Zanzibar and what to do there
It is composed of the Tanzanian Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers off the coast of the mainland and consists of many small islands and 2 big ones, Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic center is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site stated by UNESCO.
It is famous for its beauty and historical richness:
You can visit the colonial palaces (palace of wonders, Arab fort), the various and lively bazaars with typical products, the historic fish market and the Freddy Mercury house museum.
The population of Zanzibar is mainly Muslim, but also Christian and Hindu. The locals live on fishing and agriculture. Zanzibaris are very welcoming and live like their motto ‘Hakuna Matata’ which means no worries.
The language is Swahili, but English is also spoken on the island.
The white sandy beaches and the crystal blue sea make it one of the most pristine paradises in the world. The most famous beaches are in Kiwengwa (home of Breeze), Nungwi and Paje. They are all suitable for diving, snorkeling and kite surfing, but also for walks and relaxation. You will find bars and restaurants on the more touristic beaches.
Moving around the island is simple and safe: by taxi or like the locals do it, by daladala.
Zanzibar is full of different places to see and excursions to do. Here are some of the highlights;
-Memba Snorkling, the famous island partly owned by Bill Gates. We are not allowed on the island as it is a private property, but we can still enjoy its spectacular turquoise waters. A short boat trip will bring us to this fascinating place where we will discover the corals and wildlife of Mnemba island. Mnemba is in the top 10 ranking of the best snorkeling places in the world!
-Stone Town, follow the trail of the Sultans, slaves and explorers in the winding streets of Stone Town. Your guide will captivate you, retelling the events that shaped Zanzibar, leading you through the buildings where it all happened, like the former Slave Market and Anglican Cathedral, the House of Wonders and the Sultans’ Palace Museum, the Freddie Mercury House, the Old Arab Fort and Dispensary and many more. Explore the spice markets, seafood and fish piled in the fish market, fresh loaves of bread in wicker baskets and the neat stacks of fruit and vegetables as traders sell their wares from their stalls.
-Spice tour, walk through the spice farm with your guide. Touch, smell and taste diﬀerent spices and tropical fruits. Try to guess which is which, from the crushed leaves, the fruit, roots and vines. Learn about their properties, their origins and their uses as medicines and in food and drinks. In the past days Zanzibar was known as a spice island, exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. Nowadays, the plantations are a tribute to the island’s past and although not a main industry anymore, they are a fascinating tourist attraction.
-Prison Island, gets its name from the prison built to condemn Zanzibari citizens to the isolation of the island. Previously owned by an Arab to house his rebellious slaves, the prison was never actually used, and the island is now home to a tortoise sanctuary and a hotel. Prison Island is 20 minutes away from Stone Town by boat and has spectacular coral reefs for you to enjoy. Giant tortoises shuﬄe through the trees, with the infinite patience that old age brings. Originally thought to be from the Comoros Islands and Seychelles, some of these tortoises are thought to be over 100 years old.
-Jozani forest, located in the south of the island, Jozani Forest is a wonder and a delight with tales of Zanzibar leopards, medicinal cures and stunning scenery. Currently under consideration to become Zanzibar´s second World Heritage Site, the Jozani-Chwaka bay area is a hotspot of biodiversity. The forest is home to a number of endemic species, including the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey.
-Dolphin Adventure, on Zanzibar´s south coast, Kizimkazi, is home to large numbers of bottle-nosed and spinner dolphins. Board a traditional ocean-going dhow and spend a pleasant two hours scouting for dolphins. Sleek and grey, the dolphins jack-knife through the water, sometimes showing oﬀ with jumps and twists. In the past, some tourists were lucky enough to swim and snorkel with these magical animals. However, the dolphins are wild, and can be shy and elusive. Although visitors see dolphins on the majority of outings, there are no guarantees. Whether you´re fortunate enough to see dolphins or not, this trip is a great day out. It’s an early morning boat trip.
-Blue Safari, an unforgettable day. Hop on a traditional Arab dhow. Sailing across cobalt blue waters and stopping on a sand bank to have a rest, you are served tropical fruits and you can go snorkeling around the sandbank. After an hour or so, we sail to the Island of Kwale. This is a beautiful romantic small island. Here, we serve a seafood lobster lunch and later, we walk to a big Baobab tree that is hundreds of years old, and you need at least 10 people hand in hand to circle the tree. After this spectacular visit we sail by dhow to the blue lagoon. You will see why they call it “blue lagoon”. The return is by sailboat, weather permitting.
-Nakupenda Sandbank, this full day excursion to Nakupenda Sandbank is an excursion you will definitely love. Nakupenda means “I love you” in Swahili, the local language of Tanzania. The moment you see and have your first footstep on this sandbank you will love this little island in the middle of the ocean. Discover the beautiful underwater world around this sandbank with snorkeling and greet all the little colorful fishes and other sea life. The coral is amazing and you will enjoy your time under water. For lunch you will be spoilt with a delicious seafood BBQ.
-Quad Adventure, this half day trip is something you should definitely do while staying with us. They let you explore east coast of the island by quad, showing you the local village, rice plantation farms, sugar cane plantation farms and cruise along the most pristine sceneries. If you are not a big fan of the more touristic excursions mentioned above, then this is the perfect excursion for you!
And if all of that wasn’t enough, you can always inquire about doing a safari in the mainland of Tanzania.
All tours and excursion can be organized by Breeze Residence on request.
But Zanzibar is way more than that. Zanzibar is welcoming, sincere smiles of the people, laughing children, women with colorful clothes, Masai dancing, breathtaking sunsets, good food and culture.
Being able to walk in the sea at low tide is a wonderful experience where you get to see the colorful starfish, crabs and seaweed plantation in the shallow waters.