Zanzibar rhymes with endless beaches and azure blue sea
Zanzibar, or Unguja by its Swahili name, is an island off the coast of Tanzania. What attracts most visitors is the unique mix of cultures and the gorgeous nature. The island is famous for having some of the world’s most stunning sand beaches with irresistible azure sea, wonderful culture and super-tasty food.
On the northern part of the island, the coast is packed with high-quality resorts, located perfectly on the beaches – all with rows and rows of loungers and parasols, ready for the sun-seeking guests. The hotels have nice restaurants that are also located on the beach, so even when you’re enjoying your evening meal, you won’t miss out on the view of the sea.
If the purpose of your trip is to get away from every-day life, Zanzibar is difficult to compete with. With its lovely climate, friendly people and beautiful environment, there is nothing to complain about. What are you waiting for?
Adventures in Stone Town
If relaxing in the resorts of northern Zanzibar has not fulfilled your appetite for the island, the next step on your journey has to be the cultural centre of Zanzibar – Stone Town.
To get there you can take the local bus Daladala. It is a nice ride and an easy way to get close to the real-life and people of Zanzibar. You can also take the Daladala to the airport at the end of your vacation.
Stone Town is the main town of Zanzibar. It is also an absolute must-see! The romantic notion of getting completely lost in the many twisting and turning streets will be more than just a notion. Whether intentional or not, as the streets are so small and labyrinthine, walking around without getting lost is somewhat impossible. Luckily, the town is so small that you will find your way back again soon enough. Actually, walking is a great way to get to know the town and some of the most significant cultural details are found in this way. The doors of Stone Town are famously hand-carved with symbolic and religious patterns and writings. It is an overwhelming sight of unique handicrafts and skills combined with the culture of Zanzibar. It might seem like a tiny detail, but these doors are key to the atmosphere of Stone Town.
An international kitchen
The culture on Zanzibar is a unique combination of East-African, Arabic, Indian, Persian and various different European cultures. These influences are apparent in the island’s history, its architecture and, last but not least, its magnificent food. The restaurants are found in all price ranges, but you can get a high-quality meal from any culture at an affordable price. Traditional Swahili food can also be enjoyed many places in the town – often with live music playing, which is well worth the experience.
Of course, fish and seafood are amongst the island’s specialties, and the seafood market in Forodhani Park is great. Here, they serve the catch of the day from the different stalls which also sell the well-known sugarcane juice. Tourists and locals flock to the park to take part in the festivities, which only add to the atmosphere.
Before you have eaten up your holiday, you should consider visiting some of the many cultural institutions that show the islands fascinating history. The House of Wonders is Stone Town’s biggest building and it houses a museum about the Zanzibar and the Swahili culture. The Old Fort is the town’s oldest building and was built in 1698. Among many other things, the building has been used as a prison in the following years. The two buildings are placed close to the Forodhani Park, with other “must-sees”.
Zanzibar aka Spice Island – all your taste buds will be ‘turned on’
Zanzibar is internationally known as the Spice Island. The name is due to the islands fertile soil, where many spices thrive and have become a major trademark for the island. So-called “Spice Tours” are a great way to get an insight into all these exotic spices, that we recognize from cooking recipes and to see how the spices are actually grown, and how they look before they are harvested and dried for use. It is on one of these tours, that you can experience walking through a fragrance-cloud of fresh vanilla, while you listen to the locals sing while climbing the trees – this is to warn the people wandering around underneath of the risk of falling coconuts. The tours include a good homemade lunch for the participants, which is enjoyed when the trip through the plantations is over. The whole thing is topped off by all the classic lines from the Disney film, Lion King in the original language Swahili.
Zanzibar is an island that can host the most! There are hotels and food in every price range, and the experiences can fulfill every traveler’s wishes. The local Daladala makes it possible to travel the island, even when on a budget – like most backpackers. In the north, it is possible to get away from the busy everyday life and relax in one of the many resorts. The hype about Zanzibar is merited.
Zanzibar, Tanzania and Africa travel tips
- Zanzibar Profile, history and facts
- Intro to traveling in Africa
- Tanzania safari tour
- Visit Zanzibar
- Nosy Ve, next to Madagascar with an amazing animal life