Zanzibar, the Spice Island

How to get there

By Daily Flights:
- 20mins from Dar es salaam and
- 1hr 40min from Arusha.

By Ferry:
- 3hrs from Dar es Salaam.

Recommendable Excursions

Stone Town – City tour & shopping- (Half day).

This three & a half-hour tour commences with a visit to Zanzibar's colorful market. Alive with the buzz of locals bartering fresh vegetables and baskets of tropical fruit, amongst the heady smell of Jack fruit (and many other exotic fruits) we continue on to the site of the cathedral built in 1874. The cathedral signifies a potent time in Zanzibar's history and stands on the sight of a past slave market, its high altar standing on the exact site of the whipping post. Slavery was abolished in 1873 through a decree passed by the then current Sultan of Zanzibar. From here we visit the residence of the late Sultans of Zanzibar, 'Tip Tip House', the Old Fort, 'Peoples Palace' and the House of Wonders', full of intrigue and vivid history from a bygone era. The tour ends with a stroll through the narrow streets of the old stone town, the heart of Zanzibar's vivacious history with time for shopping.
- The tour could be in the morning or in the afternoon.

Spices (Half day).

Since the abolition of the slave trade, spices have been at the heart of Zanzibar enterprise. The sheer variety highlights the Islands strategic location as well as the depth of cultural interaction. Indeed no trip to Zanzibar could be considered complete without a visit to one of our carefully selected spice farms. This involves visiting the spices growing areas to see different spices and to learn their nature, uses and taste some of them right on the spot depending on the season. In addition it involves visits to the famous spices producing area where you can see medicinal, cosmetics, ornamental plants and herbs. Most of the interesting items are cloves, nut Meg, rambutan, lipstick, iodine plant, lemon grass, vanilla, henna, shampoo plant etc. Our spice tour offers you the opportunity to indulge your senses with a kaleidoscope of smells, tastes and textures. From the punch of a chili to the refreshing succulence of green coconut flesh, we promise that this tour will awaken your senses. It also provides you with the unique opportunity to purchase these exclusive spices straight from the source. Finally you will visit the Kidichi Persian Baths that were built by the first Sultan of Zanzibar named Sultan Said Said bin Sultan in 1850 and Maruhubi Palace Ruins built by the third Sultan of Zanzibar named Sultan Said Baraghash Bin Said in 1880 which were built especially for housing 99 of his harem. Sensible shoes and hats are advisable.
- The tour could be in the morning or in the afternoon.

Jozani Forest ( Half Day).

After transfer you proceed to Jozani Forest, the largest conservation area in Zanzibar and the only remaining natural mangrove forest on the island, the Jozani Chwaka Bay Conservation Area is renowned for its hairy ape residents, the Red Columbus Monkey. Endemic to Zanzibar, visitors come from far and wide to view the highly endangered Red Columbus Monkey, now numbering only 1500. Due to large-scale cultivation, firewood collection, harvesting building materials and charcoal and lime making, Zanzibar's forests have been largely depleted, making the Jozani Chwaka Bay conservation area a significant natural landscape. Nature lovers can walk through the 100 different towering tree species and marvel at the rich variety of birdlife and other small wildlife that inhabit the cool woodland area.
- The tour could be in the morning or in the afternoon.

Prison Island (Half Day).

Prison Island is one of the nearest islands from Stone Town, just 20 minutes by boat. It is also known as Changuu Island. There are many trees and plants on this island and it is a delight to walk safely and unhindered through the dappled shadows. Birds a bound and bird watchers will find plenty of species to delight them. Its original use was as a prison and later it was taken over to be used as quarantine station by the British Army. Another prison was then built but never used. Today prison Island is a pleasant destination for a day trip. It has some excellent coral formations just offshore providing a good opportunity for snorkeling. Another main attraction is the giant tortoises which are over 100 years old. These tortoises are only found on this island. Not indigenous to continental Africa, the original tortoises were brought from Aldabra in the Seychelles in an effort to extend the tortoise conservation efforts. Aldabra is famous for harboring endemic and rare marine life species, and along with the Galapagos Islands, is one of the worlds few places where giant tortoises exist. Some of the tortoises at Prison Island were rescued from poachers who were intercepted on their way from Aldabra to other parts of the world, where they would sell the animals to private collectors or zoos. These giant tortoises have been living in the Indian Ocean Islands for over 100 million years, but their numbers have fallen to such critically low levels that they are now classified as endangered. The adult tortoises of Prison Island are already producing the next generations, and the future is looking good for the continued survival of this ancient reptile.
- We advise clients to bring waterproof shoes for boarding the dhows and to bring towels, sunscreen and a spare T-shirt for snorkeling.

