Zanzibar Island is a great addition to your Kilimanjaro trek or Tanzania safari! It has beautiful white sandy beaches, fascinating culture, wildlife, and marine life. You can fly there from the Kilimanjaro Airport, Arusha, the Serengeti, or Dar es Salaam.
It is best to spend at least 4 days on Zanzibar, but you can easily spend a week and not see everything. Most people will spend a few nights at a beach hotel, and then the last night or two in Stone Town. The most popular activities include
- Relaxing at the Beach
- Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
- Spice Tour
- Stone Town Tour
- Jozani Forest
- Swimming with Dolphins
Just about the entire island is ringed by beautiful beaches. The tides are very significant here, so in some places, you can walk way out at low tide, and then the beach may disappear altogether at high tide. Some areas have rocks or sea urchins, so beach shoes are recommended.
2) Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
One of the most popular places for snorkeling and scuba diving is Mnemba Island on the northeast side of the island. There are also diving areas on the southeast side and out of Stone Town on the west side. There are scuba diving shops all around the island, and your hotel can help book snorkeling and scuba diving.
3) Spice Tour
Zanzibar is known as the “spice island”. The Spice Tour will take you to a local spice farm where they show you the local spices and tropical fruits that they grow on the island. If you are staying on the northern end of the island, you can do this tour en route to your hotel. It is not very convenient from the southern end of the island, but this can be done from Stone Town.
4) Stone Town
This is the main center on the island. It has narrow, windy streets with a strong Arab influence. It is best to get a guided Stone Town walking tour as it is very easy to get turned around. Every evening, there is a night market, which is definitely worth a visit. Stone Town is a great place to do your last-minute shopping before you head home.
5) Jozani Forest
On the Jozani Forest Tour, you can see the Red Colobus Monkey, which is endemic on Zanzibar. You will also hike through the rainforest, and visit mangroves. It is located in the southern area of the island. If you are staying at the hotel on the southern end, you can do this tour en route to your hotel. You can combine this tour with swimming with dolphins for a full day of activities.
Off the Beaten Path
A few places to visit if you have more time is Chumbe Island and the Rock Restaurant.
Chumbe Island is a marine reserve off the coast just west of Stone Town. They are famous for the rare coconut crabs, and it offers absolutely amazing snorkeling and scuba diving. You will want to spend at least 2 nights here.
The Rock Restaurant is on the southeast side of the island. At low tide, you walk there, and at high tide, you take a boat. A great spot for sunset and dinner!
Where To Stay
There are so many amazing hotels to choose from! In Stone Town, there hotels with rooftop swimming pools or restaurants, spas, or historic tea houses.
At the beach, there are hotels in a larger village with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. Or beach hotels that are very quiet and “away from it all”. Some areas cater to scuba divers and others to kite surfers.
We can book mid-range accommodations to luxury to uber-luxury. We will find the right fit for your interests and budget.