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Zanzibar

Meet the Locals

Our most recommended Zanzibar Meet the Locals

Prison Island: Private Half-Day Tour

1. Prison Island: Private Half-Day Tour

This private guided half day tour can begin any time from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Meet your well-trained guide and boatman as your board your steam-engine wooden boat. Head to the prestigious island and enjoy the 30-minute journey.  Listen to the history of the island and discover the past centuries through the historical buildings, which have served many purposes over the years including a prison, chapel, and hiding place for slaves after the abolition.  Enjoy a swim or snorkel around the colorful coral rocks and turquoise waters. Play with giant tortoises and you may take photographs with these old precious creatures. If you do not have much experience or confidence in the water, you will be provided with a life jacket. 

Stonetown: Food Markets and Street Food Walking Tour

2. Stonetown: Food Markets and Street Food Walking Tour

Take part in a unique 3-hour evening food tour in Stone Town. After hotel pickup, your tour will start at 6:00 PM at Darajani Market, where locals go to buy their fruits and vegetables. Experience the fun hustle and bustle of this busy market and admire the multitude of foods on offer.   Your next stop will be at Swahili House restaurant, the best place to watch the sun go down. As you watch the sky change colors, enjoy some soft drinks or local beers made in Tanzania. Afterwards, explore the streets of the city, which has itself been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hear stories about the city and see where the locals gather to celebrate events, watch football, or just have tea and play some games. Continue walking to Forodhani Garden, which hosts a popular street food market in the evenings. Try out local foods and drinks like Zanzibar Pizza, urojo soup, shawarma, sugarcane juice, spice tea, coffee, and more.   Your tour will end at 8:00 PM, at which point you’ll be taken back to your hotel.

Zanzibar: Stone Town 3-Hour Walking Tour

3. Zanzibar: Stone Town 3-Hour Walking Tour

After a greeting and short briefing, you will be heading to the old fort which is also known as the Arab fort, the house of wonders, and then to Forodhani Gardens, a darajani fruits and spice market, and the Zanzibar ferry terminal. The tour also includes visits to the Freddie Mercury house, Zanzibar Curio Shop, Jaws Corner coffee shop, and more. Visit the Anglican cathedral, also known as the former slave market which was used for centuries as a hub for the East African slave market, whereby slaves were hunted and abducted from Malawi, Congo, Zambia and other parts of east Africa. With your guide you will have enough time for some leisure time to explore the narrow streets alongside the curio shops. The tour will end after 3 hours.

Zanzibar: Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson

4. Zanzibar: Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson

Visit an organic spice farm on this 3-hour guided tour to learn about one of Zanzibar’s most popular industries: spices. Discover how the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and more. See why the Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, is sometimes called the "Spice Islands".   When you arrive, the spice farm guide will describe how the spices are grown and used as medication and flavor in dishes. See spices like vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, and many more. You’ll be able to touch, smell, and taste the spices and herbs directly from plants—you’ve never smelled spices as fresh as these before. Along with these fragrant plants, there will also be some fresh tropical fruits to see and taste.     Later, take the opportunity to join a cassava leaf harvest, make coconut milk, and practice some cooking. Then, a coconut tree climber will pick some fresh young coconut fruits for you to try. End the trip with lunch at the spice farm and the opportunity to purchase spices from the shop.

Zanzibar: Changuu Island and Stone Town Tour with Lunch

5. Zanzibar: Changuu Island and Stone Town Tour with Lunch

The tour begins with a private boat trip to Changuu Island, also known as Prison Island or Turtle Island. The island earned its name after it was purchased in 1893 by the British First Minister of Zanzibar who constructed a prison complex here. Although no prisoners were ever housed on the island, it was eventually used as a quarantine station for yellow fever sufferers, and later became home to more than 50 tortoises who still live there today. On the island, enjoy some free time to explore the beauty of this wild paradise, and get up close to the tortoises that roam freely. Some of the tortoises here are more than 100 years old, and you can even get close enough to feed them and take photos. You can also find peacocks and antelope on the island, then cool off in the crystal clear waters during a snorkel session in search of marine life, colorful fish, and coral reef. After your visit to Changuu Island, head towards one of the most historically prominent and artistic destinations in East Africa, Stone Town. Upon arrival, admire the fascinating architecture of the town, which dates back to the 19th century, and reflects the diverse influences of Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian and European cultures. Learn about how the town earned its UNESCO World Heritage status, and then visit the Old Slave Market and the City Market. Here you can shop for almost anything whilst soaking up the authentic East African atmosphere and meeting the locals. Once you’ve wandered through the market it’s time to visit the Palace Museum, the local House of Wonder, and of course Freddie Mercury’s former home. There’s also time for a trip to the Peace Memorial and the Natural History Museum before ending the tour with a delicious local lunch at a traditional restaurant.

