The Top 15 Zanzibar Island tourist attractions
Spots and activities you shouldn’t miss
Who doesn’t want to spend time on an island? After all, it’s a fusion of everything – from beautiful refined sand to the lush greenery and sparkling water in the sunshine.
But with so many islands out there, you could spend forever deciding on which one to tour. So cut the haste and plan your trip to Zanzibar Island (near Tanzania) because of the plenty of versatile spots and activities it has to offer.
And if you’ve already done so, then don’t miss these top 15 Zanzibar Island tourist attractions.
1. Nungwi Beach
The Nungwi beach is one of the most striking at Zanzibar Island. And the reason is both its gorgeous white sand and the clear blue ocean. You can also see, experience and enjoy the marine life clearly when the tide is settled.
2. Stone Town
Go back in time by strolling around Stone Town. And while you’re at it, you’ll find brilliantly carved doors from the Oman era. You will also find tiny shops in the narrow streets of this heritage town. There are plenty of historical sites as well, which you can find very easily.
3. Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Do you wish to see what early Christian architecture in East Africa looked like? Then the Christ Church Cathedral/Anglican Cathedral of Stone Town is your go-to place. Don’t forget to explore the holding chambers when checking out the slavery museum.
4. Cheetah’s Rock
Do you have a love for wildlife animals? Here’s a list of some astounding creatures waiting for you at the Cheetah’s Rock:
- White lion
- Bush babies
And of course, cheetahs – the name says it all!
5. Jambo’s Spice Farm
At the Jambo’s Spice farm, you can find various spices – from cloves to turmeric and cinnamon. Visitors are promised a tour that they’ll never forget!
6. Zanzibar Butterfly Centre
Have you ever dreamt of roaming around with fluttering butterflies? Well, this butterfly centre at Zanzibar is your best bet. The centre has more than 20 unique butterfly species waiting for you to marvel at.
7. Forodhani Gardens
Who isn’t a fan of local food? We’re sure you are too and that’s why you should definitely go to the Forodhani Gardens after sunset. Street food vendors stationed at different spots will get your brain going as to what to eat. And being there at night is a unique feeling altogether – Have your dinner while swaying to the ocean breeze.
8. Fukuchani Ruins
This location is also known as the ‘Portuguese House’. You’ll find these ruins at the edge of the village of Fukuchani. But if you’re going on your own, make sure to notice the baobab tree because it has a signboard beneath it!
9. Mtoni Palace Ruins
The Mtoni Palace ruins give an excellent backdrop for both shopping and eating amidst charcoal fire. At times, you can also sign up for traditional cooking classes and learn to make those wonderful dishes yourself! These classes are the ultimate experience for any chef looking forward to honing their skills.
10. The Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe)
You can find the lovely Ngome Kongwe on the route between MaruMaru hotel and the beach. So if that is where you’ve been staying or plan to spend your time, the old fort is always within reach. It’s Stone Town’s oldest building, dating all the way to the early 1800s. Keep an eye out for vendors making their traditional handicrafts, for instance, hand woven Kikoys right in front of you. You can also catch many performances here, from acrobatics to musical extravaganzas.
11. Dolphin tours
Do you have a thing for marine life? And even more than that, for dolphins? Well then, you’ll get a chance to watch these beautiful creatures. One of the options for a dolphin tour is to plan your trip from Nungwi. Typically, you’ll find the dolphins roaming in the waters in groups. Although some of the boats are in poor condition, tourists engage in the activity and enjoy it regardless!
12. Peace Memorial Museum
Also known as the Beit al Amani, the Peace Memorial Museum is host to cultural artifacts. If you’re a history buff who simply can’t miss out on digging information, then this museum is for you. Other than the objects, you’ll also find plenty of narratives about Zanzibar’s long history. At most, you would need around half an hour and oh – the entrance fee is TZS 6000, which also covers the Natural History Museum nearby!
13. Jozani Forest
The Jozani Forest is known for many beautiful elements. Its lush green scenery is just one of the many things, of course. One of the real deals is the rare red colobus monkey – an animal that every visitor wants to see at least once. This biodiversity park has plenty of these gorgeous animals that can be distinguished from other monkeys based on their colorful coats and cries. And that’s not all – you will find trails in which butterflies are hovering around. You can also visit the boardwalk beside which there are mangrove swamps!
14. Maruhubi Palace
This extraordinary palace was built in 1882, right outside Zanzibar Town. Its entrance is approximately 4 km North to the town, on the left of the road that leads to Bububu. Its purpose was to host the very huge harem of Sultan Barghash. Although the palace has been destroyed due to fire, you can easily spot the arches, walls, and even the columns of a balcony.
15. Zanzibar Cycling Adventure
So the last of the Zanzibar activities we have for you is cycling. You can go for a private cycling tour – getting good bicycles and a great guide as well! The tour is called an ‘adventure’ because you’ll get to explore everything on the way – woodworkers, blacksmiths, turtles, bats and even the Portuguese ruins!
Now you know 15 activities and spots that keep attracting tourists to Zanzibar Island. The place is a rich blend of history, exotic beaches and splendid nature. Whether you’re fond of historical sites or fields of crops, you’ll find everything. Remember to make the most out of your trip by staying safe during the adventurous activities! Have fun!