It was more of a coincidence that we had the opportunity to go to Zanzibar in February 2018. Zanzibar is an extremely beautiful island with different shades of blue, depending on which beach you are going to visit. There are a few that are worth it to drive there for some time. (The maximum drive time to any destination on Zanzibar is nonetheless 1.5 hrs.). We stayed mainly in PINGWE, not Pongwe, which is 40 min from Pingwe. I highly recommend you to rent a car, it will make exploring the island much more easy. The prices for renting a car are okay. The fuel is expensive since it is an island. Traffic is LEFT-SIDED! Prepare yourself for lots of traffic in or nearby the city (= STONE TOWN) and avoid driving too fast. Motorcyclist love to overtake cars.
Stone Town: It is a must go. Although we did not have good experiences there. First: If you are only girls, I would not recommend to visit Stone Town on your own. The city can be pretty stressful and reminds me of Istanbul "habits". The buildings (the old ones) are extremely beautiful and glance in their prettiest colonial way. BUT: On the market and on the streets, it is not "fun" to walk through. People screamed at us, people went after us, people tried to bargain all the time, people told my mum to go with them "NOW". - So, if you are only women, DO NOT DO STONE TOWN ON YOUR OWN. Book one of the tours and explore the city with the tour operators. You can skip the Hamamni Persian Baths. Secret tip: GO TO THE COFFEE SHOP "Zanzibar Coffee House". Super fine coffee and the best view above the city :-) The coffee shop combines the charm of old times and antique elements with modern amenities. There are stay over possibilities directly at the coffee house. It's based in the most popular part of Stone town. give it a try!
Jozani National Park
At the Jozani NP you will have the chance to meet the very adorable endemic monkeys type of Zanzibar. The Zanzibar red colobus monkey as attached below is a is habituated on the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The poplulation is still decreasing and endagered since the mid 1990s.
Where to find Cheetas on Zanzibar?
We did not see them on the Safari, but you can spot them in Zanzibar!
Cheetah’s Rock is a unique place where people and animals can interact with each others directly. During the tour you will get some substantial information about the wildlife, the animal welfare and the wildlife conservation. You will get close with the animals during learning all the information needed about protection and conservation of endangered species. They really do have built a special place and I would highly recommend going there and watch these beautiful animals.
Jambo spice farm and spice tour
The spice farm deserves ranking no. 1 in my must-see Zanzibar list.
The guides have been extremely friendly and they taught us so many good things about the plants that we have never known otherwise. Our guide - Jack - he guided us through the jungle and made a game out of it. Whoever knows the plant from seeing, smelling or their roots, gets 5 points. In the end, my sister won :), and it made the tour very exciting. Even a Ylan Ylan Tree can be seen on the farm (never have seen it in real life). After the guide through all the spices (I won't tell you now to not bias you), you will have a FRUIT and SPICE tasting. We have been tasting Jack fruit and some other exotic highlights. - SEE MY ZANZIBAR STORY FROM THE SPICE FARM on https://www.instagram.com/todayshetravels/
If you pay 5 USD to a dude, he will climb up the palm tree and get you a coconut.
Spices are expensive at the farm, they are cheaper in stone town but fresher at the market of course.
At the spice farm, an "artist" is following you through the whole tour, giving you a basket out of banana leaves, making crowns and other accessories with hibiscus and or similar for you.
We gave him 5 USD at the end of the tour (see photos below).
Palace Museum (Beit al-Sahel)It is a nice-to-have visit. I do not have any photographs of this place. If you have a bunch of time, go there or skip it. Zanzibar Butterfly CenterWe did not go in, because at the entrance we saw that some butterflies are dead and then we decided to not support it, this or that way. We could not handle the fact that they are locked in a cage.
This is my ranking for all the beaches. Paje has had the most amazing white sand without any "dirt" (there is no much anyways). And Pingwe was the beach we stayed at most of the time. 1. Paje Beach2. Pingwe Beach 3. PongweAll other beaches are fine too. It is hard to not find a "postcard" beach in Zanzibar :-)
Where to stay
We have been staying at the Baladin Zanzibar Resort.
See my rating on trip advisor:
Hope you enjoyed one more blog posts of mine and happy traveling :)
julie X todayshetravels