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Want more than sun, sea and sand?

Our guide of what to see on Zanzibar Island



Travel Co-ordinator
Published on

02 Nov 2017

Updated on

17 Jan 2024

The Zanzibar Palace Hotel Stone Town

Jozani National Forest and the Red Colobus monkeys

Jozani National Forest Colobus Monkey
The red colobus monkey native to Zanzibar

As one of the last remaining habitats in the world for the Red Colubus monkey, this nature reserve is one of the must-see places on Zanzibar. Due to conservation efforts in the Jozani forest, the numbers of this native monkey have increased from endangered status. Guides will take you down pathways through the trees and, as the monkeys have become used to a human presence, be sure to have your camera ready for some amazing shots of these fascinating creatures.

An excursion here will take half a day and is easily combined with trips to some of the other amazing places Zanzibar has to offer.

Spice Tour

Zanzibar's iconic spices

Do you ever wonder where some of your favourite spices and flavours come from? A visit to Zanzibar would be incomplete without seeing the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices in their original plantations. You may even gain some cooking inspiration as the knowledgeable guides provide in-depth information about the spice’s use in traditional cuisine. It’s definitely a good idea to stock up on spices here so you can add that authentic taste to your meals back home.

Spice tours take a half day and include the chance to purchase spices and taste traditional Swahili food.

Prison Island

Giant Tortoise
Giant Tortoises thriving on Prison Island

Prison Island’s rather ominous name comes from its history as a slave prison and quarantine station. Its function now could not be further from its dark past, as it provides a haven for the endangered Giant Tortoise. These tortoises were imported from the Seychelles and have been allowed to thrive on the island due to dedicated conservation efforts.

As well as being able to get up-close and feed the tortoises, you can see further into the forest interior and spot even more beautiful wildlife such as peacocks and butterflies. If you still need a hit of sun, sea and sand, the beaches around the island are great for sun bathing and snorkelling.

Stone Town

Stone Town
Stone Town as sailors have seen it for centuries

One look at Stone Town and it is easy to see why it is an UNESCO World Heritage site; little has changed since the 19th Century and it buzzes with heritage and culture. Due to the melting pot of Arabic and African influences, an exotic atmosphere perpetrates the winding alleyways, bustling markets and old merchant houses.

The walking tours around the city take you to see such sites as the House of Wonders and the old Arab Fort, as well as revealing the darker history of the town and its prevalence in the African slave trade.

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  • Alistair


    Zanzibar Specialist

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