Kizimkazi Dolphin (Half Day).

After an early transfer to Kizimkazi in Menai Bay, visitors board a local "dhow" and head off in search of the dolphins. An outboard engine is used for the excursion. Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed dolphins and Humpback dolphins, which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim and play friendly with the dolphins at close range, which can be a very rewarding experience.
- We advise clients to bring waterproof shoes for boarding the dhows and to bring towels, sunscreen and a spare T-shirt for snorkeling.

Stone Town / Spices
(Full Day, lunch included or excluded)

This is a combination of Stone Town & Spice Tours as described above with lunch in a selected restaurant in Stone Town. Lunch at a selected restaurant in Stone Town.

Stone Town / Prison Island
(Full Day, lunch included or excluded)

This is a combination of Stone Town & Prison Island as described above with lunch in a selected restaurant in Stone Town. Lunch at a selected restaurant in Stone Town.

Prison Island / Spices
(Full Day, lunch included or excluded)

This is a combination of Prison Island / Spices as described above with lunch in a selected restaurant in Stone Town.

Swahili breezes day cruise
(sand bank & prison island, Full day, lunch included).

We ensure you a relaxing daily Island excursion. Leaving from Stone Town (pick-up from Forodhani Garden or Africa House) for Prison Island, locally known as Changuu Island. We visit the old slave prison ruins and the Aldabra's giant tortoise, once property of the Sultan Said Majid. We will have time to play with starfish on the beach then setting off again with our traditional dhow to Pange Island (Sandbank). On the way we serve breakfast with ginger spiced tea and juices, homemade bread and tropical fruits. It gives you time to relax on the beach, get a nice tan and enjoy the wonderful clear blue waters of Indian Ocean. On the sandbank, we offer a variety of tropical fruits, buffet lunch of Swahili cuisine, Italian cheese and seafood barbeque, soft drinks, water and white wine. Departure 9am to 4pm.

Nungwi Tour (Full Day, excluded lunch).

A full day excursion to the extreme north of the island via Mkokotoni Fish Market and Mvuleni where you can visit the Portuguese Ruins. There are a number of very interesting things to see and do including the traditional fishing village itself with resident speaking a peculiar Swahili dialect. Then the turtle aquarium with various species. A visit to the traditional boat yard and local market are amazing. At the end of the walk you can either relax on the sandy beaches or go swimming in the natural sea. Lunch and refreshments are arranged there to taste local delicacies or international food at a selected restaurant. Clients pay direct.

Safari Blue (Full day, lunch included).

The original and the best, Safari Blue is a full day excursion on locally made, traditional sailing dhows. Safari Blue dhows are between 8 and 10 m in length, and are equipped with Mobile communication devices, life jackets, sunshade and waterproof rain tarpaulin. Safari Blue starts from the fishing village of Fumba, 30 minutes drive from Stone Town. Fumba is situated in the southwest corner of the island and it is an ideal starting point to explore Menai Bay, officially designated a Conservation Area in 1998. The Bay has a number of beautiful uninhabited islands and sandbanks and it is frequented by humpback and bottlenose dolphins. On arrival at Fumba beach at 09:30, clients are given a briefing on Safari Blue and a life jacket demo (life jackets are on board and a safety boat on hand). We then board the dhows and set off to explore the bay and spot the dolphins. We are lucky enough to see dolphins on at least 90% of our trips. Later in the morning, after 30 minutes cruising, we drop anchor by a sandbank (subject to marine conditions) where we set up sunshades and fit our clients with snorkeling equipment (masks and snorkels, fins, buoyancy aids).

