Are you looking for a memorable experience on your trip to Zanzibar? Well, Zanzibar has some outstanding activities waiting for you! There is absolutely no dearth of things to do in Zanzibar, the tropical paradise on the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar is shaped by its unique location and graced with some of the world's natural beauties. With its sparkling sandy beaches, green oceans, and fantastic wildlife, Zanzibar ensures that all adventure seekers can participate in various adrenaline-pumping activities like diving, trekking, and animal safaris. Further, the island also invites nature-lovers and history-buffs for its numerous destinations like the Stone Town, Old Fort, and more.
8 Best things to do in Zanzibar
Known for its pristine white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and rich cultural heritage, Zanzibar offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural immersion, this tropical gem has it all. From exploring the historic streets of Stone Town to indulging in water sports or basking in the sun on idyllic beaches, join us as we uncover the best things to do in Zanzibar.
1. Explore Stone Town
Stone Town is the historic center of the archipelago's capital. As you land in this old village, you will absorb the cultural ambiance that stretches back 20,000 years. The town still exhibits substantial influences from the many African, Arabic, and other civilizations that have invaded Zanzibar throughout the years. The island began as a fishing village and eventually evolved into a commerce center. Slaves were transported from various nations to Zanzibar via the port and forced to labor on plantations. UNESCO designated Stone Town as a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Location: Zanzibar City, Tanzania
2. Visit Jozani National Park
Jozani National Park is the only national park in Zanzibar and is considered a natural pharmacy owing to its extensive wealth of medicinal plants and herbs. The forest's unusual biodiversity is what makes the visit one of the best things to do in Zanzibar. The park is home to 168 species of birds, 291 identified plant species, dolphins, reef fishes, mangrove kingfisher, African civet and other faunal species. This forest's topography is a jumble of tropical trees, mangroves, groundwater, salt marshes, agricultural land, and residential areas. You can have a private tour of Jozani Forest with a trained guide who will tell you about the forest's distinctive features for a more private visit.
Ticket Price: 55 USD
Timings: 7:30 am – 5 pm
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3. Experience Sunset Dhow Cruise
A Dhow Cruise is one of the best activities in Zanzibar for sailing on the Indian Ocean's clear, emerald waters. As the sunset cruise departs the coast, the rush and bustle of a lively town disappears and is finally replaced with a whisper of love and loss with the melodies sung by the musicians on the violin, oud, or taarab. The cruise team will give you canapés and your chosen beer or soda brand. Take a sip from your glass and immerse yourself in the romantic atmosphere of the boat.
Ticket Price: Starts from 56 USD
Timings: 4:30 pm – 7 pm
4. Go Deep Sea Fishing
Deep Sea fishing is one of the fun things to do in Zanzibar. The city is renowned for abundant prime locations. Whether you are a beginner or an expert angler, you can try a hand at snagging the challenging catches in the sea waters. The canal situated between Zanzibar and Pemba provides angling adventures around the year. All fishing equipment and supplies are provided onboard.
Full-Day Fishing Charter 1000-1300 USD
Afternoon/Night Fishing Charter 900-1300 USD
Timings: 9 am – 6 pm
5. Do Scuba Diving
Scuba diving at Mnemba atoll is one of the top things to do in Zanzibar to explore the marine life of Zanzibar, which is home to over 400 species of nudibranchs, rare varieties of corals and turtles. If you're lucky, you can spot whale sharks, manta rays, and reef sharks on your excursion. Mnemba Atoll is a marine reserve and conservation area that is regarded as one of the greatest sites for water activities to do in Zanzibar.
The best time to go Scuba Diving is from; mid-February to mid-May, as well as mid-October to mid-December, when the sea is calm and visibility is at its best.
Ticket Price: 150 USD
Timings: Between 8 am – 3.30 pm
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6. Visit the Old Fort
Looking for free things to do in Zanzibar, then add the Old Fort to your list. The old fort is a cultural site where festivals like Dhow Country and Sauti Za Busara are held. There is a curio shop, a courtyard, a restaurant, a tourist information desk, and an open amphitheater in the fort's premises. Tourists can easily spend a day exploring the fort and nearby areas.
Ticket Price: Free of charge
Location: Mizingani Rd, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Timings: 8 am – 6 pm
7. Dine at Rock Restaurant
One of the best things to do in Zanzibar at night is to have a dine-in experience at a Rock restaurant. The restaurant was started with the objective of delivering an international dining experience with outstanding food quality and hospitality. The restaurant is located on the Michamvi Pingwe beach and can be easily reached barefoot during the ebb or by boat. The boat ride is included in your dining experience.
Location: Pingwe Michamvi Kae
Timings: 12 pm – 8 pm
8. Relax at Numgwi Beach
Discover this charming village Nungwi on the northwest coast of Zanzibar. The town has been a beloved destination for thrill seekers. Nungwi has been rated as one of the best beaches in the world. The village offers some of the unique things to do in Zanzibar, like; the dune buggy, turtle sanctuary tour, sunset cruise and a lot more.
Outdoor activities to do in Zanzibar
- Scuba diving
- Sailing and cruises
- Exploring the forests
- Deep sea fishing
- Beach visits
Indoor activities to do in Zanzibar
- Visit museums
- Indoor shopping for souvenirs
- Traditional Cooking classes
- Spa treatment
- Experience cultural performances
- Visit the stone town
Top sights to visit in Zanzibar
- Stone Town
- Prison Island (Changuu Island)
- Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
- Spice Farms
- Nungwi Beach
- Kendwa Beach
- Mnemba Atoll
- Dolphin Tours in Kizimkazi
- Chapwani Private Island
- House of Wonders (Beit-al-Ajaib)
- Livingstone's House
- Forodhani Gardens
Tourists can find an ample number of things to do in Zanzibar for an all round experience. If you are planning a visit, make sure to add most of the activities in your itinerary.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How many days do we need to explore Zanzibar?
A1. It takes at least 7 days to visit the Zanzibar archipelago. You may divide your 7-day plan for Zanzibar Africa activities to do as follows:
To explore Zanzibar, you will need at least 7 days in hand. You can divide your plan for Zanzibar tourist activities as follows:
Day 1: Arrival at Zanzibar
Day 2: Zanzibar City Tour
Day 3: Spice Tour
Day 4: Jozani Forest safari
Day 5: Beach Activities
Day 6: Spend leisure
Day 7: Transfer to the airport
You can always add a few more days to have ample time to explore the archipelago.
Q2. What are the best fun things to do in Zanzibar?
A2. Among all the things to do in Zanzibar, the most fun ones are:
- Dhow Cruise
- Getting a Henna Tatto
- Forodhani Market Tour
- Safari Tours
And a lot more.
Q3. What are the best water activities to do in Zanzibar?
A3. There are various tourist activities in Zanzibar, but water activities are the most popular ones. Here's a list of a few water activities to do in Zanzibar:
- Water Skiing
- Boat Tour
- Kite Surfing
- Scuba Diving
Q4. What are the best beaches to visit in Zanzibar?
A4. The must-visit beaches in Zanzibar include Nungwi, Kendwa, Paje, Bwejuu, and Matemwe.
Q5. Are there hiking and trekking opportunities in Zanzibar?
A5. Yes, one can go for a nature walk in the Zanzibar forests like Jozani. They can enjoy the rich flora and fauna in the area.
Q6. What is the best time to visit Zanzibar?
A6. June to October and December to February are the best time to visit Zanzibar.
Q7. What are the top indoor activities to enjoy in Zanzibar?
A7. Museum visits, shopping, and spa treatment are the best indoor activities.