Top 13 Things to do in Zanzibar

Some of our favorite things to do in Zanzibar!  In no particular order — they are all great!  Start with our 4-Day Best of Zanzibar Trip >>

1) Scuba/Snorkeling

Scuba Diving in Zanzibar

Scuba Diving in Zanzibar

Arguably the best diving is around Mnemba Island off the northeast coast of  Zanzibar.  However, there is also great diving from Stone Town, including some wreck diving.  If your hotel does not have a dive center, there is certainly one nearby!

The snorkeling at these dive sites is also amazing.  Also popular is snorkeling with wild dolphins on the southwest region on the island.

2) Forodhani Park nighttime street market

Forodhani Park nighttime street market

Forodhani Park nighttime street market

This is a fun food market on the water’s edge in Stone Town, an easy walk from any downtown hotel.

It is lively and popular even with locals.  Even if you don’t eat dinner here, it is worth the walk around for the ambiance.

3) Wildlife

Red Colobus Monkeys at Jozani Forest Zanzibar

Red Colobus Monkeys at Jozani Forest Zanzibar

There is some unique wildlife to see on Zanzibar!  The Jozani National Park is the most famous with the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys.  Cheetah’s Rock is a non-profit with a up close experience, but quite pricey.

If you are staying nearby, you can also visit the Zanzibar Butterfly Center, Zanzibar Land Animal (ZALA) Park, and Nungwi Natural Museum.

4) Visit a Spa

Many hotels on the island will offer spa services.  If your does not, check out some of the other great spas in Stone Town like the Mrembo Spa, Cinnamon Spa, or te Spa at the Park Hyatt.

5) Rooftop Dining

Beautiful sun sets on Zanzibar Island

Beautiful sunsets on Zanzibar Island

Many hotels in Stone Town will have a rooftop for a a great sunset view.

The most popular rooftop restaurants for dinner are the Emerson on Hurumzi (make reservations), Tausi Palace, and Maru Maru.

6) Festivals

Schedule your trip to Zanzibar around one of these great festivals:

  • Zanzibar Music Festival (Feb)
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival ZIFF (late June/early July)
  • Zanzibar Jahazi Festival for writers/artists/musicians (late Aug/early Sep)

7) Chumbe Island Coral Park

This is a separate island off the coast near Stone Town.  It is a private nature reserve with a protected coral reef and forest with rare animal breeds and nature trails, including the rare coconut crabs.  You can just do a day tour here, but we recommend at least 2 nights.

8) The Rock Restaurant

The Rock Restaurant

The Rock Restaurant

This is an amazing restaurant built on a rock off the beach in southeast Zanzibar.  They are open for lunch and dinner, serving a great selection of seafood.

You walk to the restaurant at low tide, and take a boat at high tide.  Another amazing location for sunset!

9) Spice Tour

Spice Tour Zanzibar

Spice Tour Zanzibar

This is a must-do for anyone visiting Zanzibar.  The farms are located just northeast of Stone Town.

You go on a walking tour of the farm to see all the spices that are grown, then see a coconut harvesting in action, and finally enjoy local exotic fruits.

10) Stone Town Tour

Stone Town Tour

Stone Town Tour

This tour is a great opportunity to learn about the culture and history of Stone Town.

You will learn about Arab trade influences, religious history, see the slave chambers, and it is a great way to become acquainted with the windy alleys of Stone Town

11) Full Moon Party in Kendwa

This is a fun gathering organized around the full moon every month, typically on a Saturday at the Kendwa Rocks hotel on the northeast coast of Zanzibar.  They have a BBQ grill, acrobats, and live music.

12) Kite Surfing

If you are looking for a new sport, this is mostly offered on the east and southeast coast of the island (Paje perhaps being the hub).

13) Dhow Sunset Cruise

A fun way to spend the late afternoon as the sun sets.  Some hotels will offer this, but it is fairly easy to find tours in Stone Town.

Start with our 4-Day Best of Zanzibar Trip >>

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