Attractions/Guide, Hotels Safaris:
Lovely palm fringed
beaches, water sports, rich culture and historical sites are some of
the unique tourist attractions in Zanzibar. Our safaris in
Zanzibar are conducted by knowledgeable guides with deep knowledge
of local culture. The safaris will include visits to the historical
old town commonly referred t0 by the locals as 'Mji Mkongnwe'. The
best way to get around Zanzibar is by foot. Other options
include-motor taxi, motor cycle, bicycle, matatu. You can also
rent a car. The best dive centres and padi schools are to be
found in the north (Nungwi) and east coast.
Cultural Festivals & Events
Cultural festivals in
Zanzibar are marked with lots of great pomp and enthusiasm. They are
a time of merry making and generosity, visiting friends and
relatives and of course a time of great shopping. The festival
of Idul Fitr- End of the holy month of Ramathan is not complete
without exchange of gifts. This day know as Eid (Sikukuu or
holyday) is not known as it depends on lunar calendar. Once
announced, it opens the gates of great celebrations and merry
making. People mark it by preparing traditional swahili food,
visiting friends, relatives, dancing to tarab and disco concerts,
buying of new clothes.
The Mwaka Kongwa ( New
year festivities) are celebrated end of July. The
four day long festival culminates with a ceremony at Makuduchi
village. The festival is marked by mock fights among men and
big bon fires. Women dressed in their best grace the occasion
with singing songs of love.
Sauti Za Busara
Wisdom" also called Swahili Music and Cultural Festival is
a three day long extravagance exhibiting showcasing a
diversity of performing arts- music, theatre and dance.
International Film Festival (ZIFF) is held in the first two
weeks of July. The festival is held together with Festival of the
Dhow Countries and it celebrates the arts and cultures of the
African and the Gulf States of Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands
of the Indian Ocean, collectively known as the Dhow countries.
Activities include music, theatre and dance performances, workshops
The stone town tour:
The stone town refers
to that area of Zanzibar in the heart of the old town with
winding narrow streets and historical buildings. This part of
Zanzibar is referred to by the local people as 'Mji Mkongwe'.
Our guided safaris in this part of Zanzibar includes visits to
the historical sites and buildings like house of wonders,
palace museum (People's Palace), Livingstone's House, Old Fort,
former slave market, bazaars, old harbor
The House of Wonders:
The first to have
electricity in the Zanzibar, it is the former palace of Sultan
Used to be the Royal
residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar until the dynasty was
overthrown in 1964.
The Old Arab Fort:
In recent years it has
been renovated to house the Zanzibar Cultural centre.
The Arab Fort is the centre of Zanzibar Festivals. These
include Zanzibar Festival of the Dhow Countries / Zanzibar
International Film Festival- This festival involves theatre,
traditional and co temporally music, display of paintings, crafts
and sculptures. The Festival is held from 30 June to 9th July
every year. The Zanzibar Cultural Festival-
Also held for a whole week in July, it brings together musicians
from different parts of the world.
The Anglican Cathedral:
Constructed in 1877 on
the site of former slave market it is still in use today.
The only evidence of the slave activities are the underground
chambers at the St. Monica hostel.
Built by Sultan Said Majid who ruled Zanzibar from 1856 to 1870
built this house around 1860. Dr. David Livingstone used
it as a base for his last journey into the interior of Africa.
Several other missionaries and explorers also used it as a
starting point e.g. Burton and Speke.
The Old Dispensary (Stone Town
Located on the
seafront along Mizingani road, four story building with a
set of decorative balconies served as a dispensary during
colonial times but fell into disrepair in the 1970's and 1980's.
It has been successfully restored with funding from the
Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The Waters ports- Dive Centres, Adventures and training
Zanzibar has warm tropical
waters ideal for coral growth and development. Shallow lagoons
with colorful coral gardens surround the island. The best time
to dive is between October and March. Water visibility will
vary from 5 meters to 30 meters. Popular dive sites are
located to the north coast (Nungwi), North east coast (Mnemba Atoll)
and East Coast Metemwe. Located near Pemba Channel is the
Leven Banks with deep waters ideal for seasoned divers. The
Mnemba Atoll off the north east coast of Zanzibar provides deep
dives of up to 30 meters. Dive locations near stone town- Turtle
Reef, Baribo Reef and Morogo reef though not popular with divers
have rich colourful coral gardens. Serious divers should
try Pemba, reputed to be the diving capital of East Africa.
Diving in Pemba
The stand alone lush green
island of Pemba is a tropical paradise surrounded by colorful coral
gardens. The waters are crystal clear with visibilities of 30
to 50 meters. All dive sites in Pemba are excellent.
Dive sites in the west coast are located in three islands of Njao,
Mesali and Fudhu. Mtaani channel to the south coast is
fascinating with clarities of 50 meters. However the strong up and
down currents makes it ideal for only seasoned divers. Places
of stay in Pemba include Manta Reef Lodge for luxury, Swahili divers
lodge for budget travelers. The easiest way of getting to
Pemba is flying in. Speed boat transfers are available from Kenya.
Ships from Zanzibar takes lots of time.
Agriculture and the spice plantation tours:
Zanzibar is famous for her
cloves. Other spices are nutmeg, vanilla, cardamon and cinnamon, the
spices which motivated the Sultan of Oman to settle there
permanently. Other than species, the island famous for tropical
fruits, perfumes plants and food crops. Coconut palms, maize,
yams, cassava are grown. Zanzibar is the main exporter
of cloves in the world.
Jozani Forest and Ngenzi nature
Jozani forest and
Ngezi nature reserves are the centre of biodiversity in
Zanzibar. Jozani forest is the largest area of mature
forest left on the island. It is also host to the endangered
Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey , several species of butterflies,
about 40 species of birds and several other animals.
Over 200 species of birds have been identified in Zanzibar.
Mammals- Zanzibar is
home to various mammals-leopard, galago ( bush baby, Java civet,
African civet, various mongooses, Zanzibar red colobus, blue
monkey vervet monkey bush pig, tree hyrax, Alder's duiker, sunis
have all been recorded.
Zanzibar is the best place to spot the giant tortoise. Other
reptiles include frogs and chameleons.
Prison island or Changuu:
Across the west coast of
Zanzibar 30 minutes by boat from Stone town is Changuu Island with
its beautiful beaches ideal for swimming, sun bath and snorkeling
Kizimkazi fishing village:
Located in the southern
tip of Zanzibar, the fishing village hosts several schools of
Dolphins, 12th Century mosques, tombs dating 17th Century. The
highlight of the tour to the village is a swim with the dolphins.
To the Northern tip of
Zanzibar lies the fishing village of Nungwi which is famous for its
beautiful beaches ideal for swimming sunbathing or just relaxing.
Dance and Music
Zanzibar is famous for
its dance and music. Taraab is a very alluring and
attractive dance performed by the Zanzibar. Besides, there
is Ngoma ( drumbeating. Most of the hotels will organize
traditional tropes to perform Taraab or Ngoma for their guests.