Stone Town Zanzibar is a melting pot of cultures; various invaders have influenced its rich history – and visitors can see the authentic mix of African, Arabic, and European traditions.
There are cultural experiences and other adventures to be had on the islands, but Stone Town is the sole and beating heart of the bustling community.
For many visitors, a tour of the principal city of the Islands is a highlight. It offers a real change from sunbathing and relaxing on the beaches or enjoying the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean.
The town itself is a maze of alleys showing a genuine taste of the Arabic and European history of the islands'. A guided walking tour of this town is highly recommended to show the highlights and offer an insight into the area's influences.
The town has various attractions, including the House of Wonders, one of six palaces built by the second Sultan of Zanzibar, Barghash bin Said, in 1883 to celebrate modernity and such 'wonders,' such as electricity and an elevator. The House of Wonders is situated near the Old Fort and set in front of the Forodhani (or Jubilee) Gardens on the main sea walk of Stone Town. After sunset, these gardens are bustling with both tourists and locals gathering in a popular food street market in the main square to enjoy Swahili and Zanzibar cuisine of grilled seafood, samosas, cassava, and sweet potatoes. On a darker note, the Slave Market is the site of a heritage centre and Anglican Cathedral, highlighting the horrors of the slave trade. The market was one of the last slave markets to be closed (in 1873) by the British. The Injumaa Mosque sits in the centre of the town and was completely renovated in Arabesque style in 1994 – the mosque delivers the adhan (or call to prayer) five times a day.
Spice Farm Tours
Zanzibar is well known by the romantic name the Spice Island. It has for many years exported spice grown on farms across the island. Although the trade from the Islands is declining, many spice farms remain, and a tour of them will highlight the different spices that are grown and allow to test, taste, and smell the spices and learn about their use in cooking for traditional purposes.
Jozani Forest Tour
The Jozani Forest is the only national park in Zanzibar and features, predominantly, red colobus monkeys and mangroves to experience and explore. The park also has sykes monkeys, bush pigs, Ader's duiker, suni antelopes, elephant shrews, chameleons, and lots of birdlife.
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