If you want to go on a vacation but you’re indecisive, a travel to Zanzibar is a great holiday/vacation option to indulge yourself in. Home to some of Africa’s most famous national parks and natural attractions, including majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, inside Tanzania is a year-round tourist destination; Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an insular autonomous region of Tanzania composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, located 25-50 kilometers (16-31 mil) off the coast of the mainland.
With a necklace of tropical islands strung along the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is renowned as a favorite spot to relax after a safari holiday on mainland Tanzania. The Zanzibar Archipelago is home to many small islands and two large ones. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja where you get to see the city’s historic centre, Stone Town, a World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar is well known for its tourism industry promoted by the government activities which has seen tourists and visitors increase from 19,000 in 1985, to 376,000 in 2016. With four ethnic groups; Arabs, Hadimu, Swahili, and Tumbatu, Zanzibar has three official languages namely, Swahili, Arabic, and English. It has a total land area of 2,462 km2, with a population of 1,503,569 according to the 2o12 census.
Zanzibar is home to some of the most varied cuisine in Sub-Saharan Africa, with dozens of stalls hawking food ranging from barbecued octopus to crispy pancakes known as “Zanzibar Pizzas”. A visit to Stone Town’s best rooftop restaurant, Emerson on Hurumzi, will get you a decadent Persian-inspired feast backed by live Taarab music on the cushion-strewn rooftop.
Top Tourist Attractions in Zanzibar
With Zanzibar comes a plethora of amazing places to visit and things to do, as the East African island packs a whole lot of punch for things to do and experience.
- Jozani Forest
Jozani Forest is one of the most popular tourist sites to visit in Zanzibar, even as the forest is the last sanctuary in the world to see the Zanzibar red colobus monkey. The forest sits in the Eastern part of the island and is one of the lushest places on Zanzibar. With many nature trails leading through the forest, it can be easy to spot the monkeys. It is advisable to go before 9 am, as other tourists begin to arrive after this time, crowding the forest.
2. House of Wonders
A tourist’s journey to Zanzibar is not complete without a visit to Stone Town. In Stone Town, “Palace of Wonders” is the tallest building and the main point of interest in Zanzibar. It is the spot for the first elevator in all of East Africa and serves as the perfect place for history lovers to learn about the history of the town and exhibits of historic towns.
iii. Paje Beach
With hip cafes, burger joints, kite surfing companies, bars, and hostels, Paje Beach in Zanzibar is one of the great places to visit. If you want to lounge, relax and enjoy the view of the beach, the turquoise waters are very inviting. For tourists who are visiting Zanzibar for vacations or holidays, the most popular thing to do in Paje is kite surfing.
When is the best time to travel to Zanzibar?
Zanzibar in recent years has experienced some developments, although the opening of the new airport in 2018 has been marked with delays, great developments are happening elsewhere. New luxury hotels are coming up, The Hotel Verde Zanzibar, which prides itself as the island’s greenest hotel, and the luxe Zuri Zanzibar, are some of these new hotels.
The best time to travel to Zanzibar is now that new developments are coming up. The best time to visit Zanzibar aside from the developments, is during the Archipelago’s dry season, from July to September, which is a very popular time to travel. You can also travel at other times of the year as temperatures range between 28oC and 34oC.
Essentials To Take On Your Travel To Zanzibar
Since Zanzibar is an island, you are probably going for an island adventure and the most practical items to pack include; day wear, evening wear, swimsuit, sun hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and a light sweater.
Zanzibar is an island immersed in the culture and rich history, which has become a destination that has attracted adventurers and tourists from far and wide. The unit of currency used in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). Foreign currency is also usually accepted in most establishments in Tanzania, including travelers’ cheques and cash.