Set like a jewel in tranquil coral waters, only 20 minutes flight or 70 minutes by speed boat from Dar es Salaam, is one of the world’s most beautiful island – ZANZIBAR – called ‘UNGUJA’. Its name evokes a romantic past. Zanzibar has for centuries been a center of attraction for merchants, sea farers, explorers, fortune hunter, missionaries and invaders.The cultural heritage of the people of Zanzibar is a reminder of the past left by Summarians, Assyrians, Hindus, Egyptians,
Portuguese, Arabs, Germans, British, who left their mark on the islands. Kiswahili the local language is full of Arabic words, Hindu and Portuguese. The Bullfight of Pemba and the occult Mwaka Kogwa (celebrations of Nairuz Year) in Makunduchi originate from Portugal and Persian respectively.
Prison Island gets its name from the prison built to condemn Zanzibari citizens to the isolation of the island, looking out at the coast. Previously owned by an Arab to house his rebellious slaves, the prison was never used, and the island is now home to a tortoise sanctuary, prison ruins and hotel.
Prison Island is 20 minutes away from Stone Town by boat and has spectacular coral reefs to enjoy while snorkelling. Giant tortoises shuffle through the trees, with the patience that old age brings you. Originally thought to be from the Comoros Is¬lands and Seychelles, some of these tortoises are said to be over 100 years old. Stately and lumbering, the tor¬toises have even been known to take children on a ride.
Lunch is available on the island and then you’re left to your own devices. If you’re feeling active, you can explore one of the hiking trails, snorkel in the crystal clear waters in search of co-lourful tropical fish darting through the reef or soak up some sun on the powder white beach. Thatched ban¬das are dotted along the waterfront, available for hire if you wish to stay for the night.
The Prison Island excursion is a great companion to a morning city tour. After an eventful morning of walking through the busy streets of Zanzibar, you can enjoy this slow and relaxing island excursion.
• Swim wear, towel and water resistant shoes.
• Hat and sunscreen.
• Please do not feed or touch the tortoises.
North Coast Tour
The north coast is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar. Your drive to Nungwi will take you past the fish markets, where you can see freshly caught seafood being auc¬tioned. There’s a stop at the ruins of an old Portuguese settlement, where your guide will explain the history of the ruins and the Portuguese conquest of Zanzibar, dating back to 1497.
A stop at the blacksmith is fascinat¬ing. Tools are still made in the tra¬ditional way for constructing dhows. At the construction site, dhows are built in the same way they have for centuries, skilled craftsmen bending wood to create the dhows. Visitors may be invited to try their hand at this unique craft.
A visit to the Nungwi turtle sanc¬tuary and aquarium follows, where ailing turtles are nursed back to health and released into the ocean. A guided tour of Nungwi village, where mamas wrapped in kangas cook over firewood and smiling kids play. Walk down to the beach where you can enjoy an optional lunch at one of Nungwi’s popular restaurants and enjoy some free time sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.
The northern tip of Zanzibar offers some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The sky turns pink and gold as the sun sinks over the Indian Ocean. Sundowners and a late trans¬fer back to your hotel can be arranged if you wish to stay to enjoy the sun¬set.
• Swimwear, beach towel and water resistant shoes.
• Hat and sunscreen.
Stone Town City Tour
Follow the trail of the sultans, slaves and explorers in the wind¬ing streets of Stone Town. Your guide will tell you about the events that shaped Zanzibar, leading you through the buildings where it all happened, such as the former Slave Market and Anglican Cathedral, the House of Wonders and the Sultans’ Palace Museum, the Old Arab Fort and Dispensary.
While tracing the steps of the past, the walking tour provides you with a window into modern life in Stone Town. Explore the markets, seafood and fish piled in the fish market, fresh loaves of bread in wicker bas¬kets and the neat stacks of fruit and vegetables as traders sell their wares from their stalls. Children play in the streets in the residential areas, mamas sit out and gossip while the men play board games. An optional stop at The Zanzibar Coffee House provides a rest from the heat and hustle and bustle. A selection of drinks, local swe ets & seasonal fruits act as the perfect pick me up, for you to continue your tour.
