The beautiful Zanzibar is an archipelago of historic Indian Ocean islands with spectacular atmosphere, intrigue and idyllic beach experience. Zanzibar is ranked among the best beach destinations in the world boasting a wide range of accommodation choices, plenty of attractions to see and explore, and many activities to do. Zanzibar – an archipelago is located 23 miles from mainland Tanzania, the island is so different from Tanzania in aspects of politics, region, culture, food and life itself. ……..
Zanzibar beach
Zanzibar beach
Zanzibar is a perfect place to relax after an exciting safari in some of Tanzania wildlife national park or after conquering Mount Kilimanjaro – the roof of Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.  Also, Zanzibar is a perfect destination for a romantic holiday getaway making it a great spot to add on to your Tanzania Honeymoon Safari. Some of the amazing sites to visit on Zanzibar Island include the Sultan’s Palaces, spice plantation, the stone Town among others. STONE TOWN  The Stone Town is historic heart of Zanzibar also known as Mji Mkongwe by the locals, this ancient town is one of the oldest parts of Zanzibar and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The Stone Town is located on the western part of Unguja Island the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago and commonly referred to as Zanzibar, the town is known for its rich history, culture, architecture and street foods with high influences from Arab, India, Persian and European.  The town features a bewildering maze of streets and alleyways that form the westernmost tip of Zanzibar Town, The Stone was the seat of the Sultans whose crumbling palaces, bathhouses and mosques are a legacy of the vibrant time at the heart of the gold trade. The labyrinthine streets, ancient buildings where you can get lost and ancient spice markets makes Stone Town a wonderful place to spend a night or two, eat fresh fish on the sea front, enjoy the sounds and smell of the true center of Swahili.  Getting lost and not knowing where you are going is part of the adventure in the Stone Town, on the bright side. The Stone is a small and safe town and there are street names which you can make use of if you are lost, also you can ask for directions from the locals who are very helpful.  FOOD IN ZANZIBAR  For years through history, Zanzibar has had many rulers and its long, tragic history is responsible for Zanzibar Cuisine which is one of the most interesting cuisines in Africa. A tasty mash – up of Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and African cooking traditions all driven by the constant presence of spice is the original fusion food.  Zanzibar Island is also known as the Spice Island as there are many spices grown on the island including cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg. These spices play a great role in the Zanzibar Cuisines.  Make it a point to get a taste of African Ugali, Indian Chapatti, Swahli curries and the sea food such as octopus curry and urojo, a turmeric and coconut-based soup with crispy fritters and spiced potatoes that seen to have the island’s entire history contained within its broth.  If you want to try to reproduce these recipes at home, head to the Darajani Market at the main Bazaar where there are local shops, however go there early before the weather gets too hot.  ZANZIBAR CULTURE  As the Swahili “Pole Pole” goes, life in Zanzibar moves slowly and most the things do not always make sense. They don’t walks work or they can take a while so it is better to enjoy the calm chaos and unhurried peace, your drink or smooth might take 45 minutes to appear but rest assured that it will be worth the wait as it will be delicious.  On this beautiful island, you are allowed to drink and it is also allowed to drink, however it has be at the right place for example skimpy clothing and overdoing alcohol on the streets of The Stone Town must be avoided. There are bars in Stone Town where you drink from, you can also drink at restaurants and in bars at fancier hotels in town or on the coast. Always remember hat the waiter probably does not drink, so be patient and kind of their way of opening the wine bottle is not graceful as you are used to.  It is usually a good idea, to bring your own bag to keep your bottle in so that you are not seen with a bottle of gin or vodka on the streets.  A great way to meet the locals in Zanzibar is by the local tea scene, most of the tea stands or carts start serving tea once the sun has gone down so be sure to try the Tangawizi (ginger) chai and you can add vanilla if possible. Taking a mug of hot and spicy tea to the side of a road is a fun way to meet and interact with the locals. While in the Stone Town, ask for the nearest Babu Chai and someone should be able to point you in the right direction.  While on the island, you will enjoy Taraab Music from Arabic tariba (to be moved) which blends African, Arabic and Indian Influences. Typically, a Taraab orchestra combines Western and traditional local instruments including an accordion, a violin, a kanun, a nay and drums and a Singer. You will find these groups playing at different venues around The Stone Town.  Nightlife in Zanzibar  Stone Town can seeM scary at night, the dimly – lit narrow streets and back alley aren’t really that inviting to people fond of aimless wandering, however the nightlife in Stone Town is bustling with kids playing, couple strolling and people feasting everywhere. the center of the town there is the night market in the Forodhani Gardens and is jam packed with locals and tourists tasting the many fresh food stalls. DIVING AND OTHER WATER SPORTS IN ZANZIBAR  Zanzibar is well known for its amazing coral reefs surrounding the islands making it a prime destination for diving, the water temperatures are warm, with excellent visibility and the currents are weak and there is a great abundance of colorful fish making it an ideal location for beginner divers.  On the North and East Coast of Zanzibar, there are many larger resorts with professionally run dive shops on site. Note: qualified divers must produce their certification and log book  Many centers on the island offer scuba diving training courses and views of the coral and Indian Ocean life, some of the best snorkeling can be found in Chumbe Island a protected marine park about a ten-minute drive and 45-minute boat ride out of the Stone Town.  In addition to diving, other water spots to do in Zanzibar include 
  • sailing on a dhow cruise
  • kayaking
  • snorkeling
  • waterskiing
  • windsurfing
  • parasailing
  •  jet-skiing
  • kiteboarding
GETTING TO ZANZIBAR  To get to Zanzibar, the most common mode of transport is by plane from Arusha or any other airstrips in Tanzania airstrips such as Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro National Park among others. A flight normally takes 1-3 hours depending where you board the plane from. Alternatively, you can take a boat from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar using a high – speed boat taking about two hours. There are 4 routes offered on a daily.   WEATHER IN ZANZIBAR  Zanzibar has two rainy seasons, the island experiences long rains and short rains. The long rainy seasons lasts roughly from March until May and the short rains generally take place between November and December, they tend to show up in short and torrential bursts then quickly fade back to blue skies. WHERE TO STAY IN ZANZIBAR  Zanzibar has some of the most luxurious resorts in East Africa, if you are looking for a beach escape with other westerns. The best place to head to is north to Nungwi and Kendwa and some of the best resorts and hotels to stay at include 
  • Kendwa Rocks Beach Resort 
  • Babalao Bungalows 
  • Tropicana Kendwa Beach Hotel 
  • Sunseabar Beach Hotel 
  • Kendwa Beach Resort 
  • Nungwi Beach Resort by Turaco
  • Zaina Larsson Beach 
  • Amaan Beach Bungalows among others 

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