The oldest city and the cultural heart of Zanzibar! Stone Town has hardly changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand houses, whose original owners competed with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings, which is reflected in the beautiful brass-studded and carved wooden doors. You can spend many wonderful hours and days exploring this fascinating town as you wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways. For a special memory, experience a romantic sunset sailing cruise on a traditional dhow, complete with delicious snacks and your favorite drinks.

Themes

  • Heritage

Highlights

  • Stone Town Tour
  • Sunset Dhow Cruise
  • Bustling Markets
  • Jozani Forest

Places to Stay

Room at Kisiwa House in Zanzibar Stone Town, Tanzania
Kisiwa House

Style: Heritage

Kisiwa meaning 'island' in Swahili, is a luxurious hotel in Stone Town noted for its elegant blend of boutique sophistication and gracious Swahili hospitality.

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Exterior view of Zanzibar Palace Hotel in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Style: Heritage

Zanzibar Palace Hotel is an old Sultan's palace situated within Old Stone Town.

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Style: Heritage

The Zanzibar Serena Hotel is located on the sea front of the historic Stone Town on the western side of Zanzibar Island.

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Activities in Zanzibar Stone Town

Zanzibar – Spice Farm Tour

Discover the legendary spices of Zanzibar on this three hour tour. Learn about the famous spice trade of this historical island, celebrated in classic verses and romantic literature down the ages. Visit an aromatic distillery to know more about the trade and commerce angle of this traditional business sector.

Zanzibar-Stone Town Tour

Discover Zanzibar’s Stone Town on this fascinating walking tour. Take a leisurely, three hour long walk through the winding streets of the old city, admiring the heritage buildings, distinctive architecture and places of interest. Walk over to the ramparts of the Old Fort facing the waterfront. It was built by the Arabs in the 17th Century when they took over the island from the Portuguese. Visit the imposing Beit el-Sahel or Palace Museum nearby, reconstructed from the ruins of Sultan Seyyid Said’s 19th Century royal residence. Stop by East Africa’s first Anglican Cathedral and the formal Forodhani Gardens to get a taste of the district. Amble along the historic alleyways, passing by latticed balconies and carved doorways from another era! Shop for spices and exquisite artifacts at Zanzibar’s famed bazaars, bargaining to your heart’s content.

Safari Blue Sea Excursion

Enjoy an entire day’s excursion by the seaside on a traditional dhow. Set sail for the open oceans from Fumba Beach on a traditional, hand-built mahogany dhow. Spend a leisurely day spotting magnificent dolphins diving and cavorting in the ocean’s waters. You can also go snorkeling near the Island’s coastline, accompanied by your expert guide. Marvel at the exceptionally beautiful underwater landscape in the company of colorful fish and marine creatures. Take a few leisurely laps in the mangrove lagoon, soaking in the warm tropical sun. If you feel adventurous enough, you could even re-live your childhood days and climb up an ancient baobab tree for a bird’s eye view of the fascinating landscape spread out all around you. Feast on a scrumptious BBQ luncheon right there on the beach, before sailing back to town.

Traditional Dhow Sunset Cruise

Take a two hour sunset dhow cruise and watch the old city float by from your ocean vantage. Set off in the late afternoon on a traditional wooden boat with the wind in your sails. As Zanzibar and its historic waterfront recede into a distance, leaving the clamor and bustle of Stone Town behind, relax and enjoy your cruise. Watch the golden rays of the setting sun catch the impossibly blue sea and paint a riot of soft shades and blazing colors across the horizon. Let your hair down as you relish refreshing sundowners and delicious homemade snacks on the relaxing cruise ride. The dhow rides safely along the coastline, keeping the waterfront in view, before turning back to Stone Town. (Duration: 2 hrs, Time of Day: Afternoon; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring sunglasses and hats, and don’t forget your cameras).

Nungwi Village Visit from Stone Town

Explore a local village in the company of your expert guide on this half day visit to Nungwi Village on Zanzibar Island. Interact with the local community, and learn more about their culture and traditions. Walk through the village lanes, sampling delectable tit-bits and drinking straight from a fresh coconut. Visit the beach of the Dhow builders to know more about their lives and how to build and maintain traditional Dhows. Walk over to a turtle sanctuary near the village, marveling at the resilience of these ancient creatures. Feast on a sumptuous seafood luncheon on the beach before heading back.

Colobus Monkey Tour in Jozani Forest

Take a three hour trip to the biggest native forested area on the Zanzibar Island, Jozani Forest, to the south of Chwaka Bay. The forest is home to the endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, which is its only natural habitat in the world. If you’re an amateur birder, be sure to spot numerous feathered friends at Jozani Forest. Other inhabitants include many other species of monkeys, bushbabies and duikers. Be sure to follow the forest nature trail. There is also a charming boardwalk through the creek-side mangrove swamps by the Bay.

Dolphin Watching and Boat Ride

Experience the chance to spot dolphins that are native to the Zanzibar Archipelago. Set off early on your half day tour, right after breakfast, for the maximum chances of spotting as many dolphins as possible. Watch these magnificent marine mammals cavorting and diving in the iridescent waters of the Indian ocean. If you wish, you may stop by the legendary caves along the way back to the old town. There are many a fascinating tale still told about the caves around these ancient coasts that you may want to hear more about!

Trip to Changuu Island for Giant Tortoises

Discover the Giant Tortoises of Changuu Island on this lovely boat trip across the old town of Zanzibar. Get up close and personal with these amazing ancient creatures, learning more about their life cycles and habits. Spend a blissful couple of hours by the seaside, swimming and lounging on the beach. You can even go snorkeling near the Island, admiring the impossibly beautiful underwater landscape in the company of colorful fish and marine creatures.

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