We have a large range of sizes and high quality equipment. Safari Blue guides, who can safely lead the snorkeling session and show points of interest, accompany our clients. For beginners or less confident swimmers, we have inflatable snorkeling vests and our guides are always on hand to teach and assist. Rescue boat is on stand-by. After snorkeling, we offer fresh green coconuts (madafu) and serve some delicious snacks before we move to our desert island restaurant located beneath the shade of large tamarind trees on Kwale Island, where clients sit at tables and wooden benches. We will set off for Kwale at around 1300hrs.

Lunch is a traditional Zanzibar buffet and includes slipper lobster, two types of grilled fish, calamari, chicken or beef, rice and freshly-made sauces, all served hot from the grill. Vegetarian/non-fish dishes by prior request. Field toilets are available on the island. A gastronomic fruit tasting follows with a selection of between 10 and 15 different tropical fruits. Cold drinks are available throughout the day and include mineral water, homemade iced tea,sodas and beer. Coffee and Amarula liqueur are also served after lunch.Safari Blue includes a visit to a beautiful mangrove lagoon to swim through a mangrove forest (tide permitting) and a short walk to a huge baobab tree on Kwale Island. We also offer the chance to join our crew and sail in an "ngalawa", a local outrigger canoe. Our traditional dhows return by sail arriving back in Fumba by about 17h00.

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Advisory note:
- We advise our clients to wear swimwear under their clothes (there are no changing Facilities at Fumba) and to bring waterproof footwear for boarding the dhows, beach towel, hat, sunscreen and a spare T-shirt for snorkeling.

Sunset Dhow Cruise (2Hrs).

With this cruise you will get a good glimpse of the wonderful scenes of Indian Ocean, along theStone town shore line. While enjoying the sea breeze, you will be swept away by the soothing sound of traditional tunes played by a local musician. Our good staff is keen to serve you with an appealing variety of aperitif. Serving of white wine, cold local beer, fresh juices and cocktails, to cheer your delicate palate you'll also enjoy a tasting of Italian cheese with homemade jam,prawns, fried calamari, crispy cassava and other delicacies of Swahili cuisine. Departure 4:45 pm to Sunset.

Private Honeymooners Sunset Dhow Cruise ( 2Hrs ).

There is nothing more romantic than sailing away together into a golden sunset in our traditional Swahili dhow; this is a special trip just for two, ensuring that your Honeymoon vacation is the magical, memorable, and heartwarming experience that it should be. Aboard our dhow with Latin sails that glides silently along the stone town coast of Zanzibar under starry and moonlight sky, we are giving you a wonderful honeymoon treat offering intriguing different view of this amazing Island, enjoying the scenery by evening with its soft silent wind which is truly mesmerizing. We also entertain you with special welcoming services, snacks, local beer, sparkling wine, soft drinks and traditional live music, just to make your special day memorable. Departure 5pm until Sunset.

Jozani & Kizimkazi (Full Day, incl. lunch).

After an early transfer to Kizimkazi in Menai Bay, visitors board a local "dhow" and head off in search of the dolphins. An outboard engine is used for the excursion. Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of bottle-nosed dolphins and Humpback dolphins, which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim and play friendly with the dolphins at close range, which can be a very rewarding experience. Meals are taken at a selected shore restaurant in Kizimkazi (Karamba resort restaurant).After lunch you proceed to Jozani Forest, the largest conservation area in Zanzibar and the only remaining natural mangrove forest on the island, the Jozani Chwaka Bay Conservation Area is renowned for its hairy ape residents, the Red Columbus Monkey. Endemic to Zanzibar, visitors come from far and wide to view the highly endangered Red Columbus Monkey, now numbering only 1500. Due to large-scale cultivation, firewood collection, harvesting building materials and charcoal and lime making, Zanzibar's forests have been largely depleted, making the Jozani Chwaka Bay conservation area a significant natural landscape. Nature lovers can walk through the 100 different towering tree species and marvel at the rich variety of birdlife and other small wildlife that inhabit the cool woodland area.

City tour & Sunset Dhow Cruise (Half Day, excl.lunch).

