Zanzibar City
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Zanzibar City Culture & History

Zanzibar: Quad Bike Tour and Visit to Local Village

1. Zanzibar: Quad Bike Tour and Visit to Local Village

Meet your guide at the meeting point, then you drive along the main road going to Pwani Majangani, for about 4 km. The tour usually stops for a few minutes in a local shop where you can buy some food to offer as a present to the village (flour, rise, biscuits for the kids). Clients are encouraged to support the local community. After this small pit stop, you leave the tarmac road to ride the quad off-road through the rice fields, where your guide stops for about 15 minutes to explain the economy, culture, and habits of the villages in the middle part of the island. After this explanation, the excursion goes ahead through the environment of the island to arrive at the local village. At the village, you stop for about 1 hour. Travellers will have the opportunity to stay with the children, play with them, and be in contact with the community of the village. After this first contact, your guide will offer guests local fresh fruits (Madafu, seasonal fresh fruit). The excursion will then proceed to the House of Mad, a typical home in the rural village, as your guide discusses the life and culture of the Zanzibarian people. Before getting back on the quad, guests will visit plantations of cinnamon, cloves, lemon grass, and other varieties, which are cultivated by the people of the village. You finally leave the village riding to Pwani Majangani to reach the fishermen's village. At the village, you will stop for a few minutes to explain the difference between the rural village and the community based on the coast of the Island. Following the sand road, passing through the fishermen's houses, you arrive in Waikiki Resort, where you will stop for about 15 minutes. At Waikiki, you can enjoy Focaccia (typical Italian white pizza). You will be able to rest at the beach, relaxing, and taking a bath in the ocean, before hopping back on the quad and ending the excursion by coming back to the main quarter. You will be dropped off back at your hotel.

Zanzibar: Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson

2. 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: Prison Island Tour with Lunch on the Sandbank

3. Zanzibar: Prison Island Tour with Lunch on the Sandbank

Your Zanzibar adventure begins with a visit to Prison Island, purchased in 1893 by Lloyd Mathews, the British First Minister of Zanzibar at the time. Mathews constructed a prison complex on the island which is still visible today, however no prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever sufferers. On the island, spend some time exploring the area and discover the collection of over 50 tortoises that live here, some of which are more than 100 years old. Learn about why the tortoises call the island their home, as well as taking photos and feeding them too. The island is also home to peacocks and small antelope too. Once you’ve explored the island, enjoy the opportunity to cool off from the hot weather with a refreshing dip in the surrounding crystal clear waters. Spend some time snorkeling in the water just off the island and search for colorful tropical fish and vibrant coral reef. After you’ve worked up an appetite from swimming, relax on the sandbank with a delicious lunch including a seafood BBQ, Swahili cuisine, cheese, tropical fruit, and more.

Zanzibar: Jozani Forest National Park and Dolphin Encounter

4. 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.

Stonetown: Food Markets and Street Food Walking Tour

5. 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.

Stone Town: Stone Town and Prison Island Private Day Trip

6. Stone Town: Stone Town and Prison Island Private Day Trip

See the National Museum of Zanzibar (rebuilt in 1883) and the Arab fort while passing along bazaar streets towards the famous Freddie Mercury house. See the old slave market, fruit market, and spice market — don’t miss the classic Zanzibar curved doors decorating the stone town.  After you have explored Stone Town, you’ll have an opportunity to take a short break before heading to Prison Island. Prison Island is also known as Changuu Island, the nickname came from the island being used by some sultans of Zanzibar to detain enslaved people. While you are on this island, you can swim and take pictures with giant tortoises. 

Zanzibar: Stone Town Night Tour with Live Performance

7. Zanzibar: Stone Town Night Tour with Live Performance

Discover the night life of Stone Town with this private tour. Visit a popular night market, Forodhani Gardens to pair some delicious street food with a cold beer or a soft drink of your choice.  Travel to a venue that is only known to locals where you can tap your foot to some real African music. Follow your guide as you learn more about Zanzibar through its food and music. 

From Stone Town: Private Tour to Prison Island

8. From Stone Town: Private Tour to Prison Island

Visit Prison Island on a private 3-hour tour, and discover the rich history and beautiful natural surroundings of this location. Meet your guide in Zanzibar, or select the option including hotel pickup, then enjoy the ride to the island on a traditional dhow. Learn how this small island gained its name and explore the place that is now home to more than 50 tortoises, some over 100 years old.   Feed the tortoises and take up-close pictures with them, as you keep a look out for the peacocks and antelope that also live there. After discovering the island and its history, take the opportunity to snorkel in the clear waters off the coast amongst tropical fish and colorful coral. At the end of your tour, return to Zanzibar, where you’ll be dropped off in the city center, or at your hotel.

From Stone Town: Spice Tour of Zanzibar

9. From Stone Town: Spice Tour of Zanzibar

On this 2.5-hour guided tour, immerse yourself in the heady world of the spices of Zanzibar. This tour will clarify for you why Zanzibar is called “spice island”: on this small plantation you’ll see where spices grow, among them cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, Zanzibar’s cardomoms, cinnamon, curry, menthol, pepper, tamarind, and ginger. You’ll also see tropical fruits such as papayas, mangoes, and jackfruit.   You’ll also learn the origins of spice plants and herbs, as well as some uses they are put to. For example, the neem tree leaves were used locally as a traditional cure for malaria and indigestion, while the iodine tree is still used to fight infections in wounds. The tour ends with a visit to the spice shop on the farm, where you can buy fresh spices to use in your cooking at home.

Stonetown Historical Walking Tour & Traditional Lunch

10. Stonetown Historical Walking Tour & Traditional Lunch

The tour will start in one of the most important parts of the old slave market site, the Anglican Church, then continue through the narrow streets. The next stop will be at city market. Here you can see the biggest market of all the islands. Locals buy and sell all sorts of products here, including the freshest fruits and fish auctions where locals bid on sea food. Afterward the tour will cover the main sights of Stown Town, such as the Palace Museum, House of Wonder, which is the largest and tallest building in Stown Town and also known as the Bait-al-ajab. Visit an old fort, the Tippu Tip and of course the most famous spot, Freddie’s Mercury’s house. Visit the Peace Memorial, Natural History Museum and many more. Your tour will end with local lunch in a cozy restaurant.

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What people are saying about Zanzibar City

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 47 reviews

Prison Island ist leider aufgrund des vielen Mülls und der schlechten Haltung der jungen Schildkröten sehr enttäuschend. Mehr ist auch fast nicht zu erkunden. Stone Town ist auf jeden Fall eine Erkundung wert, fast schon zwangsweise mit Guide, da man sich sonst nicht zurecht findet. Wenn man dann noch so ein netten Guide hat wie Muhammed, macht es darauf eine Tour die sich gelohnt hat.

A highly recommendable tour. The bay near Stone Town is incredibly beautiful, the sand bank is amazing, Prison Island also fascinating. We got to see lots of animals (starfish en masse of varying colors!, dikdiks, innumerable giant turtles, peacocks...), the tent thingy they put up at the sandbank was really perfect, the boat transfer top. The guide kind and helpful.

Swimming with the turtles was quite nice. Afterwards we visited a small zoo which was 5 steps away. (Admission not included) The village through which we drove afterwards was totally interesting. where you could also go shopping. Here, too, I have to praise the organizers and guides. well done

Wonderful tour to explore the city! Great for a solo traveler wanting to see the city safely

Our guide Jamal was very nice, a very nice little excursion on Prison Island