If you are planning to visit Zanzibar, it’s also a good idea to attend an event there. You will be able to experience the best of Zanzibar’s culture as an active participant with priceless moments to remember.

Events in Zanzibar

It’s a beautiful island with idyllic beaches and palm trees that swing with the breeze. The island of Zanzibar is a place that leaves you begging for more from its rich cultural history, Swahili traditions and traditional cuisine. But besides the obvious attractions for visitors, how can a trip to Zanzibar be considered one if you don’t attend an event there? Let’s take a look at some of the events that we are talking about here.

Jahazi Literary and Jazz Festival

Music is food for the soul and the Jahazi festival fuses literature and jazz music to give participants an astounding performance of their lives. Between performances by budding poets to live jazz music, the environment here is awesome with nothing but sizzling performances that leave you dazzled and wanting for more.

When: end of August

Website: https://www.jahazifestival.com

The Zanzibar Film Festival

If you want something to do with film, this is the event that you want to be part of, it is an extravaganza. It has been described as the largest cultural event in East Africa . It takes place over 16 days and includes films done by creative from as near as neighboring Kenya to as far as India. Creatives in the film industry share their work to the multitude of people gathered and wait for the final day to crown the best of them. During your visit to Zanzibar you can attend one of the workshops offered to budding filmmakers and learn a thing or two.

When June/July  

Website http://www.ziff.or.tz

Sauti Za Busara

Sauti za Busara literally means the sounds of wisdom in Swahili. The festival mainly celebrated Swahili music and culture. The festival which usually takes place over 3 days also includes plays.If you want to experience the rich Swahili culture that Zanzibar has, you need to ensure that you have immersed yourself fully in this event.

When February 13 to 16th, 2020

Website https://www.busaramusic.org/

Ribab Fusion (Morocco) audience at Sauti za Busara 2018 (photo Peter Bennett)

Zanzibar International Triathlon and Marathon

If you want to experience more action when in Zanzibar, this is the type of event that you want to experience. It includes swimming about 1.5 kilometers on the Indian Ocean and running through the street of Old Stone Town. That is not all, there is a 20kilometre run done in the tracks of the spice plantations. The marathon is done over the full distance of 42 kilometers. Engaging in any of the activities is obviously a demanding exercise but worth every second of it.

When Early November 2020, it is an annual event as well.

Website http://zanzibar.net/music_culture/festivals-events/international-triathlon-marathon/

Marathon route map

Mwaka Kogwa

This event is usually a celebration of the New Year and takes place over 4 days. It is interspersed with various activities ranging from mock fighting among the ment to song and dance done by the beautiful women from the island. While this is an event that is held island wide, the biggest Mwaka Kogwa event is usually held within Makunduchi village.

Mwaka Kogwa fighting people with banana sticks

When around the 23rd or 24th of July

Website https://www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz/en/things-to-do/mwaka-kogwa-festival/P30

Zanzibar Beach and Waterports Festival

This is another sporting event that is held across the island. There are various sporting activities that are in store for everyone ranging from rugby, volleyball and even football all done at the beach. Besides the sporting events there are also competition in other fields such as bartending. If you are not a big sports fun you will not lack something to participate in.

When December

Website https://zanzibarfestival.weebly.com/info.html

Eid- ul Fitr

This is a religious event for the Islamic faith. Zanzibar is a Muslim majority island and has strong Islamic traditions. The Eid ul Fitr is usually a celebration marking the end of the holy month of fasting known as Ramadhan. While it is an Islamic event, people from all walks of faith are welcome to attend the big day.

When 1st August although dates may vary.

Revolution Day

For a glimpse into the political scene of Zanzibar, the Revolution Day is a good choice. It is usually held as a celebration to  mark the end of the Arab reign over the island. Keep in mind that it is national holiday

When 12th of January.

There are many events that one can attend in Zanzibar if their schedule allows and http://www.zanzibartourism.go.tz/  is a source for more of those.

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