7 fun things to do in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is one of the most famous islands in the world thanks to its white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water. It has been named as one of the most beautiful islands as well.

Located 35 kilometres from Tanzania’s mainland and a 2-hour ferry ride from Dar-Es-Salaam, Zanzibar consists of several islands which are commonly referred to as the Spice Islands. The name is a nod to the main commercial activity that used to happen in the old times on the islands.

Today, the islands house a number of luxurious and pocket-friendly resorts, historical buildings and tons of adventures. The main four islands include Unguja Island (which is Zanzibar), Pemba Island, Latham Island, and Mafia Island where you can enjoy a variety of activities. Whether you’re looking to relax by the beach or explore the islands, there’s something for everybody.

Here are some things to do in Zanzibar.

Walk Around Stone Town


Stone Town, also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for Old Town) is an old part of Zanzibar City. The architecture dates back to the 19th Century giving a great example of a thriving Swahili trading town. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The old structures still stand strong and some have been converted to boutiques and restaurants that make a walk through the town feel like a scene from a romance novel. You can also visit some of the well-known landmarks such as the House Of Wanders and Old Fort and learn more about the history and culture of Stone Town.

Visit The Zanzibar Butterfly Center


If you love butterflies, then you’re in luck. Zanzibar has a butterfly centre that is home to a wide variety of butterfly species. Even if you’re not a butterfly enthusiast, the place will blow your mind away. The team of professional guides will take you through the different species, their life cycles and metamorphosis. You can also take beautiful photos at the centre or simply enjoy a therapeutic walk while butterfly-watching.

Go On A Spice Tour


As mentioned, Zanzibar is also referred to as Spice Island due to its thriving spice trade centuries ago. The island has maintained this tradition and to date, there are several spice farms that offer guided tours. Most depart from Stone Town to the farms where you not only get to see, smell and taste the spices but also get a cooking class. Make sure to carry extra cash if you want to buy some spices.

Visit The Prison Island


Built in the 1800s, Prison Island has a rich but dark history. It was uninhabited until the Sultan of Zanzibar gifted it to Arab slave owners. The slave owners used the island as a prison for rebellious slaves. It was later used as a quarantine island for British travelers. Despite its dark past, Prison Island is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Zanzibar. It boasts breathtaking scenery and a tortoise sanctuary where you can see the giant Aldabross tortoise making it a must-visit for travelers.

Dine At The Rock Restaurant


The Rock is a unique and exclusive eatery located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant has seen a resounding success since it was opened in 2010 and it’s often listed as one of the best restaurants in Zanzibar. Perched on top of a massive rock, it has a modest structure that celebrates the traditional African house design. Don’t let the looks fool you, though. The prices are sky high and you have to book a reservation. However, if you don’t want to eat at the restaurants, you can still take some Instagram-worthy pictures at the location.

Visit The Kuza Cave


One of Zanzibar’s best-kept secrets, Kuza Cave is located in Northern Jambiani, an 8-minute drive from Paje. It provides an adventurous yet peaceful experience for nature lovers who want a change of scenery. It’s clear, turquoise fresh water is not only aesthetic but also healing and visitors are encouraged to take a dip. You can also enjoy performances from talented drummers and dancers and finish the day with a delicious Swahili meal.

Relax On The Beach


Zanzibar is the go-to destination for a relaxing beach holiday. It boasts white pristine beaches that surround the islands. You’re, therefore, guaranteed to find accommodation along the beach or within walking distance from the beach. The beach offers a serene ambience with beautiful views to help you unwind and escape the real world. If you’re looking for a little adventure, you can go kite surfing, jet skiing, snorkelling and scuba diving.