Zanzibar

About Zanzibar

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, and 6° south of the equator.

Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterized by beautiful sandy pristine coastline with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town with its winding cobbled streets and Omani style architecture said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.

SULTAN PANORAMA TOUR

An informative and action packed day, this tour gives a taste of every-thing found in all other Zanzibar excursions and is strongly recommend-d as a FIRST excursion.The Sultan Panorama Tours is ideal for visitors with little time who want to experience a bit of everything Zanzibar has to offer. It’s a full day excursion, starting in Stone Town, covering the history of the sultans, slave trade and invasions that shaped Zanzibar’s history. Your guide will give you a broad overview of the island’s history and current affairs and you’ll pass by many historic sites and visit the Slave Market. A stop at the vibrant Darajani Market helps you to experience city life, with all the hustle and bustle, smells and noise. You’ll be driven to a spice farm, and given the opportunity to taste seasonal spices and fruits as your guide describes their properties and uses. Throughout the tour, you can sample local delicacies and local staple foods. Your next stop is at a local village for a slice of Zanzibari culture and life. Cooking, weaving, building houses and playing with the children, you’ll have the chance to see what life is like for Zanzibaris. You’ll finish the excursion with a comprehensive view of Zanzibari life and you’ll be able to plan future excursion based on what you enjoyed the most, choosing the most relevant tour from our standard excursions.

ZANZIBAR STONE TOWN TOUR

Follow the trail of the sultans, slaves and explorers in the winding streets of Stone Town. Your guide will tell you about the events that shaped Zanzibar, leading you through the buildings where it all happened, such as the former Slave Market and Anglican Cathedral, the House of Wonders and the Sultans’ Palace Museum, the Old Arab Fort and Dispensary. While tracing the steps of the past, the walking tour provides you with a window into modern life in Stone Town. Explore the markets, seafood and .sh piled in the .sh market, fresh loaves of bread in wicker baskets and the neat stacks of fruit and vegetables as traders sell their wares from their stalls. Children play in the streets in the residential areas, mamas sit out and gossip while the men play board games. An optional stop at The Zanzibar Coffee House provides a rest from the heat and hustle and bustle. A selection of drinks, local sweets & seasonal fruits acts as the perfect pick me up, for you to continue your tour. The City Tour is very flexible and can be adapted suit your interest and time frame if you’re a shopaholic, culture vulture or history. If you want to hunt for antiques and souvenir shop, follow David Livingstone’s time in Zanzibar and walk the path of the slave trade, your guide can recommend and develop routes and itineraries that will optimise your time and get the most out of your trip.

SPICE TOUR

In days past, Zanzibar was known as a spice island, exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. The spices were brought over from Asia and South America and flourished in the tropical climes. Nowadays the plantations are a tribute to the island’s past, swapping spices for tourism, combining both in a spice tour, one of the most popular excursions on the island. 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, shoots and vines and creepers crawling up the trees. Learn about their properties, their origins and their use as medicines and in food and drink. A visit to a spice farm village gives you an insight into local life and the opportunity to try some Swahili dishes, taste the fruits in season and try some spiced tea. An optional lunch is avail-able at Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge, a special menu, prepared with the best of the seasonal fruit and spices introduced to you during the tour. Depending on the season you are visiting, you can .nd anything from vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nut- meg, turmeric, lemon grass, cloves, ylang ylang, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, allspice, tamarind, chilli, oregano and more! Fruits can include banana, pineapple, jackfruit, custard fruit, oranges, star fruit, tangerine, passion fruit, mango, avocado, pear, papaya, grapefruit and many others.

PRISON ISLAND TOUR

Prison Island gets its name from the prison built to condemn Zanzibari citizens to the isolation of the island, looking out at the coast. Previously owned by an Arab to house his rebellious slaves, the prison was never used, and the island is now home to a tortoise sanctuary, prison ruins and hotel. Prison Island is 20 minutes away from Stone Town by boat and has spectacular coral reefs to enjoy while snorkelling. Giant tortoises shuffle through the trees, with the patience that old age brings you. Originally thought to be from the Comoros Islands and Seychelles, some of these tortoises are said to be over 100 years old. Stately and lumbering, the tortoises have even been known to take children on a ride. Lunch is available on the island and then you’re left to your own devices. If you’re feeling active, you can explore one of the hiking trails, snorkel in the crystal clear waters in search of colourful tropical fish darting through the reef or soak up some sun on the powder white beach. Thatched ban-das are dotted along the waterfront, available for hire if you wish to stay for the night. The Prison Island excursion is a great companion to a morning city tour. After an eventful morning of walking through the busy streets of Zanzibar, you can enjoy this slow and relaxing island excursion.

KIZIMKAZI BOAT TRIP

Take one hour drive from to Stone Town to Kizimkazi, on Zanzibar’s Southcoast for a day of dolphin spotting. Kizimkazi is home to large numbers of bottle-nosed and spinner dolphins, beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish. You can get as close as 10 to 20 metres away from the dolphins. Sleek and grey, they jack-knife through the water, sometimes showing off with jumps and twists. In the past, some tourists have been lucky enough to swim and snorkel with these magical animals. However, the dolphins aren’t tame 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, you can enjoy two hours sailing and take in the sights of the ocean. There’s superb snorkelling in the pristine coral reef and swimming in the clear, warm water of the Indian Ocean.

