15 Fun Things to Do in Zanzibar

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Zanzibar is an East African island just off the coast of mainland Tanzania. It’s a tourist hotspot with many fun activities to offer. The island has a lot to offer ranging from activities to food and culture!

Here are 15 fun things to do in Zanzibar:

  1. Go snorkeling or scuba diving

Zanzibar is a top-class scuba diving and snorkeling spot with excellent marine sightings and healthy coral reefs surrounding the island. Here are some of the best places to try scuba diving and snorkeling:

  • Shane’s Reef – located near Nungwi, you can spot diverse marine species here including Indian Ocean Walkman, ghost pipefish, stingrays and octopuses.
  • The Great Northern – located near Stone Town, this is a shipwreck site that is now home to vivid marine life including glassfish, octopuses and abundant coral reefs.
  • Other top diving sites include Hunga Reef, Hammerhead, Dolphin Wall, Boribu Reef and Ukombe Reef.
  • The best sites for night diving and snorkeling include Shane’s Reef, Kendwa Reef and Pange Reef.
  1. Take a dhow sunset cruise

A dhow is a traditional Swahili boat. A sunset dhow cruise is a refreshing and relaxing experience whereby you watch the sun paint the sky with different hues of orange, red and yellow as the waves of the Indian Ocean crash against your dhow.

  1. Explore the streets of Stone Town

Stone has a lot to offer. Its narrow streets, stunning architecture, historical sites like the Palace Museum and the Old Fort and stunning beaches make for a great vacation destination!

  1. Enjoy delicious seafood at the Rock Restaurant

Located at Pingwe beach, the Rock Restaurant is a tourist-favorite that serves a wide range of seafood. What makes this restaurant special? Well, the Rock Restaurant is literally built on top of a rock, surrounded by the Indian Ocean. To get to the restaurant, you need a boat although it’s just right off the coast!

  1. Swim with the dolphins at Kizimkazi beach

Dolphins are fun and friendly animals that make great swimming partners! Swim with the dolphins at Kizimkazi and learn more about their behavior and habitat!

  1. Go kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is an extreme and thrilling watersport! The conditions in Zanzibar are ideal for kitesurfers, with strong steady winds! Zanzibar is, indeed, one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world! Paje, Jambiani, Nungwi and Kiwengwa are some of the top kitesurfing spots in Zanzibar.

  1. Explore Prison Island

Prison Island, also known as Changuu, is at a 30-minute boat ride away from Stone Town. The island was used as a prison for rebellious slaves in the 19th century. However, today, it’s known for the giant tortoises that it’s home to, some of which are older than a hundred years!

You can also snorkel around the island and enjoy seafood and snacks at the restaurant on the island!

  1. Visit the Jozani Forest

Known for its numerous medicinal plants and trees, red Colobus monkeys and the unusual Zanzibar Sykes’ monkeys, the Jozani Forest is the only National Park in Zanzibar!

The mangrove boardwalk at the Forest is an exceptional experience!

  1. Go on a spice tour

Also known as the Spice Island, Zanzibar is known for the many spices that it grows. You can take a spice tour in Zanzibar and buy some spices to cook delicious Swahili food!

  1. Enjoy delicious food at the Forodhani Gardens Food Market

The Forodhani Gardens Food Market opens up every evening at Stone Town, Zanzibar. If you want to have a taste of the delicious local Swahili cuisine, this is your best chance! All kinds of street food are available here ranging from mishkaki to Chipsi Mayai.

  1. Visit the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre

The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is located near Jozani Forest, so it’s best to visit these two together. Learn more about the life cycle of butterflies and spot them at various stages of their cycle! The colorful butterflies here are worth the visit!

  1. Go fishing

Head to the north of Zanzibar for an exceptional fishing experience! You can catch giant trevallies, barracudas and kingfish here! There are many fishing charters in the area that provide high-quality fishing equipment.

  1. Shop at the Darajani Market or Bazaar

The Darajani Market sells everything ranging from food items to clothes! It’s a crowded market with stalls lining the street. You can also find authentic Zanzibar spices here! The Market is located in Stone Town.

  1. Check out the Seaweed Center

The Seaweed Center in Paje, Zanzibar is an interesting place that should be a must-visit. Watch as the locals transform seaweed into various cosmetic products like soap bars, body butter and scrubs. You can even buy these freshly-made products from the Center!

  1. Get a relaxing massage at a spa!

Zanzibar has many resorts that offer spa services like massages. It’s a great idea to get yourself a massage to unwind after all the traveling! Many resorts and spas also offer couples massage services!

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Zanzibar and have the time of your life!

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Expert Guide on Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania!

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