I’ve come to fall in love with Mother Africa. There’s so much to this huge continent. My goal is to take on one country of Africa at a time. So far so good. On this trip I take on Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Why did I choose Zanzibar? Honestly I had done precious little research I just knew it was within close proximity to nearby Tanzania which was the 1st stop on the tour of this side of Africa. Coming from out the bush with the indigenous people and roughing it in the woods for 5 days I thought Zanzibar would be the perfect icing on the cake to round out the vacation. Little did I know what a treat I’d be in for. Zanzibar is GOALS! Everyone should put this place on the short bucket list. It’s tropical, rich in history and culture and has the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen. Lets explore some Must Do activities while on the island.
- Explore the streets of Stone Town
I was able to arrange a walking street tour via the concierge at the gorgeous Park Hyatt Zanzibar where I was staying. He connected me with a local guide who for a nominal fee took me on a guided walking tour of Stone Town sharing insights of the city while delving deeply into its rich history. Famously known for its doors and how intricate and ornate they are but did you also know each style of door has a meaning? The beauty of these visibly solid doors is breathtaking and compels you to want to know the story behind the craftsmanship. Did you know Zanzibar was a main port for slave trade? There are indicators and memories and memorials all around town. I’d suggest visiting the Prison Island as well.
- Visit Prison Island
A quick 30 minute boat ride will get you to this island. Unlike what the name suggests prisoners were never housed on the island, instead it was used as a place of quarantine for those with yellow fever and for rebellious slaves. I visited the island with some fellow solo traveling women I had met while enjoying the sunset. We became fast friends and started hanging out with one another. While there you can also see the giant tortoise preserve, scuba, grab a bite and enjoy this half day excursion.
- Check out Forodhani Night Market
The city seems to come alive in the evening. The vendors are out, the music is playing and the smell of all types of food is in the air. People are everywhere! It’s a great opportunity to mingle with the locals and other tourists.
- Watch the sunset at Africa House hotel
After a great day of exploration or hitting the beach hang out on the rooftop of this hotel during “happy hour” and enjoy the beautiful orange and yellow glow of the sunset. It’s beautiful. Tip: come early because the rooftop fills up quickly.. its the hotspot location during sunset.
- Take part in a Market Tour
There’s no shortage of markets in the area… fish markets, chicken market, produce, trinkets and of course spices. being a tea lover I picked up a few bags of local spices and teas to take back home. A few steps further down the street you’ll find the seafood and poultry markets those are interesting too to say the least.
- Learn about the East African slave trade and visit the old Slave Market
The slave market will touch you emotionally. In that moment you’ll feel like you were taken back in time. You’ll see the cramped quarters where the slaves were held. Men separated from the women and children. You feel and sense the history as you walk through and see the pictures and original slave papers. It’s a memory and experience I’ll certainly never forget
You can also just simply enjoy some great food and drink while taking it all in. The food was really flavorful and rich in spices.