Things To Do In Zanzibar: 15 Must-Have Activities in Zanzibar
Things To Do In Zanzibar: 15 Must-Have Activities in Zanzibar. Zanzibar’s islands have everything a beach bum, culture vulture, or budget traveler might want.
Since tourists provide a significant portion of the annual income, the area is generally rather secure for those venturing there on their own. Discover some of Zanzibar’s most interesting and enjoyable activities below.
The Prefect Travel Guide to Zanzibar!
15 Best Things To Do In Zanzibar
Maximize Beach Time
Zanzibar is renowned for its stunning beaches, which boast powdery white sand and clear, warm waters that are home to a variety of exotic marine life.
Read our tips for combining safaris in Tanzania with beach vacations in Zanzibar for the ultimate Tanzanian vacation.
Our favorite Zanzibar beach is right here.
All Hotels on Nungwi Beach & Kendwa Beach Zanzibar
Approximately an hour’s drive from Zanzibar City, Nungwi beach is home to a wide variety of resorts, hostels, and hotels of varying price points and levels of comfort. Relaxing with a coconut or beverage in hand while watching the dhows glide across the water is a popular pastime for visitors visiting Zanzibar.
Since it is a largely Muslim nation, citizens and visitors alike dress conservatively, with long sleeves and pants covering their knees and shoulders. It’s helpful to keep this in mind when signing up for excursions and exploring unfamiliar cities. Hotels and resorts in Zanzibar typically stock alcohol, but you won’t find it at the general stores or restaurants here.
Explore Kendwa for Beach Activities
If you’re looking for a place to swim without worrying about the tide all day, travel to the northern and western beaches, such Kendwa, instead. Kendwa is the ideal site to spend a relaxed beach vacation on Zanzibar, as the water is safe for swimming and there have been no recent shark attacks.
Tourists flock to this section of the Unguja because it has a relaxed holiday mood and is home to some of Zanzibar’s most exciting attractions. Full moon parties at Kendwa Rocks feature scuba diving, parasailing, and skydiving among other activities popular among tourists.
Between June and October is ideal for a beach vacation in Zanzibar. You’ll be able to skip the wetter months, but the islands’ year-round warmth means that visitors return again and again.
Pamper Yourself on Mnemba Island
Mnemba Island, located off the eastern coast of Zanzibar, is an ideal honeymoon destination due to its seclusion and privacy.
Divers and snorkelers can enjoy stunning coral reefs off the coast of Mnemba, home to a wide variety of sea life such as lionfish, moray eels, stingrays, and turtles. You can take a day trip from Nungwi or stay in one of the 12 exclusive beach bandas.
Float above Beautiful Coral Reefs
Ugunja and Pemba are surrounded by tropical marine life and beautiful coral reefs that make for excellent snorkeling throughout the year.
The Mnemba Atoll Marine Reserve is a protected underwater ecosystem that is home to numerous species of coral and other marine life. These fragile ecosystems transport you to an amazing underwater world teeming with life, including the likes of Green Turtles, Seahorses, Trumpetfish, Moray Eels, and Napoleon Wrasse.
Two excellent snorkeling locations may be found in Zanzibar: Wattabomi and West Gardens. The depths of Kichwani Reef, the Aquarium, and the Big Wall are between 12 and 50 meters, making them ideal for scuba divers.
The seas around Stone Town are ideal for snorkeling due to the abundance of shipwrecks and colorful coral reefs that are home to a diverse population of fish and other marine organisms. Snorkelers in this area should be aware of the presence of jellyfish and should consider wearing protective gear.
The island of Changuu (sometimes called Prison Island), located farther west of Stone Town, is a hidden gem for snorkelers thanks to its pristine reefs and clear waters. Inland, at the Giant Tortoise Sanctuary, visitors can get out of the water and explore nature on land.
Head Out to Misali Island for the Best Diving in East Africa
Pemba Island in the Zanzibar archipelago is a famous diving destination due to its high visibility and excellent diving conditions, which include everything from deep-sea safaris to breathtaking beginner dives. Visitors visiting Zanzibar in quest of adventure will find no shortage of diving opportunities, with over thirty sites offering lessons for both novices and professionals.
Misali Island, located west of Pemba and north of Ugunja, is undeniably one of the finest places in all of East Africa to go scuba diving or snorkeling. Tides don’t affect these secluded waters, which are part of the Pemba Channel Conservation Area and are home to over 300 species of marine life and enormous gardens of coral.
Visitors can take a boat from Wesha, or make arrangements through a travel agency or hotel, to visit the island.
Go Sailing on a Traditional Dhow
Nungwi is still the center for producing traditional dhows, the wooden boats that are characteristic of East African shipping.
Those who like to see more of the island than the beaches can take a tour of the Nungwi Village, visit the shipbuilding regions, or have a dhow sail on the tranquil Indian Ocean while watching the sun set.
Tour Museums in Stone Town
Zanzibar Stone Town, Tanzania
The local marketplaces and food stalls around old Stone Town in the Zanzibar archipelago are known for the fragrant presence of nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves, all of which are traded on the islands.
Stone Town is the oldest area of Zanzibar City, and its name comes from the coral stone that was mostly used in its construction. This architecture reflects influences from the Arab, European, Persian, African, and Indian cultures.
