This summer, I was lucky enough to spend a week in Zanzibar, which is just off the coast of Tanzania.
An easier question to ask would be what isn’t there to do in Zanzibar; there’s something to appeal to all holiday-goers, from lying on the beach, shopping, water sports as well as cultural, historical and natural attractions. As hard as it is to pull yourself away from the glorious beaches, the capital city of Stone Town is filled with historical marvels, from the House of Wonders, which was one of the palaces built by the second Sultan of Zanzibar and is now converted to a museum. Another unforgettable site is the slave market; a harrowing but worthwhile visit.
Zanzibar is a big tourist attraction, so it’s not hard to find a great place to eat or shop. There are streets filled with Zanzibari souvenirs, cafes and restaurants, all crammed into little winding streets in ornate buildings. Being in Stone Town is not for the faint-hearted, especially with the intense heat, but it is definitely worth it! Stone Town is an eclectic mixture of old and new, with little nods to its history everywhere: a lot of the doors have gold studs on them, and their original purpose was to deter elephants from ramming the doors down!
As well as the beaches and the city, some other highlights of Zanzibar include the Spice Tour (with this, you get the bonus sight of seeing someone climb a palm tree) and going to see the incredibly rare Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest. Dolphin tours and snorkelling trips are two other activities I would recommend.
An easier question to ask would be what isn’t there to do in Zanzibar
Paje Beach offers a huge range of water sports, as well as the postcard white sands, blue seas and palm trees that make up such a huge part of Zanzibar’s appeal. The beaches can at first seem like any beautiful tropical beach, but they definitely have their own appealing quirks – while sitting at a beachside restaurant on Paje, we saw a herd of cows walking along the sand!
The food in Zanzibar is sublime, especially if you have a penchant for seafood and spice. An incredible restaurant in Stone Town that I would definitely recommend visiting is an Indian restaurant called The Silk Route, which describes itself as ‘Asian Fusion’.
All in all, it was an incredible six days, and I hope I’ll visit again!