Lion Steps Safaris

Zanzibar Island

The spice island

Welcome to Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania known for its white sand beaches, clear waters, and cultural diversity. The largest island, Unguja, has a rich history dating back to the 8th century and was a major trading hub. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for its stunning natural beauty, cultural attractions…

Climate

Zanzibar has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The dry season runs from June to October, and the wet season runs from November to May. The average temperature ranges from the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) to the mid 80s Fahrenheit (high 20s Celsius). The humidity is generally high, and there is often a cooling sea breeze.

During the dry season, the weather is pleasant and sunny, with little rainfall. This is a popular time for tourists to visit. The wet season brings more rainfall, but it is usually in the form of short, heavy showers that pass quickly. The wettest months are April and May.

Overall, the climate in Zanzibar is warm and sunny, making it a great destination for beach vacations. It is important to pack lightweight, breathable clothing and bring sunscreen to protect against the strong sun.

tanzania safari and zanzibar

Getting there

  1. Fly: The easiest way to get to Zanzibar is to fly into Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ), which is located on the northeastern coast of Unguja Island. The airport has flights from various cities in Africa, as well as a few international destinations.
  2. Ferry: If you are already in Tanzania, you can take a ferry from the mainland to Zanzibar. The ferries depart from Dar es Salaam and Tanga and take about 2-4 hours to reach Zanzibar.
  3. Private transfer: Another option is to arrange a private transfer from your hotel or another location on the mainland. This can be a more convenient option, as the driver will take you directly to your destination in Zanzibar.

Once you arrive in Zanzibar, you can get around the island by taxi, minibus, or dala dala (local bus). There are also many tour companies that offer guided tours and excursions around the island.

Attractions

Zanzibar is an archipelago located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. The largest island in the archipelago is called Unguja, and it is often referred to as Zanzibar. The island has a rich history dating back to the 8th century, and it was an important trading hub for spices and other goods. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for its stunning natural beauty and cultural attractions.

Stone Town

Also known as Mji Mkongwe, Stone Town is the ancient part of Zanzibar City, which is itself capital of Unguja island. Visit and you’ll get a perfect picture of how the old Swahili trading towns of East Africa look, sound, feel, taste and smell. With Islamic prayer calls on the air and atmospheric winding old alleys redolent of spices at every turn, this settlement is the heart and soul of the island. Admire elegant stone buildings, sip chai and coffee from busy vendors, and eat fresh fish dinners laced with coconut. Stone Town mixes Persian, Arabic, Indian and European legacies to create a destination to remember.

stone town 2

The heart of stone town

Local people on a street in Stone Town. Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City, the capital of Zanzibar, Tanzania

Stone Town

Jozani Forest

Most visitors to this vast and scenic spread of green, a biodiversity hotspot that’s part of Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, come in hopes of sighting the rare red colobus monkey. Thousands of years of isolation from sibling species on the African mainland have made this simian specimen a special beauty, with distinct cries and vibrant coats. There are nature trails through shafts of sunlight where butterflies flicker, a boardwalk that descends into mangrove swamps and the very faintest chance of a leopard sighting – although don’t get your hopes up too much, as the last was decades ago.

jozani-1

Jozani forest

Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest

Nungwi

You’ve come to the Indian Ocean to sink your toes into coral sands as pure and pale as caster sugar – and the place to do that is Nungwi, on the northwesternmost tip of Zanzibar. There’s a DoubleTree Resort by Hilton here, plus a few lodges immersed in tropical gardens, beach cottages and sea-view restaurants, yet the place has not fallen victim to swarms of international tourists, and islanders mingle casually with visitors. The water sports are plentiful, as are sundown cruises, and you can organise deep-sea fishing excursions in search of leaping sailfish and mean-looking bull dorado.