Zanzibar: Jozani Forest National Park and Dolphin Encounter

6. Zanzibar: Jozani Forest National Park and Dolphin Encounter

Begin your experience early, as the morning is the best time to spot dolphins. Start in the Kizimkazi fishing village, which is one of the oldest capitals on Zanzibar Island. While looking out for dolphins, dive in to snorkel among the wonderful coral reef and the variety of colorful fish and marine creatures. If the dolphins are in a good mood, you can witness them goofing around.  As you will be in their natural habitat, there is no guarantee you'll have the chance to swim with the dolphins; your guide will do their best to ensure they are comfortable so you can enjoy their beautiful energy, whether up close or from a distance.  The trip to Zanzibar Jozani Forest national park involves a visit to the high, dense groundwater forest. Home to the red colobus monkey, a rare species only found in Zanzibar, take the opportunity to get up close to the wild animals. Other animals within the park include blue monkeys, elephant shrews, and bushbabies. Proceed then to the mangrove, through which the conservation authority has built a bridge to allow visitors to observe the wildlife without trampling on it.  Next, stop at a local restaurant for a Swahili table buffet lunch. Before heading back to your hotel, make a short stop at the community project, Zanzibar Butterfly Center. Even though the site is not so big, it is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the moment before ending your experience.

Zanzibar: Stone Town & Spice Farm Tour with Lunch

7. Zanzibar: Stone Town & Spice Farm Tour with Lunch

Begin your private tour in Stone Town, a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying Swahili culture, giving a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Start by exploring the Old Slave Market site and Anglican Church, before strolling through the narrow streets towards the City Market. Marvel at the fresh products and fruits and watch how locals buy and sell anything here. Observe the hustle and bustle of the fish auction. After this, take a sightseeing tour of the main buildings in Stone Town including the Palace Museum and the House of Wonder, which is the largest and tallest building in the town, also known as Bait-al-ajab. Continue on to see the Old Fort, Tippu Tip, and of course, the most famous, Freddie Mercury’s House. Also visit the Peace Memorial and Natural History Museum, amongst other attractions.  Next, learn about one of the main industries in the region: spices. Discover how the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, is sometimes called the "Spice Islands". There are many spice farms in Zanzibar and for the next portion of the tour, you will visit a real organic spice farm. When you arrive, the spice farm guide will describe how the spices are grown and used as medication and flavor in dishes. See spices like vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, and many more. It will be possible to touch, smell and taste the spices and herbs directly from plants. Later, take the opportunity to join a cassava leaf harvest, make coconut milk, and practice some cooking. Even more, a coconut tree climber will pick some fresh young coconut fruits for you to try. End the trip with lunch at the spice farm and the opportunity to purchase spices from the shop (cash only).

From Kizimkazi: Nungwi Buggy Tour

8. From Kizimkazi: Nungwi Buggy Tour

Start your day with a convenient hotel pickup before heading to Nungwi. On arrival, have an introductory briefing and receive your bandanas and protective goggles. Then, hop on your 2 seater buggy and let the adventure begin. First, drive through Nungwi's remote areas and discover its non-touristic side. Drive into the jungle and explore the different jungle tracks. Visit some of local houses and learn about different activities and Swahili lifestyles here before heading back.

Nungwi Village Tour with Lunch and Optional Sunset Cruise

9. Nungwi Village Tour with Lunch and Optional Sunset Cruise

Discover Nungwi Village and its natural beauty at the northern end of the Tanzanian island of Unguja, familiarly known as Zanzibar. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the people wth a local guide and learn about what the village is doing for nature conservation. Start the tour with being picked up from your hotel and make your way to your first stop, Mnarani Aquarium. See green and hawksbill sea turtles, sheltered in the tidal lagoon of the Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond. Off the coast, there are coral reefs teeming with colorful fish including Hunga and Leven Bank. Then, take in the beauty of the wide, palm-lined Nungwi Beach. Visit a nearby boat-building yard where traditional dhow boats are built. See how these local boats are made from scratch. For lunch, sit down to a delicious Swahili meal and try local flavors. Choose the sunset cruise option to experience riding in a traditional dhow. End your day tour with sailing out from Kendwa and see the unmissable Zanzibar sunset.

Zanzibar City: Prison Island and Stone Town Walking Tour

10. Zanzibar City: Prison Island and Stone Town Walking Tour

Ride by boat to Prison Island, famous for its population of Aldabra giant tortoises. Experience the turtles up close and spot the local peacocks. Move along to a walking tour of Stone Town and learn the Swahili culture and its important historical role in the slave trade. Begin with a beautiful boat ride to Prison Island, also known as Changuu Island. View the local wildlife and learn of the slave rebellion that occurred in the 1860s. Start the walking tour of Stone Town at Forodhani Park. Explore the area and visit important sites such as the House of Wonder, Old Fort, the house of Freddy Mercury, and end at the Darajani market before returning to the city.

Frequently asked questions about Zanzibar Meet the Locals

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What people are saying about Zanzibar

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 28 reviews

I had the most wonderful experience and I’m so grateful to my guide Zuma. He was prompt in picking me up from the hotel at the agreed time. I got to snorkel and got to see the dolphins. Please note there’s a possibility that dolphins won’t be seen on the day; but my guide and the man who drove the boat communicated well and were resilient in ensuring I saw dolphins. The Jozani reserve tour was great with an attentive guide too. Lunch was delicious and relaxed. I really recommend this. Finally, as a solo female traveller, at no point did I feel unsafe

Driver was late, but then everything was great. The German guide got on the way and then took us through the city. Our wishes were completely taken care of. It was a great trip!

Very friendly guide visit and complete explanations Stone town very exotic and prison island very surprising with its turtles

Fantastic guide Excellent English and local knowledge We all would recommend this tour with this guide !

It was a very cool tour and our wishes were individually addressed.