A combination of sightseeing in Stone Town and a sunset cruise. The tour starts in the afternoon in Stone Town. It commences with a visit to Zanzibar's colorful market. Alive with the buzz of locals bartering fresh vegetables and baskets of tropical fruit, amongst the heady smell of Jack fruit (and many other exotic fruits) we continue on to the site of the cathedral built in 1874. The cathedral signifies a potent time in Zanzibar's history and stands on the sight of a past slave market, its high altar standing on the exact site of the whipping post. Slavery was abolished in 1873 through a decree passed by the then current Sultan of Zanzibar. From here we visit the residence of the late Sultans of Zanzibar, 'Tip Tip House', the Old Fort, 'Peoples Palace' and the House of Wonders', full of intrigue and vivid history from a bygone era. The tour ends with a stroll through the narrow streets of the old stone town, the heart of Zanzibar's vivacious history. Later in the evening you take a ride in one of our traditional sailing boat of the type used for centuries for carrying cargo between Zanzibar and the Arabian Gulf. The boat ride will give you an insight into the real Zanzibar. Our boats are equipped with safety equipment, sunshade, snorkeling equipment and boarding ladder. Sit back and relax, enjoy the Zanzibar breezes and crystal clear turquoise waters while sipping a drink accompanied with bites/snacks.

Shopping & Sunset Dhow Cruise ( Half day, excluding lunch).

The tour starts in the afternoon in Stone Town. Zanzibar Stone Town is a shopping heaven. Here you can find a polyglot of goods from all over the world, especially from Africa, India, Arabia and the Far East. There are boutiques and antique shops along Gizenga Street and on Kenyatta Road near the old Post Office, which sell clothing and artefacts fashioned by Tanzanian and Kenyan companies, as well as spices and essential oils, books, postcards, imported kangas, kitenges and jewelery, even music CDs with some of the popular local groups or Taarab music. Tharia Street, behind the Anglican Cathedral, has some gold shops and there is wonderful jewellery made from handmade beads and silver in shops on Gizenga Street and Sokomohogo Square. Malindi and Kiponda streets have shops selling textiles and Mchangani Street has hardware.There are shops in the Darajani area and across the Creek road towards Kiponda which sell electronic equipment at good prices. Later in the evening you take a ride in one of our traditional sailing boat of the type used for centuries for carrying cargo between Zanzibar and the Arabian Gulf. The boat ride will give you an insight into the real Zanzibar. Our boats are equipped with safety equipment, sunshade, snorkeling equipment and boarding ladder. Sit back and relax, enjoy the Zanzibar breezes and crystal clear turquoise waters while sipping a drink accompanied with bites/snacks.

NOTE:
Please don't buy any products made from endangered species, such as shells, ivory and tortoiseshell. Doing so definitely makes the threat to fragile marine and land environments in Africa much worse. We advise clients to bring waterproof shoes for boarding the dhows and to bring towels, sunscreen and a spare T-shirt for snorkeling.

Spices/Mangapwani Slave Caves (Full Day, lunch excluded)

This is a combination of Spice Farms & Slave Caves as described. The Mangapwani Slave Chambers, was used for storing hundreds of slaves, awaiting the monsoon period and the arrival of the dhows to be shipped away from their homes. At the end of this excursion, you'll have time to reflect, relax on the golden sands of the beach Lunch at a selected restaurant in the area.
Advisable
• Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat and swimwear.

Cultural Tour ( Half Day, incl.lunch )

Visit to:
• Pwani Mchangani village
• Mchangani village.
• Kidimni village.
• Local school in Kidimni.

The tour starts in the morning or afternoon. We'll get a first hand glimpse at the everyday lives and enduring traditions of the Zanzibar people this morning, on a visit to two separate and very special villages. We begin by venturing to the island's northeast coast, to a beach community (Pwani mchangani). Here we observe the local engage themselves in seaweed cultivation as a means of livelihood. We learn how the seaweed is nurtured from the initial stages to the point where it is ready for sale as a source of income for the beach community. More than 30 world-class beaches line the coasts of Zanzibar Island—which itself is just 50 miles long. With its warm currents year-round, the sea here attracts a variety of marine life, as we can see in its pristine, shallow waters and lush coral reefs. On a visit to the village of Mchangani this morning, the local people who call this region home will teach us the many different uses of coconut and coconut products. Next, we ride to Kidimni, a village that specializes in the construction of the famous Zanzibari doors that adorn Stone Town and the many homes in Zanzibar. Here, we'll meet the villagers, learn about their craft, and also visit a local school.
- After lunch at a local restaurant, you return to your hotel.

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