Famous for its tranquil beaches, aromatic spices, rich marine and land diversity, Zanzibar is a welcoming archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Situated off the coast of mainland Tanzanian, Islands of Unguja are internationally known as Zanzibar.
Tourism is the top revenue generator of these islands, with supportive Government activities, an increase in footfall of tourists is noticed over the years. There is an airport on the island, however, most tourists fly into Dar-es-Salaam and board a ferry to Zanzibar. Know for its architectural heritage, wildlife, coastal activities, and spice tour, here are five things that should be on your list while visiting Zanzibar.
Zanzibar offers a great coastal and under water tourism opportunity. Among the beaches, not to be missed are the picture perfect beaches at Nungwi and Kendwa. Located in north Zanzibar, Nungwi beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand. With services like accommodation, water sports, open bars and restaurants, it attracts great footfall of tourists and locals. This is a happening beach for party people.
On the other hand, at Kendwa beach one can enjoy peace and tranquility of Sun, sand, and water. It’s possible to walk from Nungwi at low tide. Located in the west, this beach makes a great point to be at sunset.
Tourists go dhow cruising around the small islands, but a dhow sail to the Prison Island (Changuu Island) is not to be missed. Few miles from the Stone town, this Island was used to isolate rebellious slaves and yellow fever victims.
No convicts have ever been housed in the prison complex. Today the Island is a tourist resort and houses a collection of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises.
Snorkel and Scuba
Zanzibar is a favorite destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. The most famous location for snorkeling is Mnemba Island. The clear turquoise waters and the spectacular coral reefs are the reason why snorkeling enthusiasts are attracted here.
From finding shipwrecks, coral gardens, swimming with manatees, and Dolphins, the diversity of marine life offers a great underwater safari. Contributing to an unforgettable experience, diving around Stone Town and Leven Bank is not to be missed.
Also known as Mji Mkongwe, this world heritage site is the main city of Zanzibar. Stone Town is a city of famous historical and artistic importance. The towns coral stone architecture is a blend of Swahili, Arabic, Indian and European influence.
Not to miss attractions include the Sultan’s residence known as the House of Wonders, the Portuguese Old Fort, and the Anglican Cathedral. A walk in the streets of this town admits islands culture, cuisine, bazaars, and mosques is a memorable one.
The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, is the only national park in Zanzibar. Occupied by tropical and mangrove forests the region is a sanctuary for endangered endemic wildlife. The natural forest trails provide a chance to spot the Zanzibar Red Colobus and Zanzibar Servaline Genets.
The others seen in wild include Monkeys, Galago or Bush Babies, and Duiker Antelopes. There are a many species of exotic birds for the birdwatchers to freshen up their eyes too. Though rarely sighted Zanzibar Leopard is also found here, the cat was listed as an extinct species until it was spotted on camera in 2018.
Geographically positioned on a trade route between Arabia, Persia and East Africa, the region has a history of being ruled by Sultanate of Oman, Portuguese and British in different times, Zanzibar is now a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania.