A Critical Insight for Tourists Who Want to Visit Zanzibar
What You Should Know About Zanzibar’s Magnificent Coast Before You Go
For those who are planning to visit Zanzibar, they should know that there isn’t a spot on the planet that sounds more enticing than this. You can almost taste the spices and hear the rustling of the sea breeze just by pronouncing Zanzibar. Once I saw the famous dhows with their distinctive triangular sails roaming the ocean, tasted the local cuisine, and learned about this unique combination of African and Arabian customs, I fell in love with this Indian Water spice island.
When you visit Zanzibar, you will come to learn that the archipelago of Zanzibar consists of four islands off the East African coast. Zanzibar is commonly referred to as Unguja, the main island. Due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean and the spice and slave trade routes, Zanzibar has long been a stronghold for many countries. Oman made Zanzibar the official capital of the Sultanate in 1832. British rule continued until Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed Tanzania in the 1960s.
Spices and tourism are the two primary sources of income for the island nowadays. As a result, this fantasy environment is still very much off the usual road, making it a gem for tourists who visit Zanzibar.
Travelling To Zanzibar: What You Need to Know
Direct flights from the United States to Zanzibar aren’t available. Still, you can connect through Tanzanian hubs like Dar es Salaam or Dubai International Airport, Middle Eastern airports like Qatar, Doha, and the United Arab Emirates, or South African hubs like Johannesburg. To visit Zanzibar from Dar, you can take a short flight or a ferry from Dar es Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport.
When you plan to visit Zanzibar has fully materialized, consider waiting until you are in Tanzania to buy Tanzanian shillings from the airport ATMs, as it is nearly impossible to get Tanzanian money here in the US. Prices are inexpensive, and credit cards aren’t widely accepted, so always bring a large amount of cash.
Best Reasons to Visit Zanzibar and Venture
It doesn’t hurt that Zanzibar is an idyllic tropical island with white sand beaches, an intact interior forest (which is home to an endangered species of monkey found only on Zanzibar), and a dazzling capital city that combines Omani palaces with Arabian arches as well as Indian wooden verandahs and studded doorways to persuade you to visit Zanzibar. There are henna tattoo artists, Maasai warriors playing pool, bustling markets, exquisite food, fantastic shopping, and a plethora of recorded history to be found in the town’s narrow alleyways. Beach resorts are also available.
The best way to visit Zanzibar, in my opinion, is to take a two-stop holiday, spending some time in Stone Town and then travelling into the interior to one of the many beach resorts for some downtime. A couple of weeks should be plenty of time.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Zanzibar, Spice Island?
Zanzibar’s proximity to the equator ensures that temperatures are mild to hot throughout the year (varying from 77 degrees to just above 85 degrees Fahrenheit), with the added benefit of a cooling sea wind that reaches nearly the entire island. The so-called significant rains fall between March and the end of May, yet apart from a few extreme storms, days are normally dry even then. In November comes the teeny-weeny rains.
To ensure that you don’t get shocked at any of the Eid celebrations in Zanzibar, verify the dates of Ramadan and the two Eid celebrations in advance, as many businesses and eateries will be closed while beach resorts will be open. It is usually not the best time to visit Zanzibar especially if you are a western tourist who is looking to have a ton of actions without too much restrictions.
Zanzibar has malaria, and you’ll need to take a good mix of antimalarial medication. Consult your local tropical diseases institute to find out which brands are suggested for the duration of your trip.
Best Things to Do When You Visit Zanzibar
The Enchanted House
Sultan Bargash Bin Said, the Omani ruler of Zanzibar from 1870 to 1888, lived in Stone Town’s House of Wonders (Bait al Ajaib). Massive wooden doors that evoke both Arab and Indian craftsmanship; tall columns that provide shady verandas; and rooms positioned outside the house, making an airy and chilly courtyard, are just some of the features of the building’s traditional Zanzibari architecture. Even though it’s a museum in need of repair, the collection of artefacts on display spans Zanzibar’s history.
The historic Arab Fort, which dates back to the 17th century, is right next door and worth explore when you visit Zanzibar.
