Picturesque town with a thousand colors, Stone Town is the oldest settlement of Zanzibar and the cultural heart of this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. Known as “Mji Mkongwe” in the local language, Stone Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical importance and its architecture, which reflects the different influences that define the Swahili culture and includes Moorish, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European elements.
Multiethnic and multicultural city, Stone Town is a true masterpiece in the open air, characterized by its winding streets full of bazaars, mosques, shops and colorful houses with ancient wooden doors carved and decorated with Islamic or Indian motifs. It is a pleasure to walk among the scents and the charm of this wonderful city, where the large number of outstanding monuments and historic buildings alone are worth a visit. The attractions include the Old Dispensary, one of the best decorated buildings of Stone Town, which is characterized by beautiful balconies richly carved and decorated . Another place to visit is the market Darajani, where you can feel the true culture of the city and you can also buy handmade products by local craftmen.
Other landmarks in Stone Town are: the Persian Baths of Hamamni, with its three floors of metal colonnades imported from Scotland by the Sultan Bargash; St. Joseph Cathedral with its side spires; the Palace of Wonders, one of the most impressive buildings in the city; the Sultan's Palace, located on the waterfront of Mizingani Road; Forodhani Gardens, one of the meeting points of the most vital of Zanzibar; and the Mosque of Malindi, one of the oldest on the island.
Forodhani night food market
A visit to Stone Town can not be considered complete without a stop at the Forodhani Night Food Market. We suggest you arrive before dusk, and watch the space fill up methodically with chefs dressed in whites and tall hats setting up stands and grills. You’ll be able to taste fish, squid, prawns, lobster, crab claw and seafood kebabs. Freshly pressed juices, like sugar cane juice and cassava, fried potatoes, chapatis, salads, beef skewers, falafel and Zanzibar ‘pizzas’ are further temptations. Forodhani Market is frequented mostly by locals. Forodhani has a festive, carnival-like atmosphere, so do not miss out to experience this event.
Once the site of a gaol for misbehaving slaves, the island lies just off the old stone town. It is fringed with a beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkelling, and has a lovely white beach for sun-bathing.It is also home to a family of giant tortoises, imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century. This island is ideal for a day-trip with refreshments available throughout the day. It also has a small restaurant where you can enjoy freshly caught fish.
Kizimkazi Mosque & Dolphin Tour
Located on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed dolphins which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim quite close to the dolphins which can be a very rewarding experience. Kizimkazi is also the site of a 12th century mosque, the earliest evidence of Islam in East Africa, and is thus worth a visit for both natural and cultural reasons.
Jozani Forest e Spice Tour
The Jozani Natural Forest Reserve is located in the central east region of Zanzibar island and is home to the rare Red Colobus Monkey (pictured opposite), which is endemic to Zanzibar. These monkeys are full of character, and roam freely. They can also be seen at very close quarters just outside the reserve's perimeter and are incredibly photogenic. Jozani is home to other species including Syke's monkey's, small buck and bushpigs. The elusive Zanzibar leopard (last sited several years ago) is said to feed here at night - perhaps this is why the reserve is only open during the day. Jozani has an excellent nature trail and the guides are well trained and informative.
After visiting Jozani forest, we usually carry on with the spice tour. Thanks to the development of the economy during the ‘800, Zanzibar is historically known as the "Spice Island". In the central area of the island there are still large plantations where the guide will illustrate the plants producing spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, ginger, cumin, saffron, etc. ), how they are processed and their officinal uses.
North coast e Dhow
Tours to the unspoilt north coast always end up at Ras Nungwi, a sleepy fishing village on the northern tip of Zanzibar island. It is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar, so you will be able to see the traditional methods of dhow construction in action. This area of Zanzibar has some fantastic beaches and nearby coral reefs which are ideal for diving and snorkelling. The local villagers have built a turtle sanctuary where injured turtles and other marine animals are nursed back to health before being released back into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
A magnificent place, a small island of pure white sand surrounded by a sea of breathtaking colours. From Kizimkazi, powerboats are available to take you to one of the several sandbanks to be found in the waters between Zanzibar and Tanzania. The distance compared to other islands will allow you to enjoy this “paradise” in complete peace. Snorkelling around the nearby reef and meals of grilled fish will help make this an unforgettable trip.
On board the ngalawa, a typical small sailboat, skilfully steered by our captain, you can explore the incredible Indian Ocean floor, admiring a multitude of brightly colored fish, starfish, coral and sponges. You can also witness octopus fishing as you walk along the barrier reef. The captain is available to accompany you on fishing excursions along the coast or spearfishing, or simply to enjoy a relaxing swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.