Some of Zanzibar’s most notable landmarks, including as the Arab Fort, Palace of Wonders, Forodhani Gardens, and Palace Museum, may be found within the labyrinth of little alleyways. There is a wide variety of walking and cycling trips that take in these sights.
Palace of Wonders
The Palace of Wonders, commissioned by Sultan Barghash bin Said, is one of Stone Town’s most recognizable landmarks.
Before the revolution that toppled the last sultan in 1964, the royal family resided in what is now known as the palace of Sultan Seyyid Said. A lot of the thrones, artwork, and furnishings from that era are still there, making it a famous tourist destination.
Unwind and Enjoy Street Food in the Forodhani Gardens
The Forodhani Gardens, which were established in 1936 to honor Sultan Khalifa, can be found among these landmarks. The transformation of the gardens into a public park has increased the number of activities available to tourists and locals alike on the island of Zanzibar.
Traders gather in the park after dark to sell a variety of East African, Persian, and Portuguese-influenced seafood, as well as some wonderful Swahili and Zanzibar specialties including Biryani, Mandazi, and Mishkaki skewers.
Watch Out for Major Events at the Arab Fort
A lot of people come to Zanzibar just to see the Old Fort. It is the oldest building in Zanzibar and one of the top attractions due to its construction by the Omani Arabs in the 17th century. In its past life, it served first as a castle and later, in the late 19th century, as a prison. The Arab Fort is now the site of major annual events including the Zanzibar International Film Festival, which takes place in July.
Go On a Shopping Spree at the Darajani Market
Darajani Bazaar, the city’s primary marketplace, is found in Stone Town. Swahili sellers here sell a variety of foods and spices, as well as the stunning cotton fabric known as Kanga (the Swahili term for guinea fowl), which is worn by ladies and sometimes men, and embroidered Kofia caps.
Take a Boat to Learn about Slave Trade Secrets
Located just 30 minutes by boat from Stone Town, Changuu Island is well-known for its unique history as a yellow fever quarantine center. The island of Zanzibar gained notoriety for its role in the transatlantic slave trade that flourished in the 19th century. The island’s initial purpose was to house imprisoned slaves who had rebelled against their masters, thus today it is a popular destination for those seeking a more sinister vacation. One of the best things to do in Zanzibar is to go on one of these guided excursions.
Shallow underwater safaris ideal for snorkeling trips surround the dense tropical forest, which is home to huge tortoises and a stunning variety of birds.
Visit a Real Zanzibar Coffee Shop
Coffee beans grown in Tanzania, both on huge farms and on smallholdings, are exported around the world. As a result, Zanzibar has had time to perfect the art of coffee manufacturing, much to the satisfaction of travelers who enjoy a good cup of joe.
The Zanzibar Coffee House in Stone Town is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day or the beginning of the day. The hotel, housed in a refurbished 19th-century building, features a cafe selling genuine Arabian coffee. Whether you’re in Stone Town for the coffee or the magnificent architecture and antiques, you can’t miss this real Arabian House, one of the oldest in the area.
Browse Artisan Shops
The downtown streets of Zanzibar are lined with artisan stores selling unique and beautiful goods and souvenirs made by local craftspeople. These range from bags and jewelry to keychains and intricately carved wooden sculptures.
Zanzibar also has many hidden treasures to discover, such as Persian antiques, palm-leaf baskets and mats, natural cosmetics, health food stores, and art galleries.
Have the Night of Your life in Zanzibar City
ZANZIBAR city at night, IS IT SAFE? Stone Town, Tanzania, East Africa – Night dinner l Part 1
Stone Town and Zanzibar City come to life as the sun sets over the islands. At night, Forodhani Park has a lively market where sellers offer a wide variety of delicious traditional Swahili foods. The streets are filled with the sounds of live music, appreciated by both residents and visitors.
There are plenty of lively bars and restaurants for those who like to eat and drink late into the night. Starehe Club, perched high above the bay, is the perfect place to kick back with a beer and meet some of the friendly locals for a low-key evening. If that’s too laid-back for you, there’s always Garage lub across the street. The zebra-print walls are a dead giveaway.
Air conditioned and blasting afro beats, Zanzibar nightlife begins with listening to reggae and pop music into the wee hours of the morning and dancing to your heart’s content. Many of the younger patrons of Dharma Lounge frequent the venue specifically for the spacious dance floor.
Africa House Hotel
The Africa House Hotel has been a popular site for colonial-era sundowners, and it’s just one of many wonderful establishments in the city. The expansive patio is an excellent place to watch the sun go down. One of the things to do in Zanzibar is to sample the indigenous Shisha and think back on the day’s activities.
Mercury’s and 6 Degrees South
Visit Mercury’s, which serves delicious food and has a terrific happy hour, or 6 Degrees South, where you may dine in the restaurant, relax in the cocktail bar, or enjoy a drink on the deck while gazing out over the ocean.
Take a Zanzibar Spice Tour
Zanzibar is part of an archipelago known as the Spice Islands because of the abundance of nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves grown there and exported around the world.
Take a spice tour to meet the people and get a taste of real Zanzibar. Zanzibar’s spectacular flora and fauna, including its fruit trees and forests, can be enjoyed during a vacation there.