Activities in Zanzibar Island
Activities in Zanzibar Island are the engagements that tourists can engage in when they visit the island to spice up their safaris. Most of the activities conducted in Zanzibar Island are water-based in the Indian ocean.
Activities in Zanzibar island include Scuba diving, Kayaking, Canoeing, Snorkeling tour, Fishing, Spice tour, Stone town tour, Jozani forest tour, Prison Island tour, Sandbanks tours and Meddling in the tour.
It is a five hours tour conducted mainly at Mnemba atoll, Nungwi, and Paje where you will have a chance to see a different kind of fish such as lionfish, moray eels and stingrays in water with high visibility in clear water. On this tour, you will also have opportunities to see barracuda, yellow snappers and turtles.
It is a four-hour food and culture tour with Swahili lunch in a local farming village which begins at 09:00 AM where you meet with your local guide at the stone town hotel and travel by an air-conditioned Mini-van to a rural farming village. At the spice farm, you will learn how to prepare traditional foods especially Cassava leaf sauce, taste fresh spices, and seasonal fruits. You will see how particular fruits are cultivated and processed till the formation of the sauce, engage in planting, processing and cooking the traditional food in the farm’s outdoor kitchen.
During the spice tour, you will engage in enjoying the traditional foods with different spices such as rice with vegetables and cassava leaf sauce also with fresh fruits.
When in Zanzibar during spice tour you can also learn the story of Zanzibar in relationship to spices. You can learn different farming methods and engage in farming practices where you discover different spices offered in Zanzibar.
Things included in the tour price are local guides, transport by an air-conditioned minivan, cooking lesson and lunch.
Stone Town Tour
Stone town is located in the western part of Unguja and it is also known as Old fort (Mji Mkongwe) means the old part of Zanzibar, it is a cultural heritage site built by Arabs during slave trade where Zanzibar was the main slave market after being sold from Bagamoyo in Tanzania and being transported to Zanzibar through the Indian ocean. It is the main city in Zanzibar.
Things to do when in Stone town tour
- Visit the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) – The historic building in Zanzibar built by Oman Arabs when they seized the island from the Portuguese in 1968, where it had various uses over the centuries. At first, it was used as a prison and execution point, then tennis club, the scale of the fortifications. It is located on the main seafront facing the Forodhan gardens and next to another landmark building of the city known as the house of wonders (former place of the sultan of Zanzibar).
- Visit slave monument
- Visiting St. Joseph’s Catholic cathedral – Is the Historical building located in the Baghani area of stone town in Zanzibar. It was built by French missionaries between 1893 and 1898. All materials used in constructing the cathedral are from France and it is in regular use by Stone town’s communities for mass purposes during Sundays and weekdays.
- Night market visit
- Visiting Darajani bazaar (stone town hub)
- Visit the Old dispensary for colonial times – Is the historical building in Stone town built during the colonial times and it is located on the seafront in the Mizingani Road between the harbor and the palace museum. It served as a dispensary in the first half of the 20th century. It is also a symbol of the multicultural architecture and heritage of the city due to the building materials used such as the wooden balconies with stained glass decorations which are Indian influence. It also built using the Zanzibar coral and limestone from the Indian ocean, covered by adornments of European neo-classical taste.
- Visiting and refreshing at the Forodhan Gardens
- Visit the Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church which was built in the 1870s on the site of the former slave market after slavery being abolished officially. Inside the cathedral, there is an altar which marks the spot of the whipping tree where slaves were lashed. It is a moving site remembered by a white marble circle surrounded by red which symbolizes the slave’s blood. On the grounds outside the cathedral is the moving slave memorial representing the five slaves standing in a pit below ground level. The features emerge from the rough rock which appears hopelessly trapped, shoulders slumped in despair. Around their necks have metal collar from which a chain binds them. At the entrance, there is an East Africa Slave Trade Exhibit and the former slave chambers where slaves were imprisoned before being sold.
