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Things to do in Zanzibar City

Our most recommended things to do in Zanzibar City

From Zanzibar: Best day Safari to unique Selous with Flights

1. From Zanzibar: Best day Safari to unique Selous with Flights

Explore the impressive Tanzanian nature and wildlife while joining us for a day safari to Selous/Nyerere National Park. Fly early morning from Zanzibar to Selous/Nyerere National Park, the largest protected game reserve on the African continent. Enjoy a full day game drive and a bush lunch during the break-time. Fly back to Zanzibar late afternoon. You will be picked up early in the morning at the hotel you are staying for a transfer to the airport. At around 06.30/07.30 your flight will depart from Zanzibar to Selous Game Reserve/Nyerere National Park, where you will arrive at 07.00/08.00. At 07.00/08.30 in the morning your shared safari game drive will start in the largest Game Reserve of the African Continent, with a mid-morning coffee/tea break at 10.30. During the game drive you will explore the wildlife and environment of Tanzania. Our driver guides have a lot of experience about the area and the wildlife and love to tell you everything about it. Experience an authentic safari bush lunch in the middle of the National Park! At 12.30 a warm lunch will be served at set tables in the bush. After lunch you will continue with the game drive till 15.30, when you will be driven back to the airstrip for your flight back to Zanzibar. Your flight will depart at 16.15 from the airstrip of Selous Game Reserve/ Nyerere National Park back to Zanzibar, where you will arrive at 17.05 and will be picked up and brought back to your hotel.

Zanzibar: Quad Bike Tour and Visit to Local Village

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

Meet your guide then drive along the main road going to Pwani Majangani, for about 4 km. The tour usually stops for a few minutes at a local shop where you can buy some food to offer as a present to the village (flour, rice, and 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, where you'll stop for about 1 hour. Travelers 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). Next, head 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, 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 to the beach where you will stop for few minutes. You will be dropped off back at your hotel.

Zanzibar: Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson

3. 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: North Coast and Turtle Sanctuary Tour

4. Zanzibar: North Coast and Turtle Sanctuary Tour

The most popular beaches of Zanzibar are in Nungwi. This is mostly because the tides do not have such a huge impact on the beach. But, did you know that Nungwi is also the capital of local dhow manufacturing? Find out all about how these impressive sailing vessels are made and get the chance to see local craftsmen in action. Later, enjoy lunch including one complimentary drink at a local restaurant. After that, experience a real turtle sanctuary. Here, turtles are treated and healed of any illnesses before being released to the ocean. Get the chance to swim with these incredible animals and feed them.  All fees paid here contribute towards turtle welfare and the education of tourists on their impact on the local environment.

Zanzibar: Prison Island Tour with Lunch on the Sandbank

5. 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: Stone Town & Spice Farm Tour with Lunch

6. 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).

Zanzibar: Changuu Island and Stone Town Tour with Lunch

7. 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.

Zanzibar: Jozani Forest National Park and Dolphin Encounter

8. 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 Matemwe 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

9. 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.

From Stone Town: Private Tour to Prison Island

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Zanzibar City

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 518 reviews

A unique, impressive tour that goes straight through the spice heaven. You can see almost everything that is used in the kitchen here and learn how and where it grows. Cooking the cassava leaves the traditional way was a lot of fun and the food was delicious.

We've traveled the world a bit, but we've rarely seen anything so beautiful. You don't actually need snorkeling equipment, but if you want to experience the turtle swarming under water, you should bring your own gear. Seemed tastier to me.

We can only recommend! Super friendly guide who really takes care of everything. The lodge was really very comfortable, the tents super clean and equipped with a shower and toilet. Outstanding food at the lodge! We will be back

It is definitely worth it. Great guide, perfect organization Thank you

Mnemba is one of the best spot for snorkeling. Very clear water.