SAFARI BLUE

A full day excursion on a traditional sailing dhows, Safari Blue starts from Fumba, the perfect starting point to explore Menai Bay, an official Conservation Area. Home to beautiful uninhabited islands, the area is stunning, frequented by humpback and bottlenose dolphins. On arrival at Fumba, clients are given a briefing on Safari Blue and then you board your dhow and you’re off to explore the bay. Dolphins are sighted on approximately 90% of trips. The anchor is dropped at the Kwale sandbank, where sunshades are set up and guests have the chance to go snorkelling in the coral reefs, helped by the guides. After snorkelling, you’ll be offered refreshments to whet your appetite before heading to Kwale Island, for lunch under the tamarind trees. Drinks are served throughout the day and lunch is a buffet of grilled fish, lobster, calamari, chicken and rice, with a tasting of tropical fruits. After lunch, you can sunbathe, snooze or visit the beautiful mangrove lagoon. Depending on the tide, you may be able to take a swim in the lagoon. For the adventurous, join the crew to sail in a “ngalawa”, a local outrigger canoe but be careful not to tip the boat! Then it’s back to Fumba for around 5:30 pm.

ANDBANK PICNIC

Experience the way Livingstone felt discovering the untouched land and sail away with us to sandbanks around the magnificent island of Unguja, Zanzibar. Come on board our traditionally crafted dhows, put your feet up and allow our staff to pamper you as the Sultans of Zanzibar were once upon a time. We set sail to find an untouched sandbank an hour away from Stone Town. Swim in the crystal clear blue water around the sandbank and snorkel to discover a whole new underwater world filled with marine life and corals of brilliant colours. Tables are set out on the golden sand and a five-star seafood lunch extravaganza, prepared by the talented chefs from the Zanzibar Serena Inn will await you. After lunch relax on the sandbank listening to the hush of waves lapping against the shore or discover more underwater life around it and listen to stories from our crew about sailing the seven seas. Then sail o. to Prison Island. It is now home to a tortoise sanctuary, the prison ruins and a hotel. Watch the giant tortoises shuffle through the trees, with the patience that old age brings. We will slowly sail back to Stone Town, after a day of relaxation and fun. This excursion is suitable for anyone, from those who wish to completely relax to those who want adventure and excitement...Karibu onboard with us for a day!

SUNSET DHOW CRUISES

Step onto the deck of our vessels, relax and let us sail you away on a magical sunset cruise to end your day. Our sunset cruises leave Stone Town in the late afternoon to cruise along the coast, slicing through the clear turquoise water. The sounds of the bustle of busy people in Stone Town grow faint in the distance until they seem only in a memory. Musicians take over playing songs of love and loss, as the butler serves canapés and keeps your glass topped up with your choice of a selection of beers, wine and sodas, encouraging you to sink back into the cushions and enjoy the romance of Africa while watching the scenery drift by. Onboard our dhow we also have a personal guide who will accompany you on your cruise and give you a tour of Stone Town from the water. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about Zanzibar. The blue-green of the sea contrasts against the clear blue sky. The sun sets, changing the sky from shades of pinks and blues to magnificent golden colours, as you sail back towards the glimmering lights of Stone Town in the distance, the wind gently blowing you back to shore. Returning to Stone Town in the evening to the shores of Serena Hotel, we guarantee blissful relaxation after hours of luxurious sailing around the beautiful island of Unguja.

PRINCESS SALME TOUR

Princess Salme. Rebel, out-cast, revolutionary? Salme sent shockwaves through Zanzibar, teaching herself to write, conspiring in a plot to overthrow her brother, becoming pregnant and eloping to Germany with a young merchant, Heinrich Ruete and writing the sensational Memoirs of an Arabian Princess. This tour takes you to Mtoni Palace, where Salme was born in 1844, the daughter of Sultan Said and one of his secondary wives. She spent her childhood in the palace, served by slaves and playing in the gardens. You’ll then head to Marhubi Palace, built by Sultan Barghash, Salme’s older brother, who she helped to escape after a failed attempt to overthrow their brother, Sultan Majid. From here, you’ll travel to Stone Town, where the princess lived in a relative exile, unmarried and shunned by her family for her role in the intrigue. The Palace Museum has a room dedicated to Salme’s life and writings. Your guide will take you to her house, where her romance with Heinrich Ruete began across the balconies, resulting in secret trysts and meetings in the countryside. The tour ends at the Gallery Bookshop, where you can buy Salme’s book, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, available in many languages.

JOZANI FOREST TOUR

In the south of the island, Jozani Forest is a wonder and delight, with tales of Zanzibar leopards, medicinal cures and stunning scenery. Currently, under consideration to be-come Zanzibar’s second World Heritage Site, the Jozani-Chkwa Bay area is a hotspot of biodiversity. The forest is home to a number of endemic species, including the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey. Your park ranger will take you on a nature trail, lined with eucalyptus and mahogany trees and explain the medicinal properties of various plants and tell you about the animals, birds and reptiles that make their home in the various habitats of this tropical rainforest. Troops of Zanzibar Red Colobus monkeys can be found scrambling from branch to branch, in search of food. The monkeys have become acclimatised to people and allow you to get close to them to take photographs as they eat, play and jumping from the treetops. The mangrove boardwalk takes you above the swamp, where, depending on the tide, you can see tropical flitting between the mangrove roots and crabs scuttling across the mud. Mangroves play an important role in environmental conservation and as a resource for villagers and community life. Your ranger will explain the different species found in the swamp and their uses.

Climate
Month Ave MaxTemp Ave MaxTemp Rainfall Ave Sunlight hrs:min
Jan 26 20.5 69 12:13
Feb 26 20.5 100 12:10
Mar 26 20.5 106 12:07
Apr 25 20 183 12:04
May 25 20 92 12:01
Jun 25 20 20 12:00
Jul 26 20 9 12:00
Aug 27 21.5 34 12:03
Sep 27 21 86 12:06
Oct 27 21 102 12:09
Nov 26 20.5 127 12:12
Dec 26 20.5 100 12:13
 
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