Many different activities are available, offering you a stay rich in adventures! I’ll tell you here what to do in Zanzibar and share with you my detailed experience. Before choosing the activities, you may be assailed on the beach by the famous “beach boys”, trying to sell you the maximum possible activities. We had the chance to meet Marco Polo, his “office” is right next to the hotel. Tell him you come from me. On site, go in front of the grocery store and ask for him. Marco tries to bring you the best of Zanzibar experience, he is well organized and will make you stay memorable.
We were 4 people and did all our activities with him: Swimming with dolphins, meeting red monkeys at Jozani Park and doing the spice tour -Visit Stone Town and Prison Island -Safari Blue –Snorkeling on the atoll of Mnemba Island -Tumbatu Island -Kendwa beach -The Rock Restaurant -Paje beach.
Swimming with Dolphins
The dolphins are in the south of the island, count a 1h45 drive to get there, with a departure from the hotel at 6am. Do not forget your mask and snorkel (or fins if you’re a pro and have your own snorkeling equipment). Otherwise, they will provide you all the equipment on site. We took a small boat, it took us less than 20 minutes to see them. It’s a great feeling and a unique experience to be able to approach wild dolphins. Those people who were able to swim with them and see them under water will keep a great memory. However, the weather was overcast, a little cool. We were ten boats where people threw themselves into the water, almost on dolphins for the chance to see them. It gave me the feeling of the tracker, it was pretty weird. The noise of the engines that accelerate suddenly perceiving one part of a dolphin does not help… I did not jump in the water. I preferred to quietly observe them from the boat rather than from with those who were struggling to try to follow them… impossible task, given their speed. We were lucky, because sometimes you can not see them.
The visit in Jozani Park and the discovery of red monkeys
We had an interesting guide who explained a lot of elements of the rainforest, mangroves and the famous popular red monkeys. A moment of calm after the intensity of the dolphins.
visit a local farm producing spices The best of our day! We learned so much and enjoyed the lively and rewarding visit. Many of us have the habit of seeing the spices in their final state, ie when we use it. But are you able to recognize their cropping patterns, basic aspects, etc? I challenge you with this tour! Did you know for example that cinnamon comes from a tree where everything is used? The leaves, the bark and the roots! Besides the Zanzibaris call this tree the king of spices! We enjoyed so much this visit, and we finished with a great fruit tasting and some local shopping. A wonderful sensory experience.
Mnemba Island and atoll
This is one of the finest snorkeling spots Zanzibar. It is a little off the island Mnemba, you throw yourself into the clear and bright blue water from the boat. Fish are colorful. Little disappointing point for me, you will get so quickly accustomed to cross very few tourists that to end up with fifty tourists in the same place will make this activity lose its charm. It is also a shame not to be able to go on the island, which now belongs to a hotel and is private. And all we dreamt about was relaxing on its white sand beach.
Visit Stone Town
It’s my crush of the holidays! We had this time a French speaking guide, Miki! Ask Marco Polo to have Miki for this visit! Getting lost in the narrow cobbled streets, wandering through the market, discovering its famous doors and talking about its painful past of the global slave traffic. A visit not to miss is the slave market and the history of David Livingston. Once in Stone Town, you can easily get to Prison Island which is simply a sanctuary for tortoises. These centenarian turtle are impressive.
We start the morning with the rain. Once there, many more tourists since the beginning of our stay. I was a little bit surprised. This tour takes us on a sandbank at low tide us to swim, but the sky was very cloudy. We go by boat to a snorkeling spot where we saw lots of beautiful fish. Back on another small island for lunch, when the sun begins to emerge. The meal is delicious. cigals and lobsters with rice. End the day in a natural pool, surrounded by mangroves. My regret about this island is that it is simply a dump!
From the Z hotel, the Tumbatu island is not far (you can see it with your eyes). We were advised by a Dutch who lived in Zanzibar and come back several times for holidays. The aim is to fish and snorkel, but I don’ recommend it. In a small boat, you will be tossed by the waves and be watered generously. The Zanzibaris are used to it, but the 45-minutes crossing in these conditions was highly unpleasant. We finally arrive near an uninhabited island. The snorkeling is right there, in a cloudy water.
Kwenda beach is a beautiful beach. The water is very calm and crystalline. There are more tourists, bars, restaurants, and so obviously a lot of street vendors. You will enjoy the atmosphere in music and have fun, I recommend it anyway.
The Rock Bar restaurant
This restaurant is recognized as one of the most unusual in the world is magical. At the top of this little rock is a small restaurant and a terrace where you can stroll. It offers island specialties. My advice: take “the rock special”, a huge plate (serving 2) fish, lobster, cigals, prawns, calamari, squid, shrimp! A real treat! The service is also waiting for you! Then sit down for coffee on the terrace and enjoy the view. The must is to go on foot at low tide and leave the waterfront or in the dugout! A place to really not to miss if you stay on the island!
Paje beach is a very long beach, with lots of wind (too much ?!) filled with tourists doing kite surf. I have not really enjoyed it, but if you try kite surfing, this is the place to go.
In conclusion, if you do not know what to do in Zanzibar, I highly recommend you to:
- visit Stone Town and get lost in its pretty cobbled streets
- meet tortoises, 200 years old
- enrich you (sensory speaking) with the spice tour
- snorkeling at Mnemba Island
- lunch at The Rock, one of the most unusual restaurants in the world
- and of course, enjoy the idyllic sandy beaches with turquoise water and palm trees.