the very fabric of culture and everyday life in Zanzibar. Their pungent wafts and zingy tastes, organic colors and textures weave magic and tantalize the senses. Cool down with deliciously fresh coconut or sugar cane juice. You can also buy some fresh fruits straight from the plantation. You will then be taken to taste the local Zanzibar coffee.

Programme

Half-day excursion. Starting around 9:00 am.

You may choose a private excursion, which allows you to set your desired time of departure.

Recommendations

It is advisable to wear walking shoes, a hat or cap and not to forget your insect repellent. You might also want to bring some money if you wish to buy you wish to buy spices, oils and fresh fruits on offer at the plantation.

In the early 19th century, under the rule of Omani Arabs, Zanzibar was East Africa’s major slave trading hub strategically located between the mainland and their final destinations, namely Oman and Persia, Seychelles and Mauritius.

Take a walk down Zanzibar’s memory lane in the company of a knowledgeable guide. The historical section of Stone Town is now an acknowledged UNESCO World Heritage. Its narrow streets and most of the houses bordering these are past one and a half centuries old and stand witness to times bygone.

Stone Town excursion is composed of a series of attention-grabbing discoveries. This includes the ancient slave market and cells, the National Museum, the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, the Sultan’s Palace as well as cathedrals and mosques. The visit includes time to shop for souvenirs and handicrafts in the animated bazaars.

Programme

Half-day excursion. Starting around 9:00 am.

You may choose a private excursion, which allows you to set your desired time of departure.

Recommendations

It is advisable to wear walking shoes and a hat or cap and to bring some money if you wish to buy souvenirs, local handicraft and artifacts.

Sunset in Zanzibar is a spectacle in itself. But the experience of sailing along the coast on a traditional dhow, immersed in an exceptional play of flaming hues, radiating light and silver-linings across the western sky turn it all into unforgettable and romantic memories. As the sun makes way for the stars and the hushed mystery of night, just relax in the luxurious feel of soft cushions and lift your head and glass to the infinite sky to celebrate the experience of timelessness. As you glide along the silhouetted scenery, the meaning of enraptured takes on its full value.

Programme
A two-hour boat cruise, starting close to sunset at 16h30.

Recommendations
It is advisable to take some warm clothing in case it gets breezy and cooler.

Note
Snacks & sundowner drinks inclusive.