Although I have been to Zanzibar twice before this trip, the third time was definitely a charm. Exploring the entire island with fresh eyes showed me new places and spaces that I believe are experiences you must add to your list.
Stone Town is the ancient part of Zanzibar City, which is the capital of Unguja island. An authentic experience that encompass what old Swahili trading towns of East Africa look, feel, sound, smell and taste like. The beautiful sounds of the Islamic call to prayer vibrates thru the air, the aroma of spices at every winding turn, and locals greeting you as you near their shops. The original stone buildings surrounded by Persian, Arabic, Indian and European influence makes this settlement the heart and soul of the island.
The Rock restaurant began as a lifeline for fishermen, and has evolved into a go-to experience in Zanzibar. There are only 12 tables, and it’s often fully booked, but if you can get a reservation it is a must do on the list.
Jozani Forest, also known as Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, is the only national park on Zanzibar Island. It is very small (only 50 kilometers square) but beautiful and tranquil place to visit. The forest is a natural pharmacy and truly an amazing source of natural remedies. Every plant or tree cures something.
The Forest is also famous for rare Red Colobus Monkeys and even harder to spot – Zanzibar Sykes’ monkey, a very rare monkey species unique to Zanzibar.
Prison Island also known as Changuu is an Island located Northwest of Stone Town. In a dark chapter of Zanzibar’s history, the island was once a place where enslaved people were kept.
Today the island has become a popular vacation destination. It is a natural reserve and a beautiful place to spend the day. Two of the highlights of your visit to the Island is a tortoise sanctuary that contains a large colony of sea tortoises. And the crystal clear water and great reefs around the sea provides an amazing opportunity to snorkel and see the colorful tropical fish, coral reefs and huge starfish.
Every night Forodhani Gardens at Stone Town turns into a busy street food market! The fresh seafood and local delicacies, such as Zanzibari pizza are sold at that time. It’s perfect to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean while sampling street food with locals.
If you want to experience the unique atmosphere of Forodhani Gardens, you have to arrive early before the night food market begins; while fishermen drag their wooden dhows back to the sand, street vendors slowly set up carts and makeshift tables in the leafy walkways.
Dating from 1883, when construction was ordered by Sayyid Sir Barghash bin Said Al-Busaid, the second Sultan of Zanzibar, the Palace Museum is a stunning combination of coral stone, silver fittings and acres of marble.
A museum since the mid-1990s; over three floors, a wealth of fascinating royal artifacts, including furniture, clothing and sheets of writing.
Zanzibar is known as Spice Island. A food and culture tour will expose you to the island’s remarkable role in the historic spice trade. Zanzibar’s identity as a trading hotspot was forged by its location on the trade route from Arabia to Africa; and by its abundance of valuable spices such as vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
The plantations will introduce you to the different species of fauna that are crucial for the flourishing of the plants.
Overlooking Forodhani Gardens and the ocean, the fort was built by Omani Arabs when they seized the island from the Portuguese in 1698, and over the centuries it has had various uses, from prison to tennis club. Today there has been some modernization inside, notably a line of souvenir shops, a pleasant cafe that turns into a bar in the evening and the amphitheater which famous festivals are held.
Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946, Freddie Mercury, Queens “royal highness” himself, is remembered in Mercury House. The small museum in the family’s former home celebrates the island’s most famous son. Family photographs, the first piano he ever played and a selection of stage costumes await fans at the museum in Stone Town.
Nakupenda is a Swahili word which means I love you. Nakupenda Beach is also the name of an amazing sandbank located just off Stone Town. This beach has clear, blue waters and pure white sands in Zanzibar. Its waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and spotting Dolphins.
The best thing about this party is that it is still relatively low key and it requires very little forward planning. It is accessible from everywhere on Zanzibar Island.
By attending the Full Moon Party you can engage yourself in chatting to the local Masaai, eating great food, dancing all night on the beach, and catching some really cool performers!
The Party is typically the Saturday after the Full Moon!
Interested in visiting Zanzibar? Book me as your Travel Agent for a world class experience.
Prefer to travel with a group of like-minded women for an all-inclusive life changing experience? Join us at The IMARA Retreat!
Founder of women’s empowerment community The Colored Girl & Co-Founder of The 20Ninth a community centered around travel and connections for couples. Tori’s interest in luxury travel, lifestyle and design stems from her background as a celebrity wardrobe stylist, event planner and novice interior designer.