Frequently Asked Questions About Zanzibar City
When is the best time for traveling to Zanzibar City?
The best time to visit Zanzibar City, Tanzania is between July and October when the weather is milder and there is less rain. The peak season runs from June to September when temperatures range from 24-30°C (75-86°F). During this period, visitors will find plenty of hotels, restaurants and attractions open for business. This makes it a great time to explore Zanzibar’s pristine beaches or take part in some of its unique cultural events. For those looking for a quieter experience, April and May are excellent times to go as the weather is still relatively dry but there are fewer tourists in the area. Whichever time you decide to come, make sure you bring enough sunscreen!
Which area is best to stay in Zanzibar City?
The best area to stay in Zanzibar City depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. For beach lovers, the east coast is home to some of the island’s most beautiful white sand beaches. Stone Town is perfect for exploring as it’s full of narrow streets and vibrant architecture, while Nungwi is known for its lively nightlife and great seafood restaurants. If you’re looking for more luxury, there are several exclusive resorts located across various areas of the island. Whatever your preference may be, Zanzibar City has something to offer everyone!
Which are the most popular attractions in Zanzibar City?
1. Stone Town: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City. Here visitors can explore narrow alleyways and markets full of local goods, take in 18th century colonial architecture, visit the old slave market or experience an evening of Zanzibari food and dance at one of its many restaurants.
2. Beaches: The east coast has some of the most stunning white sand beaches in Tanzania, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. For a more exclusive experience check out Kendwa Rocks Beach which offers accommodation as well as access to several water sports activities.
3. Jozani Forest Reserve: Located on the outskirts of Zanzibar City, this protected area is home to the rare and endangered Red Columbus Monkey. Here, visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the local flora and fauna or go for a hike in the jungle.
4. Spice Tour: Zanzibar is known as the ‘Spice Island’ and its tropical climate allows for the cultivation of some of the rarest spices in the world. Take a tour around one of the local farms to learn about their history, taste some freshly picked produce and purchase some unique souvenirs.
5. Prison Island: A coral island located just off the west coast of Zanzibar City, this small island was used as a prison by Arabs during colonial times but now it’s home to a population of giant turtles which can be seen while snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.
Which food places should I try in Zanzibar City?
1. Forodhani Gardens: Located in the heart of Stone Town, this popular food market is a great place to sample some local dishes such as grilled seafood and Indian-style curries.
2. Amaan Beach Restaurant: This beach-front restaurant offers spectacular views and delicious freshly caught seafood such as lobster, crab and octopus.
3. The Rock Restaurant & Bar: Overlooking Kendwa Rocks Beach, this restaurant serves up local Zanzibari cuisine with a modern twist including tandoori chicken and seafood curry.
4. Mambo’s Pizza House: For traditional Italian pizza head over to Mambo’s in Stone Town which also offers calzones, lasagna and other mouth-watering dishes.
5. Café des Amis: This local café serves up French-style crepes and waffles with a variety of sweet fillings such as Nutella, banana and ice cream.
6. Joey’s Restaurant & Bar: For fresh seafood and steaks head to this beach-side restaurant which also offers cocktails and live entertainment in the evenings.
7. Zanzibar Coffee House: Enjoy some freshly brewed coffee or espresso accompanied by a selection of light bites and pastries at this charming cafe in Stone Town.
8. Spice Island Hotel: Located in the heart of Stone Town, this luxury hotel offers an exquisite dining experience featuring gourmet Zanzibari cuisine paired with fine wines from around the world.
What are some good shopping areas in Zanzibar City?
1. Stone Town: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to many bustling markets, intricate bazaars and quaint souvenir shops. Here you can find anything from spices, clothes and textiles to antiques and traditional artwork.
2. Forodhani Gardens: Located in the heart of Stone Town this popular food market also offers some unique local handicrafts such as carved wooden masks, jewellery and paintings.
3. Darajani Market: The largest market on the island, this vibrant place is full of stalls selling fresh produce, spices, clothes and traditional Zanzibari furniture. It’s a great place to haggle for a good bargain!
4. Kuza Bazaar: This buzzing bazaar is located in the heart of Historic Stone Town and sells a wide range of local handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs.
5. Marine Drive: A great spot for watching the sunset as well as for browsing some unique open-air markets selling handmade art, jewellery and clothing.
What are the best places to enjoy nightlife in Zanzibar City?
1. The Rock Restaurant: Located on the water’s edge of Stone Town, this popular spot is perfect for watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean while enjoying some tasty seafood dishes and cocktails.
2. Emerson Spice Café: This lively café offers a unique mix of music and entertainment with live performances, DJs and traditional African dancing.
3. Club Mwanzo: A great place to dance the night away at this popular nightclub located in Historic Stone Town which plays a variety of genres from hip-hop to disco.
4. Red Monkey Bar & Grill: This beachside bar serves up delicious cocktails and barbeque food along with live music every Thursday through Saturday evening.
5. Bembe Street Bar: A local favourite, this bar is perfect for grabbing a few drinks and having a good time. With live music every night and karaoke on Sundays, it’s sure to be an entertaining evening!
6. Tembo House: This spot in Stone Town has something for everyone from DJs playing international music to reggae nights, plus plenty of beer pong tables.
7. Livingstone Lounge Bar & Restaurant: Located in the heart of Stone Town this comfortable lounge bar serves up delicious cocktails alongside tasty tapas plates and gourmet pizzas.
8. Zanzibar Beach Club: Enjoy a relaxed evening at this open-air beach club which offers up great views of the Indian Ocean with plenty of chilled out music.
9. The Wall Bar: This lively bar in Stone Town is a great spot for having a few drinks and dancing until the early hours of the morning.
What are the nearby day trips to take from Zanzibar City?
1. Spice Tour: A great way to explore the local culture and learn about traditional spices grown on the island, this tour takes visitors through some of the most picturesque villages in Zanzibar.
2. Prison Island: Located just off the coast of Stone Town, this stunning private island is home to an old prison as well as a giant tortoise sanctuary where visitors can wander among these ancient creatures.
3. Dolphin Watching Tour: Go on a boat trip for a chance to spot some of the wild dolphins living in the waters around Zanzibar, with some lucky visitors getting up close and personal with these majestic creatures!
4. Jozani Forest Reserve: Visit this natural reserve to see a variety of wildlife and plant species, including rare red colobus monkeys, bush babies and over 50 species of bird.
5. Mangrove Kayaking Tour: Take a kayak trip through the mangroves of Zanzibar to see some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world with plenty of exotic marine life.
6. Dhow Sailing Trip: Go for a sail on an authentic wooden dhow for a chance to explore Zanzibar’s beautiful coastline and spot some dolphins along the way.
7. Kizimkazi Fishing Village: This small fishing village located on the southern tip of Zanzibar is well known for its historic mosque which dates back centuries as well as its stunning white sand beaches.