Zanzibar, Tanzania

Sights of Zanzibar, Tanzania

According to, Zanzibar is a large island off the coast of Tanzania. The island has become an increasingly popular winter sun destination in recent years. This is not surprising when you consider that you are assured of good weather all year round. Temperatures below thirty degrees Celsius are rare. Combine this with the friendly and helpful people of the country, the beautiful white beaches and the excellent snorkeling and diving spots and you have the perfect holiday destination. If you want more than just a sun, sea and beach holiday, there is more than enough to see and do on Zanzibar. Especially the capital Stone Town, Prison Island and Jozani national park are highly recommended.

However, most tourists opt for a relaxed holiday with one or two trips to one of the resorts on the island. Beautiful sandy beaches can be found all over the island. However, you have to take into account that there is a big difference between low and high tide, so that you sometimes have to walk several hundred meters at low tide to get to the ocean. However, during these walks you have a chance to encounter beautiful starfish and other brightly colored animals.

Top 10 places to visit in Zanzibar

#1. Stone Town
The largest and most important city is Zanzibar City. This city can roughly be divided into two parts: New Town and Stone Town. As a tourist you will most likely only get to Stone Town. This historic part of the city is included in its entirety on the Unesco World Heritage List. Stone Town owes its name to the fact that all houses are built of coral stone. In Stone Town you will find all kinds of nice shops, terraces, hotels and markets. It is therefore a must see during your holiday in Zanzibar.

#2. Jozani National Park
The Jozani National Park is the only national park of Zanzibar and also one of the few places on the island where you can still find real jungle. This is not in the part that is open to tourists. What you do see are Zanzibar colobus monkeys. These native animal species can only be found in this forest. They are quite easy to identify by their black, white and brown fur. The monkeys are so used to people that they are willing to be photographed. In the woods also live a few small deer, cats and monkeys. Unfortunately, these are rarely seen.

#3. Prison Island
Prison Island is a beautiful small island off the coast of Zanzibar. The island owes its name to the Portuguese prison that can be found on the island. However, this prison was never really used because the Portuguese discovered during construction how beautiful the island was and it was a shame to put prisoners on it. However, a beautiful house was built for the then governor. The main attraction of Prison Island, however, is the turtle sanctuary. These turtles are originally from the Seychelles but have lived on this island for many years.

#4. Mercury House
The Mercury House in Stone Town is the house where Queen singer Freddy Mercury was born and spent the early years of his life. The house can be found on the Kenyatta road. However, there is not much to see. Where you would expect something from a museum, it turns out to be just a flat. Only two displays and a gold sign above the door mark the birthplace of the former Queen frontman.

#5. The Old Fort
The Old Fort can be found right in the historic center of the city of Stone Town. The fort was built at the end of the seventeenth century to protect the city against attacks by the Portuguese. Unfortunately for the then Omani ruler this turned out not to be enough and the Portuguese managed to conquer the island anyway. Today the fort is used as a restaurant retail space and concerts and events are regularly held in the courtyard.

#6. The Palace of the Sultan
The palace of the Sultan is one of the most famous sights in the capital Stone Town. The palace was built at the end of the nineteenth century after the previous palace was damaged during the revolution. A museum is now housed in the current palace. The collection of the museum is not very impressive, but the guide can tell you about it and the views from the balconies are beautiful. It is nice to see that on the ground floor there are paintings of the Austrian monarchs Elisabeth of Bavaria, better known as Sissi and her husband Emperor Franz Joseph the First.

#7. Diving and snorkeling
Zanzibar is known as one of the most beautiful diving and snorkelling places in the world. Off the coast of the island there are still beautiful untouched corals in beautiful colors in several places. Between the corals you will encounter all kinds of beautiful large and small fish. It is a good idea to bring a small underwater camera with you so that you can capture all these beautiful colors. If you are lucky you can even come face to face with a sea turtle.

#8. Herb gardens
Not tourism but the trade in herbs is the main form of income for the majority of the inhabitants of Zanzibar. In the so-called Spice Gardens you as a tourist can learn everything about the different herbs and fruits that are grown on Zanzibar. During your tour of the herb garden, you get to taste, smell and feel all the herbs. The tour ends with a fruit tasting. You can taste all kinds of fruit grown there.

#9. Coral Cave
The Coral Cave of Zanzibar is, according to some researchers, the place where the first inhabitants of the island must have lived nearby. The water in the cave served as drinking water and the cave also provided the necessary shelter from outside dangers. Today the cave is a tourist attraction. The cave can be found twenty kilometers north of the capital Stone Town.

#10. The Stone Town
market The Stone Town market is a nice sight in the capital of Zanzibar. The inhabitants of the city do their shopping at this colorful market. One tourist dares not to eat anything on the island after visiting this market, while the other is tasting and buying everything on the market. The indoor meat and fish market in particular is a bit too much for most tourists. The air that hangs here will remain in your memory for a long time. The other parts of the market are a lot more accessible and very nice to walk on.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

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