- Changuu Island – It is also known as a prison Island which can easily be reached through bay islets and has attractions such as the giant tortoise Aldabran which lives and breeds on the Island. You can refresh after an excursion and have snorkeling over the coral, white sand beach with drinks from the restaurant near the beach
- Hamamni Persian Baths – Built by sultan Said Barghash in the late 19th century, it is located in the historical building of stone town in Zanzibar. They were built between 1870 and 1888 to be used as public baths.
- Giant tortoise – is one of the species who are continuously threatened by extinction. It is found in a small plot on Changuu Island which is located 5km from stone town. Giant tortoise is among the largest species in the world. The oldest tortoise is estimated to have 192 years old.
Zanzibar is considered to have superb fishing almost all year round. The water between Zanzibar and Pemba are home to excellent fishing due to warm Indian ocean water. Fishing in Zanzibar can be done using local fishing methods. Some of the information used to tell are rainbow runners, bonito, kingfish, barracuda, dorado and sailfish especially to local fishing close to shore along the west, north and east coast of Zanzibar.
Fishing in Zanzibar is normally done at Nungwi and Mnemba Islands.
Fishing season: In Zanzibar, the fishing season is August and October depending and the type of fish you are targeting. Below is the fishing schedule in Zanzibar:
- The striped Marrlin – These kinds of fish migrate through the corridor between Mainland and Zanzibar. It mostly spends its time on air than in water after it is hooked.
- The blue Marlin – August to October are the best months to fish this kind of fish.
- The sailfish and the broadbill fish are normally fished in January till December.
- The Tuna are normally fished in August to October together with the black Marlin and the short bill spearfish.
When visiting Zanzibar, it will be your best time to learn the behaviors of these fish and get time to engage in fishing activities with local people using different means of fishing especially the local ones which will leave you with a better experience.
Jozani Forest Tour
Jozani forest is famous due to its endemic species, the red colobus. It was established for the purpose of protecting this species from loss. These red colobuses were placed on the list of endangered animals. Communities who lived around Jozani forest used to kill the red colobus secretly which lead to the loss of this species. Since they were not benefiting from them and they recognize that tourists pay money to the government in order to visit the park and no amount which is given to them.
Communities are now given the opportunity to sale their local products and others being local guides hence improve their living standards. The presence of red colobus in this forest attracts many tourists to visit the area.
Various activities can be done in Jozani forests such as learning about different species of plants such as mangrove, birds, insects such as butterflies, animals such as the monkey species of red colobus, bushbaby, and hiking using the natural trails.
Prison Island Tour
It takes about three hours, due to its small area where various activities such as snorkeling alongside tropical fish and hiking on the trails, sunbathing on the white sandy beach can be done. In arriving at the Island, you take a short boat ride of about 3.5 miles from Zanzibar stone town and 20 minutes ride from northwest of stone town.
It is known as a prison island due to the prison mosque built by the British during the 1800s, but it is not used as a prison now, but instead home to tortoise sanctuary.
Sandbank tour is done at Nakupenda beach. It is 15 minutes ride from stone town and it is a full-day tour.
Zanzibar offers a wide range of islands favorable for adventure tourism where various activities can be carried out and some of the various island to explore on your Tanzania-Zanzibar tour include:
Changuu Island: It is also known as a prison Island which can easily be reached through bay islets and has attractions such as the giant tortoise Aldabran which lives and breed on the Island. You can refresh after an excursion and have snorkeling over the coral, white sand beach with drinks from the restaurant near the beach.
Misali Island: This Island is found in Pemba Island where a large population of pirates use it as the safe hiding place for their bounty.
Mnemba Island: The Island is very popular for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, and fly-fishing. It is also an unspoiled tropical atoll.
Chumbe Island: It is a marine park Island and a unique travel destination located 8km southwest of Zanzibar town, where tourists have a chance to explore the chumbe forest reserve with unique flora and fauna, an abundance of birds, crabs, reptiles and a rare natural coconut crab. The Island also gives tourists the chance to climb the white house built in 1904 and enjoy the nice breeze of Zanzibar Island.
You are Welcome to the spice island of Zanzibar where you can have different tastes for beaches, lodges, hotels, flora and fauna.