Zanzibar-The Spice Island
Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast.
Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterized by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town – said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. Zanzibar’s local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and practiced by most Zanzibarians. The Local language is Kiswahili.
Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, little changed in the last 200 years.
It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings.This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors – there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.
Zanzibar Excursions & Tours
Zanzibar Safari Travel operates a number of tours which are geared to the satisfaction of the individual tourists but if these do not meet your expectations, we will then make tailored tours just for you.
Is a full day trip and includes use of top quality snorkeling equipment with guides and instructors, sodas, mineral water and beer, a delicious Zanzibari seafood lunch with grilled fish and slipper lobster, gastronomic fruit tasting, coffee and Amarula liqueur.
Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed dolphins and Humpback dolphins, which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim quite close to the dolphins, which can be a very rewarding experience. We are doing this trip in the afternoon to avoid the crowds of tourists in the morning, which in big numbers disturbing the dolphins. Kizimkazi is also the site of a 12th century mosque, the earliest evidence of Islam in East Africa, and is thus worth a visit for both natural and cultural reasons.
Guaranteed to awaken your senses, we will visit the spice plantations where you will have the opportunity to pick, smell, and savour fruits and spices which you have probably never seen on the supermarket shelf. Commencing at the ruins of Marahubi Palace, via the site of one of Africa’s greatest explorers, Dr Livingston. The journey will take you north of town, towards the Kidichi Persian Baths. From here we will continue to the rural areas where local farmers cultivate some of the world’s most exotic fruits and spices. Cloves, star fruit, tangerine trees, lemon grass, mangosteen, ‘lipstick trees’, to name but a few are what you can expect to see! Perhaps you will fancy buying a basket of spices to take home with you.
A boat ride to the island is a must when visiting Zanzibar. Earning its name as a former prison, nowadays the islands gives you a chance to escape for some peace and quiet! Approximately one kilometre long, and a quarter kilometre wide, the location is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and after a stroll around the island, it is heaven plunging into the crystal-clear sea. Soft drinks, food and basic accommodation are on offer.
STONE TOWN … by vehicle
This three and a half hour tour begins with a visit to Zanzibar’s colourful market, alive with the buzz of locals bartering fresh vegetables and baskets of tropical fruit, amongst the heady aroma of herbs and spices. Having sampled some wild passion fruit, red bananas, mangoes and other exotic fruit, we continue onto the site of a cathedral built in 1874. Signifying a potent time in Zanzibar’s history, it stands on the site of a past slave market. Abolished in 1873 by decree of the Sultan of Zanzibar, the cathedral’s altar stands on the exact site of the whipping post that was in the market. From here we visit the Zanzibar Museum, Tippu Tip’s House, the former British Club, the Old Fort, People’s Garden, House of Wonders and the recently renovated Indian Dispensary. Your tour ends with a stroll through the narrow streets of Stone Town.
Jozani forest is a natural forest located 35km from town; it is the only natural forest in the world where you can find the Red Colobus Monkeys, unique to Zanzibar. In the forest there are also different types of animals like Civit cats, Bush baby, Leopard (very few left), Jumping shrew, Red and Grey squirrels, an Elephant shrew to name just some. At the present time the Red Colobus Monkeys are very friendly and easy to see but the other animals are more difficult to spot. Sensible shoes and a hat are advisable.