Stone Town’s and Zanzibar’s core trade centre, the Darajani Market, may be found here. Grocery shopping, gossiping, and socialising takes place in this area. The colours, noise, and fragrances overwhelm the senses, creating an exciting atmosphere. The spice department is a must-see for everyone who visit Zanzibar because it is the Spice Island.
A food market in the Forodhani Gardens, right across from the House of Wonders, is also another must-see at night, a small memento market by the Old Fort, which sells local arts and crafts. Because food in Tanzania is cheap and credit cards are not accepted, make sure you have plenty of Tanzanian shillings in small denominations with you when you visit Zanzibar.
The Jozani Forest
In the Jozani Forest, which is part of the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, the red colobus monkey is the only one of its kind on the island. Teak and mahogany trees line the path through the dense forest, which you may visit on your own from Stone Town (or any other beach resort). You’ll also see raffia palms and wild date palms along the way. Some of the wildlife you might see includes chameleons, elephant shrews, and bushbabies if you’re lucky. They are friendly monkeys that aren’t allowed to be touched, but they’ll reach out to you, being as curious about you as you are about them.
The forest is a great option to add a lot of fun when you visit Zanzibar.
Tourists who visit Zanzibar can explore a number of spice plantations, including the following: An excursion organized by the staff at your hotel will provide a wealth of further information. As an experienced chef, you’ll be awed by the profusion of cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass and cardamom in this area. You’ll also be awed by the abundance of cloves and bay leaves. Among these are coconuts, jackfruit, durian, guava, papaya, and ten different kinds of bananas. “
In the Heart of Stone Town
Stone Town is a great place to shop for those who visit Zanzibar and wants to return home with some memorable items, even if you don’t want to venture into the markets or the countless street vendors that line the narrow lanes. The entire town is a dream come true for interior designers.
Art galleries, African handicrafts, colourful kangas etched with traditional sayings, and Maasai beaded jewellery fill Gizenga Street, the main thoroughfare. Most exclusive souvenirs may be found in this Shangani area.
Some of the Best Restaurants in Zanzibar
You cannot visit Zanzibar without experience cuisine from some of the best restaurants the island has to offer. For example, the Tea House at the Emerson On Hurumzi Hotel Traditional Zanzibari cuisine is served on the rooftop patio of the Emerson on Hurumzi Hotel, one of the best locations to stay in Zanzibar. Zanzibar’s finest cuisine awaits you in a secluded, intimate setting with breathtaking views.
The Forodhani Gardens
Opt for the Forodhani Gardens night market for authentic Zanzibari street food instead of a restaurant. If you’re looking for a delicious and reasonably priced fare, here is the place to go. The Zanzibar pizza is a cross between an omelette and a pancake, fried on a flat iron skillet. Forodhani Gardens’ food is a must try if you visit Zanzibar
Isn’t it interesting that Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar? Zanzibar’s famous sunsets may be seen from Mercury’s, the bar named after him, located just across the dhow harbour.
Best Places to Stay in Zanzibar
Serena is the Name of the Inn
Located in the heart of Stone Town, the Serena Inn is one of the luxurious hotels to consider when planning to visit Zanzibar . Ideally situated for sunset cocktails on the patio, shopping just a few blocks away, and all the facilities you could need after a day of dusty exploration.
The Emerson Hurumzi Hotel
The Emerson on Hurumzi Hotel is my our personal favorite and recommend to anyone who visit Zanzibar. Located in the heart of Stone Town, this refurbished townhouse has a rooftop terrace from which you can see the ocean and the city’s higgledy-piggledy rooftops. Exceptional customer service and a stunning interior design.
Looking for a Moderate Breezing Beach-Club
Zanzibar’s shoreline is lined with accommodations ranging from five-star luxury resorts to backpacker hostels. Still, Breezes Beach Club and Spa is a magnificent resort with all the amenities and an excellent spa that is not costly. Despite the abundance of water sports available, the area maintains its small-town charm that will add great memories to those who visit Zanzibar.
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