Zanzibar Archipelago
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Zanzibar Archipelago 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. 

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Zanzibar: Quad Bike Tour and Visit to Local Village

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

You will be picked up from your hotel. Starting from Kiwengwa (Kairo), 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.

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Zanzibar: Jozani Forest National Park and Dolphin Encounter

3. 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.

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Zanzibar: Changuu Island and Stone Town Tour with Lunch

4. 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.

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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 5:00 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.

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Dar es Salaam: City Tour

6. Dar es Salaam: City Tour

This tour of Dar es Salaam will take you to the National Museum, Village Museum, Mwenge Carvings Market, Tingatinga art Gallery, Slipway Shopping Centre, The Fish Market, City Centre, Historical Building, and many other sites. The name Dar es Salaam means "the house of peace" and is an exciting mix of sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment. The largest city in Tanzania reflects a fascinating blend of its rich historical past and its sophisticated contemporary present.  Learn about interesting facts of the city as well as some incredible historical sights that are all part of the adventure of the full-day tour.

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Zanzibar: Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson

7. 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.

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Zanzibar: Stone Town & Spice Farm Tour with Lunch

8. 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).

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Zanzibar City: Prison Island and Stone Town Walking Tour

9. 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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Zanzibar Archipelago

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What people are saying about Zanzibar Archipelago

The whole tour was a wonderful experience. Our driver drove quickly and safely from north to south. At first we could swim dolphins. We met a large group of at least 50 dolphins and could hardly believe our luck. Then we went to Jozzani Park. The colubus monkeys and the beauty of the park were impressive. We went on to lunch, which we could choose beforehand. The location and location had been selected to be excellent. With pool and loungers to linger. We went on to the butterfly farm. Unfortunately there weren't many butterflies at the time, but there were also cameleons to marvel at. All in all, a super nice excursion, which we would happily recommend.

Our guide was Ahmad. Such a lovely person. Extremely friendly, helpful and totally committed. Ahmad explained everything. We learned a lot from him about the markets, Stone Town and the food. Just the visit to Mr. Mango - just great. The stands that Ahmad took us to were great. The food is really delicious. All in all - top class! Ahmad made 2 friends from Germany. If we should come back, we'll be happy to book again - with Ahmad of course!

I went here with my partner, our guide was Mohammad. He knew a lot about the islands and Zanzibar. The tortoises did not disappoint, there are many different ages and sizes. We fed the oldest tortoise who is 196 years old!

We had a great time, we visited local villages, learned about spices and ate a piece of pizza by the ocean all on a quad bike. Just wonderful ! The guides were brilliant listening to us and very welcoming! I recommend !!

The turtles are superb and there are quite a few starfish at the snorkeling spot. Perfect for half a day