Zanzibar (Tanzania)

What to See in Zanzibar (Tanzania)

According to, Zanzibar City is located on the west coast of the island of Zanzibar, which is 40 km from Dar es Salaam on the east coast of Tanzania. This island is one of the oldest trading centers in the world. Since the 5th century, Zanzibar has become a transit point for Persian, Arab and Indian traders. The influence of Asia is noticeable here and now – the majority of the inhabitants are Muslims, and the architecture is dominated by Arabic motifs.

The main attraction of the city of Zanzibar is the ancient district of Stone Town (“Stone City”). Its construction began in 1831. Now it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, in numerous small streets, there are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples and 2 Catholic churches, as well as a large number of buildings made of coral stone. The most interesting is the old Arab fort, it was built in the 18th century. Now you can have a bite to eat and even spend the night here. From time to time performances and concerts are held in the buildings of the fort. Among the attractions you can also highlight the Cathedral of Christ, the Cathedral of St. Joseph, one of the oldest mosques in the area – Malindi with a conical minaret (there are only 3 such mosques in East Africa), as well as the palace of Beit el-Adjaib, which previously served as the residence of Queen Fatuma, and was named so due to the fact that it was the first house with an elevator. Be sure to visit the National Museum, which tells about the history of the island, the Museum of Natural History and the Palace Museum, which is dedicated to Princess Salma, the daughter of Sultan Said, where the halls are located, decorated in the same way as during the reign of the sultans.

In the vicinity of Zanzibar there are also many places that will be of interest to tourists. To the north of the city, 2 km from it, are the ruins of the Marukhubi palace complex.. It was built in 1880 for the harem of Sultan Barkhash and became the most beautiful residential building on the entire island. The remains of the main building with columns have been preserved to this day. Beautiful gardens can be seen not far from them. It is believed that they were planted after the Sultan visited Richmond Park in London.

Marukhubi is adjacent to the ruins of the Mtoni Palace, which was built in 1840 under Sultan Said. 3 km north of Mtoni is the Kibweni Palace – the only palace on the island that is used for public purposes, the president of the country and important guests of Tanzania stop here. Of the ruins of ancient buildings on the island, no less interesting are Kidichi with the remains of Persian baths of the 19th century, Chuini with an observation tower, Kizimbani with the remains of the village residence of the Sultan Said, as well as Fukuchani, dating from the 16th century.

20 km north of the city of Zanzibar is the city of Mangapwani, the main attractions of which are the Coral Cave and the Slave Cave Complex. At the bottom of the Coral Cave is a small freshwater lake, which has become an important source of fresh water in the area. Slave caves are damp, dark dungeons where slaves were hidden in the 19th century after the slave trade was banned.

In the southeast of the island there is a protected area – Jozani Forest. Mangroves with giant ferns and vines are crossed by wooden bridges. The forest is known for the fact that a large number of monkeys live here – red geese. They are not afraid of people and make contact with tourists. Excursions are arranged

from Zanzibar to spice plantations, because more than half of the island is occupied by plantations of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. In the south of Zanzibar, the Menai Bay Conservation Area is located, where sea turtles are protected, which come to these shores to lay their eggs. Also not far from the city coast is the island of Prison. which was once a place of imprisonment for slaves. The island is interesting because here you can watch giant land turtles. They were brought here many years ago from the Seychelles and are now the inhabitants of this island.

Zanzibar is considered the best place in Tanzania for a beach holiday. The beaches here are made of white coral sand, and around them are numerous bungalows. For a relaxing holiday, the resort areas of the eastern and northern parts of the island are more suitable. In the north of the island, these are the beaches of Mangapwani, Nungwi, Mkokotoni, in the east – Kiwengawa, Pongwe, Uroa, Jambiani and Chwaka. Just south of the city of Zanzibar are the beaches of Fuji and Chuini.

In addition to beach holidays Zanzibar has excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling. The island itself and nearby small islands are surrounded by coral reefs. Underwater visibility here ranges from 10 to 30 m, the best time for diving is from October to March. The main dive sites of Zanzibar are the Morogo and Boribo reefs, where, among other inhabitants of the ocean, in January you can see manta rays and Turtle Cave with a large number of turtles.

Between the nearby islands of Pange and Bawe there is the Great Nozerner, which sank in 1897. It lies at a depth of 12 m, a large number of clown fish live here.

The Level Bank site is suitable only for trained divers, the average diving depth is 17 m, and the maximum depth is 40 m. It is located in the Pemba Strait north of Zanzibar.

Diving off the northeast coast of Mnemba Island takes place along coral walls and gardens. In March you can see whale sharks here. Mnemba Island is a private island where the richest people on the planet love to relax.

Not far from Zanzibar is the Marine Park. It includes the islands of Bongoyo, Mbudya, Pangavini and Fungu Yasini. This park was created to protect the coral reefs that surround the islands. Here you can go diving, see coral reefs or just learn more about the inhabitants of coastal waters. The underwater world of the park is extremely diverse – in the coral reefs there are butterfly fish, reef perch, coral shrimps, sea urchins, octopuses, kauri tiger snails, crabs and turtles.

There are deep sea fishing opportunities in Zanzibar. The fishing season here runs from September to March. The catch consists of fish such as bonito, barracuda, yellowfin tuna, marlin and large pelagic fish.

Zanzibar (Tanzania)

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