Zanzibar Islands

Considering Zanzibar Islands safari?


Zanzibar is the ultimate Indian Ocean experience, with its fascinating history, incredible nature, enchanting sunset and magnificent beaches, altogether embraced by the scent of exotic spices. If you are looking for a peaceful yet active escape,Zanzibar is the perfect place to give rein to your wanderlust.

Zanzibar is located off the East Coast of Tanzania. The region of Zanzibar is actually a collection of several islands, known as the Zanzibar Archipelago. It contains two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, and several smaller islands. Unguja is the main island, and is most commonly referred to simply as Zanzibar. North of Unguja is Pemba island.

The main island of Zanzibar is still mostly undeveloped. It is only about 100km from the northern tip to the southern edge, and roughly 40km across. The island’s main hub, Zanzibar City lies on the western side of the island. The center of the island is mostly undeveloped tropical forest. The eastern side and northern tip are populated with many white sandy beaches, and surrounded by a coral reef. Many hotels and resorts also populate this area of the island.

Zanzibar is well known for its spice trade, pristine beaches, island lifestyle, coral reefs, and much more. Throughout this article, we’ll dive into each of these topics in greater detail.

Now that we’ve developed a solid background knowledge on the island region of Zanzibar, let’s get to the fun stuff. We’ve written this article as a primer for tourists interested in visiting Zanzibar. Let’s examine our favorite things to do in and around Zanzibar.

There’s so much to do, that it was tough to narrow down our list. Keep your eyes open to soak up everything Zanzibar has to offer. Here are some of our top picks:

Stone Town

Stone Town is the historic portion of Zanzibar City. It is an ancient city which was designated a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2000. Its architecture has important historical significance in preserving the different influences of Swahili culture.

A visit to Stone Town is a fascinating experience. You get to revel in ancient stone architecture, and winding streets and alleys. The best thing to do in Stone Town is just explore. The path is winding and confusing – almost like a giant maze. Take it for what it is and simply enjoy the journey.

Stone Town

Stone Town is packed with restaurants, shops, cafés, and more. Did you know Freddie Mercury was born in Stone Town? There’s a museum dedicated to the singer that’s a must see for all Queen fans.

Stone Town is not very big, so you can easily see it all in a day. It’s located on the west side of Zanzibar city, right on the coast.

And while you’re visiting Stone Town, be sure to check out the main city of Zanzibar as well.

Beach Life

Zanzibar is most famous for its gorgeous pristine beaches. There are so many beaches to choose from that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Most of the popular beaches are located on the east side of Zanzibar’s main island (although there are many other beaches throughout the archipelago).

Zanzibar Island

The beaches also owe their popularity to the preserved coral reef which runs along the eastern side of the island.

Bustling resort towns include Nungwi and Kendwa, on the northern side of Zanzibar Island. Here you’ll find the majority of tourists, as well as traditional beach-front resorts.  But there are many other beaches located in smaller quieter areas along the Zanzibar coast.

The beach life in Zanzibar is slow and laid back. It runs on island time, so expect life to move a lot slower than mainland Tanzania. Take your time, kick back, and enjoy these world-class beaches.

Surfing & Water Activities

Zanzibar is also popular for one of the most classic beach activities – surfing.

Throughout the islands, there is surfing for all skill levels. You definitely have to know where to look, as the surf spots are very dependent on current weather conditions. Be wary of the coral, which presents a danger in certain areas, especially in areas with urchins.

Surfing isn’t the only beach activity worth mentioning. Zanzibar is popular for windsurfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kitesurfing, scuba diving, and much more!

These water activities are an excellent way to see the vast tropical marine life off the coast of Zanzibar. Occasionally, dolphins will ride right alongside you as you surf or paddle.


Although touched upon in the beach section, the resorts in Zanzibar are such a big part of its tourist appeal that they deserve a section of their own.

The most popular resort villages are likely Nungwi and Kendwa, on the north side of the island. Many hotels and resorts populate this side of the island, and line some of the most gorgeous white sand beaches you will ever experience. The villages themselves are full of restaurants, cafés, and bars.

Here are some of the popular resorts in Zanzibar:

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