Zanzibar Guide for a weekend Gateaway : Zanzibar is one of the most preferred gateway destinations for travelers around the world due to its beautiful and amazing year round climate and one of the clearest waters in the world perfect for water sports such as snorkeling and diving.
Zanzibar Island is a paradise offering all of types of water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, dolphin watching, getting lost in the old cobblestone streets to romantic boat ride in a traditional dhow.
Zanzibar is a key location as a trade centre and is influenced by various cultural influences which give Zanzibar a unique flavor and ambiance. Zanzibar is a relatively small destination which makes it easy to move around and great for a weekend getaway.
Here is a guide to the things you can do in Zanzibar for a weekend getaway.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
Stone Town the capital of Zanzibar Island is the cultural and historical heart of the island and is an ideal site to visit if you are seeking the experience the soul of the island, its traditions and culture. While in the Stone Town you will get lost between the old Arabic – Style buildings, smelling hot brewed coffee at every corner which is a thrilling experience.
Stone Town is recognized as a World Heritage Site with more explore such as the palace of Wonders, this site is a former Sultan’s palace but now a museum exhibiting on Swahili civilization and wonders of the Indian Ocean. Next to Palace of Wonders, there is a 400 year old “Old Fort” hosting artisan shops, exhibitions and various events such as the Zanzibar International Film Festival.
You can also visit the Old Dispensary from the 19th century marking the waterfront with its intricate architecture, the dispensary is peppermint – green color makes it’s a striking feature and easy to spot. The Darajani Market is another site to visit in Stone Town, the market offers a truly authentic shopping experience and here you will find many stalls operated by local people selling souvenirs, packs of spices, colorful local prints and fabrics, jewellery, wooden carvings, Zanzibar chests among others.
For travelers who wish to get wildlife experiences during their holiday to Zanzibar, Changu Island is the best site to visit. The Island is located in a drive of half an hour from Stone Town, on this island you will meet giant tortoises as old as 190 years and observe the fascinating fish- farming. You can also visit The Kidike Flying Fox Sanctuary situated near Kangagani village where you will encounter a spectacular colony of Pemba flying foxes. This large bat is indigenous to Pemba.
GO ON A SPICE TOUR
Zanzibar Island is famously known as a spice island because of the large tones of spices it produces annually to the world market, during a Zanzibar holiday you shouldn’t miss a spice tour. This tour is an educational and entertaining way to spend your day in Zanzibar, during the tour you will discover various species such as vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric and others. You will learn how they are used for medical purposes, how to use them when preparing meals at home and also get to state them.
Your guide will off your sample of plants to take back home with you.
TRY LOCAL FOOD AND RELAX AT FORODHANI GARDENS
Forodhani gardens is a best site to visit for travelers seeking to get a taste of the local food, in the gardens vendors set up their selling sea food, samosas, Pizzas and more each evening on the waterfront public space. As a traveler on a day tour in Zanzibar, you can relax here in the morning and enjoy the buzz and the energy of the bazaar ehile trying different types of freshly grilled fish which is usually served with potato balls, samosas or naan bread in the evening.
TAKE A SEA SAFARI OR A SUNSET CRUISE
A sea adventure safari is a must do during your trip to Zanzibar, boat tours on the beautiful Indian Ocean area offered on a daily basis giving travelers an opportunity to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Zanzibar. Also you might get a chance to swim with the dolphins, sailing on a traditional hand-built sailing dhow, snorkeling and exploring the incredible coral reefs, sunbathing and enjoying a delicious seafood lunch which is a great way of spending your weekend in Zanzibar.
You can also go for a Sunset Dhow Cruise offering an opportunity to see the sunset on the water which is one of the most romantic option of exploring and experiencing Zanzibar with your loved one. Most of the dhows in Zanzibar depart from the west of the Island and most include drinks and foods.
WATER SPORTS FOR ADVENTURERS
Zanzibar is a great destination for water sports/activities , for water sport activities head to Mnemba Atoll a spectacular site for snorkeling and scuba diving. Zanzibar offers various water sports such as kite boarding, surfing, paddle boarding, waterskiing, parasailing, jet-skiing, kayaking and swimming with the dolphins.
Popular site for dolphin spotting of dolphins on Zanzibar Island is on the South Coast where you can swim in their natural habitat, you will be able to jump on and off the boat as dolphins always move.
RELAX ON THE BEACHES
After exploring the Stone Town, wildlife experiences at Changu Island and visiting the spice farms, you can relax on the spectacular beaches of Zanzibar with a cold local beer or a tasty cocktail. At these beaches such as Bwejuu beach, Michamvi Beach , Nungwi Beach among others have crystal white sands, clear waters and a plethora of activities to engage in such as a Full moon Party at Kendwa Beach, at this party you will meet other travelers, enjoy the village life in Nungwi or Matemwe or see the magnificent sunset at Michamwi beach which is normally quite. At Jambiani Beach you can enjoy Monday night jam sessions and water sports.
DELICIOUS CUISINE OF ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar is a melting pot for cultures and this is a result of marvelous mixture of influences, recipes on Zanzibar were inspired by combinations of Middle Eastern and Indian flavours incorporating wonderful natural ingredients and sea food from Zanzibar.
As a traveler you can get a taste of octopus in mishkaki (meat skewers) which is a famous Zanzibarian snack, octopus curry is cooked with spices like turmeric and simmered in coconut cream to give it another way of tasting it. Other seafood delicacies include calamari, lobster, tuna, marlin, prawns, kingfish, snapper and barracuda.
Another must-try cuisine is a Urojo soup – a bowl of tangy, flour-based soup full of crispy bhajis, mashed potatoes and topped with coconut chutney and chilli. Mandazi and Samosas which are doughnuts, Indian continent rice dishes cooked with spices such as biryani and pilau.
Other cuisines to try out include Zanzibar Pizza, Zanzibar chocolate – a tasty sesame bar made with toasted seeds and honey and a cup of coffee at Jaws Corner and Cardamom – spiced Arabic coffee.