Activities & Things to do in Zanzibar
Zanzibar Dolphin Swim
On the Southern point of the Island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed and Humpback dolphins, which can be seen on a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, and the dolphins are feeling cooperative, they may let you swim very close to them which is a truly memorable and 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.
Zanzibar Spice Tour
Although spices no longer dominate the Zanzibar economy as they once did, Zanzibar is still home to many active spice plantations. Some of the many locally grown spices include nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, vanilla, tamarind, menthol, cloves and many others. At one time, Zanzibar produced ¾ of the total world supply of cloves. It was these spices that brought the sultans of Oman across the Indian Ocean by dhow on the seasonal trade winds.
On a spice tour, a friendly and knowledgeable guide will escort you on a walking tour where you will pick leaves, fruits, berries and more, and invite you to smell and taste them to guess which spice they are. Many of the spices are truly beautiful to behold, and rarely does the leaf or berry visually resemble what’s on your spice rack at home. Depending on the season, you may see, smell and sometimes taste between 25-50 different spices, fruits and other plants.
Your guide will give detailed descriptions of what each plant is used for, and not all are for food. Some are medicinal in purpose and still used today in some modern homeopathic medicine, while others such as the henna tree produce a dye used to elaborately decorate the hands and feet of women on celebratory occasions.
And as an added attraction, local children will follow you around while weaving palm leaves into animals, hats, purses and more in the hopes that you will purchase them for a small amount.
Ufufuma Forest Zanzibar
The name “Ufufuma” is derived from the 13th century chief, Mzee Ufufuma, and this historic forest is located only 45 minutes drive from Stone Town. It is a truly exotic and unique place to visit. It is home to some of the rarest wildlife in Africa, sacred caves and to this day still serves as the location for traditional healing practices performed by witch doctors.
The forest is well protected by the Zanzibar government and is home to a wide variety of plant and birdlife, insects (especially butterflies) and animals including wild pigs, bush babies, adders duikers, tree hyraxes, Sykes and red colobus monkeys and bats. With a population estimated at fewer than 2,000, the red colubus monkey is one of the rarest monkeys in Africa and can only be found on the main island of Zanzibar. Ufufuma Forest is also where the last evidence of the Zanzibar leopard was encountered. Although not seen since 1970, prints and droppings have been found as recently as 1994. The unofficial conclusion in the scientific community is that the Zanzibar leopard is now extinct.
The forest contains several sacred caves that once served as homes to 13th century indigenous people. Visitors will have the opportunity to enter the caves, and visit some of the old homes that today are used as traditional spiritual and healing centres where special ceremonies are held for people looking for talents, blessings, richness, cures and protection against diseases and evil spirits. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe local people in their traditional affairs including explanations of the healing instruments, how traditional medicines are made and used, the unique preparations and practices surrounding childbirth and the first forty days after birth, as well as direct interviews with a local witch doctor.
Depending on the day, visitors may get to observe a witch dance where a local witch doctor speaks with spirits that have entered the body of an afflicted person. A site to behold, musicians play mystical tunes on traditional instruments while the group dances and sings the sacred healing songs.
Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar
Changuu Island, commonly referred to as Prison Island, is just a 20 – 30 minute boat ride from Stone Town, Zanzibar. Arriving by boat, the first thing you will see is a rustic wooden bridge jutting out into the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The primary attractions are the giant sea tortoises and the prison ruins.
Historically, Prison Island was first used by Arab slave merchants as a place to detain slaves, and in 1890 the British built what was intended as a prison for Stone Town. Although the building was never actually used as a prison, it later became a quarantine station for Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda and what was then Tanganyika.
A five minute walk across the island from the prison ruins is the giant tortoise sanctuary. Originally imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century, these magnificent creatures are friendly and sometimes the tortoise keepers may offer a child the opportunity to sit atop and ride one of the gentle giants. Beware, it is not uncommon to catch a pair of tortoises copulating!
The island is fringed with a small but beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkeling, and has a lovely white sandy beach for sunbathing. You can hire masks and fins once you’ve landed. There is also a small restaurant offering drinks and refreshments, but usually only has one thing on the menu – fresh fish, chips, and salad.
Jozani Forest Zanzibar
Although most of Zanzibar’s natural forest has been lost to agriculture or construction, the Jozani Forest is a protected reserve, and is the largest conservation area in Zanzibar. It is conveniently located in the centre of Zanzibar about 24 km southeast of Stone Town, and at 44 square kilometers the Jozani Forest covers approximately 3% of the Zanzibar main island.
The reserve contains a large mangrove swamp and natural coral rag forest that is home to over 100 different kinds of trees and species such as the rare and endangered red colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, bush babies, duikers, hyraxes, over 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds. With a population estimated at fewer than 2,000, the red colubus monkey is one of the rarest monkeys in Africa and can only be found on the main island of Zanzibar.
The reserve is managed by the local residents who operate tree nurseries and act as rangers and guides. From the visitors' centre, visitors will take a guided 45-minute nature trail into the beautiful and peaceful forest where there is excellent opportunity to spot the red colobus monkey.
Classic Day Trip Tour Zanzibar
Prison Island & Sand Bank Picnic Tour
- Platinum USD $ 68
- Welcome drinks, snacks, water, soft drinks, beers, wine, lobsters, shrimps,calamari, chicken, jacked potatoes, salad, fresh fruits and live music. All inclusive eat and drink as much as you want philosophy.
- Gold USD $ 55
Fish, chicken, water, soft drinks, jacked potatoes, salad, fruits and live music.
Alcoholic drinks can be purchased on board.
- Silver USD $ 40
Bottled water and live music
Food and beverage can be purchased on board.
- Sunset Cruise (around Stone Town Coast) USD $ 30
Snacks, water, soft drinks, beer, wine and Live music.