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Discover the Amazing Zanzibar Island

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

A favorite destination for honeymoons and romantic vacations, this island is the perfect place to relax and take in the sights, thanks to its white sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. You'll also discover a place steeped in history, including colonization, and a vibrant culture of dance and music. Learn more about the island before you leave ! We will answer all your questions.

What to visit in Zanzibar ?

Stone Town, the "capital" of Zanzibar : Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city has many more secrets to reveal than you might think. You can stroll through its narrow streets and appreciate the architecture of the houses they house, get a henna tattoo, meet local artisans or dance to the traditional music of the Taarab.

Nungwi & its beaches : If you have decided to stay in the north of the island, take a day to visit Nungwi and its beaches; swim, laze under the coconut trees with a coconut in your hand.

Spice Tour, not to be missed ! Take the "spice road", which will allow you to discover the plantations and all the spices found on the island, but also learn how they are used in local customs. It's time to bring some home to season your dishes!

Snorkeling or diving around Mnemba Atoll : The Zanzibar archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean, is known for its seabed. You will be able to go on different excursions to discover them! One of the most famous excursions is around the Mnemba atoll. You will easily find excursions proposed by hotels or small local tourist agencies. Duration: half a day or a day depending on your preference.

Prison Island : Located 5km from Stone Town, this island is very rich culturally and historically. It is now a reserve for the protection of giant tortoises: you can swim, see the tortoises and observe the beautiful scenery around!

Jozani Forest and Seaweed Plantations : Jozani Forest is the largest forest in Zanzibar and is known to be home to the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey, a unique species of monkey in the world. The guided tour will also allow you to learn more about the use of different plants by the locals. Duration: half day, if you choose the short tour. For the second part of the day you can go to Paje and take the opportunity to visit the "seaweed plantations", which are a local custom and have a great importance for the people of Zanzibar.

Swim with dolphins in Kizimkazi : In the south of Zanzibar, near Kizimkazi, dolphins have settled in a cave and therefore it is almost always possible to see them if you take a boat. So you have the possibility to leave in a small boat, mainly in the morning, to go swimming with them! Duration: all morning, and costs between 40$ and 70$ depending on the season and the agency you go through.

Safari Blue : Board a local boat and take the excursion called "Safari Blue" located in the south west of the island. You will be able to snorkel and discover beautiful small wild islands. It is a very interesting expedition to do, although a little less known than others !

What is the best time to go there ?

Climatically, the best times to visit Zanzibar are during the dry seasons, between July and September, and between November and February. However, it is also during these periods that tourists flock. So, to be relativized according to your preferences...

What is the cost of living ?

The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency, for one euro you can get about 2,700 Tsh. Euros and dollars are accepted almost everywhere : entrance fees to parks, hotels, activities... For small stores, restaurants, tips, cab rides, you will need local currency, the most advantageous is to convert your euros or dollars in exchange offices, much more interesting than in hotels and banks.

Tanzania, with a GDP per capita more than 20 times lower than that of France, is a poor country, among the poorest in the world. Nearly 36% of the population lives below the poverty line, mainly in rural or peri-urban areas where the poorest people grow a few vegetables in a garden, raise a few chickens, and survive on small informal jobs. The purchasing power of a Tanzanian in the city is about 10 times less than that of an average French person, and that of a Tanzanian in the countryside, 50 times less. And this despite the low price level. Because their salaries are low: not more than 100 € per month for a teacher... So it is difficult for them to save, even more to spend without counting.

On the other hand, for tourists, the country is quite expensive. When a Zanzibarite pays 3 000 TSH for a plate in the street, the tourist pays at least 15 000 TSH in a restaurant adapted to his stomach, even 20 000 TSH for fish or meat. The same goes for transportation, if the dala dala costs a few hundred shilling a trip, with a compression of the human being to the limits of the possible and repeated stops to let people get off and on, the cab and private transfers cost tens of dollars, which must be negotiated. Renting a car is more economical. Rooms are US$ 50 per double at the lowest price, which is relatively expensive*.

However, you can get by living like the locals, especially for food and transportation ! Street food and dala-dala are worth trying!

What are the most beautiful beaches there ?

East coast:

Blue Bay Resort Beach

Jambiani Beach

Paje Beach

Southeast coast: Pongwe Beach

North coast :

Nungwi Beach

Kendwa Beach

Matemwe Beach

Northeast coast : Kiwengwa Beach

But of course, you can be sure that all the beaches there are amazing anyway....

Which are the best restaurants ?

We made you a small list of the best restaurants on the island, according to Trip Advisor :

Blue Dongwe Jetty - Italian specialties, seafood & fish (Dongwe, East of the island)

Fisherman's Seafood & Grill - seafood & fish, grills (Nungwi, North of the island)

The Island - Pongwe Lodge Restaurant - seafood & fish, international cuisine (Pongwe, South East of the island)

Bin Jabir Restaurant - African specialties, seafood & fish (Matemwe, South East of the island)

Rooftops Bar - international cuisine, bar (Nungwi, North of the island)

Tea House Restaurant - African cuisine, Middle East (Stone Town, West Island)

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