The City Tour is very flexible and can be adapted suit your interest and time frame, if you’re a shopaholic, culture vulture or history buff. If you want to hunt for antiques and souve¬nir shop, follow David Livingstone’s time in Zanzibar and walk the path of the slave trade, your guide can rec¬ommend and develop routes and itin¬eraries that will optimise your time and get the most out of your trip.
• Closed walking or hiking shoes.
• Please dress conservatively when walking through Stone Town.
Women should cover their shoul¬ders and wear long skirts or trousers
Jozani Forest Tour
that make their In the south of the island, Jozani Forest is a wonder and delight, with tales of Zanzibar leopards, me¬dicinal cures and stunning scenery. Currently under consideration to be-come Zanzibar’s second World Heri¬tage Site, the Jozani-Chkwa Bay area is a hotspot of biodiversity. The for¬est is home to a number of endemic species, including the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey.
Your park ranger will take you on a nature trail, lined with eucalyptus and mahogany trees and explain the medicinal properties of various plants and tell you about the animals, birds and reptiles home in the various habitats of this tropical rainforest.
Troops of Zanzibar Red Colobus monkeys can be found scrambling from branch to branch, in searc h of food. The monkeys have become ac¬climatised to people and allow you to get close to them to take photographs as they eat, play and jumping from the treetops.
The mangrove boardwalk takes you above the swamp, where, depending on the tide, you can see tropical fish flitting between the mangrove roots and crabs scuttling across the mud. Mangroves play an important role in environmental conservation and as a resource for villagers and commu-nity life. Your ranger will explain the different species found in the swamp and their uses.
• Comfortable, closed walking or hiking shoes and pants.
• Please do not feed or touch the monkeys.
Experience the way Livingstone felt discovering untouched land and sail away with us to sandbanks around the magnificent island of Un¬guja, Zanzibar. Come on board our traditionally crafted dhows, put your feet up and allow our staff to pamper you as the Sultans of Zanzibar were once upon a time.
We set sail to find an untouched sandbank an hour away from Stone Town. Swim in the crystal clear blue water around the sandbank and snor¬kel to discover a whole new underwa¬ter world filled with marine life and corals of brilliant colours. Tables are set out on the golden sand and a five star seafood lunch extravaganza, pre¬pared by the talented chefs from the Zanzibar Serena Inn will await you. After lunch
relax on the sandbank listening to the hush of waves lapping against the shore o r discover more underwater life around it and listen to stories from our crew about sailing the seven seas.
Then sail off to Prison Island. It is now home to a tortoise sanctuary, the prison ruins and a hotel. Watch the gi¬ant tortoises shuffle through the trees, with the patience that old age brings. We will slowly sail back to Stone Town, after a day of relaxation and fun. This excursion is suitable for any¬one, from those who wish to com¬pletely relax to those who want adven¬ture and excitement…Karibu onboard with us for a day!
• Swim wear, towel and water resis¬tant shoes for walking over coral.
• Water resistant bag for cameras and other valuables.
• Sunscreen and Hat.
Zanzibar Spice Tour
In days past, Zanzibar was known as a spice island, exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. The spices were brought over from Asia and South America and flourished in the tropical climes. Nowadays the plantations are a trib¬ute to the island’s past, swapping spices for tourism, combining both in a spice tour, one of the most popular excursions on the island.
Walk through the spice farm with your guide. Touch, smell and taste different spices and tropical fruits. Try to guess which is which, from the crushed leaves, the fruit, shoots and vines and creepers crawling up the trees. Learn about their properties, their origins and their use as medi-cines and in food and drink.
A visit to a spice farm village gives you an insight into local life and the op¬portunity to try some Swahili dishes, taste the fruits in season and try some spiced tea. An optional lunch is avail¬able at Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge, a special menu, prepared with the best of the seasonal fruit and spices introduced to you during the tour.
Depending on the season you are visiting, you can find anything from vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nut¬meg, turmeric, lemon grass, cloves, ylang ylang, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, allspice, tamarind, chilli, oregano and more!
Fruits can include banana, pineap¬ple, jack fruit, custard fruit, oranges, star fruit, tangerine, passion fruit, mango, avocado, pear, papaya, grape fruit and many others.
• Comfortable closed walking or hiking shoes and pants.
• Sun hat and sun cream