Nungwi beach 2

Fine Nungwi beach

nungwi beach

Nungwi

Forodhani Market

In the thick of Stone Town, as the afternoon dims towards evening, Forodhani Gardens transforms into a circus of calorific magnificence: welcome to Zanzibar’s spectacular night-time food market, a whirl of chefs juggling spitting pans. The aromas are fabulous, and the range of dishes is extraordinary. Bring a large appetite. You might be familiar with some of the offerings – kebabs of tandoori lobster, say, or falafel as big as your fist. Our favourites are the fish plates served with fried potato balls, naan and samosas. You won’t need to eat for a week – or maybe just not until the same time, same place tomorrow.

forodhani night market

Forodhani night food market

foroghani market

Forodhani, a place for food lovers

forodhani gardens main

Forodhani Market

Palace Museum

Dating from 1883, when construction was ordered by Sayyid Sir Barghash bin Said Al-Busaid, the second Sultan of Zanzibar, the Palace Museum is a stunning confection of coral stone, silver fittings and acres of marble underfoot. If it looks like a mansion, that’s because the sultan commissioned it as a residence, in classic Omani style – Zanzibar was under Omani imperial rule for about 200 years from 1698. A museum since the mid-1990s, it sets out, over three floors, a wealth of fascinating royal relics, including furniture, clothing and sheets of writing.

palace museum

Palace museum

palace-museum
Zanzibar_PalaceMuseum

Palace Museum

House of Wonders

Comprising part of a Unesco World Heritage site, the House of Wonders, aka Beit-al-Ajaib, is fragile in places to the point of collapse (and indeed, a partial collapse happened in December 2020, prompting the Omani government to pledge millions of dollars towards repairs). The largest house in East Africa upon completion in 1883, it was the first to have a lift, hence the House of Wonders name. It was also the first on Zanzibar to have the luxury of electricity. It tops the list of must-see sights in Stone Town, despite the current crumbling plight; the intriguing exhibits include garments, fishing implements and a traditional Swahili dhow vessel.

the-manor-house-by-sansi
House-Of-Wonders

House of Wonders

Spice Tour

Introduced around 500 years ago by Portuguese traders who carried them from their colonies in India and South America, spices have made Zanzibar a trading hub for centuries. Small organic set-ups today still produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and more. One of the most sensory ways to appreciate the destination is to follow your nose through twisting backstreets led by an experienced guide. You’ll inhale fabulous aromas of turmeric and vanilla, cardamom, chilli and black pepper. At the end of the tour you’ll have a Swahili lunch flavoured with what you’ve smelt, and will be able to buy supplies to take home.

spice tour

Spice Tour

The Old Fort

The oldest building in Stone Town, the Old Fort is located on the seafront, right in front of Forodhani Gardens. Built in the 17th century to protect the island from the attacking Portuguese, nowadays the Old Fort is one of the main sights in Stone Town. You can wander around, admiring the remains of the former stronghold, and amble around the courtyard in the centre, where sellers have all kinds of aromatic local produce for sale. An old amphitheatre still hosts events and functions.

old-fort-ngome-kongwe

The Old Fort

Nakupenda Beach

Nakupenda (Swahili for I love you) is the name of a slender slice of sandbank just off the coast of Stone Town. And what’s not to love? Abutting the brilliant blue of the ocean, this tiny beach is an idyll of sand as soft and white as baby powder. It’s the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling in clear waters flickering with marine life and generally keeping cool under the hot African sun. If you’re lucky you might glimpse the local superstars – the much-loved dolphins, doing their own thing in the distance.

nakupenda beach

Nakupenda Beach

spice tour

Activities

Zanzibar is an archipelago located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. The largest island in the archipelago is called Unguja, and it is often referred to as Zanzibar. The island has a rich history dating back to the 8th century, and it was an important trading hub for spices and other goods. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for its stunning natural beauty and cultural attractions.

Zanzibar has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The dry season runs from June to October, and the wet season runs from November to May. The average temperature ranges from the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) to the mid 80s Fahrenheit (high 20s Celsius).

There are many things to do and see in Zanzibar. Visitors can explore the historic Stone Town, visit spice plantations, and relax on the beautiful white sand beaches. There are also many water sports and activities available, such as diving and snorkeling, as well as opportunities to interact with the local community. Zanzibar is known for its cultural diversity, and there are many festivals and events throughout the year celebrating the island’s heritage.

 

ABOUT US

You can experience the beauty of Tanzania all year round by taking an unforgettable trip. Options for activities include going on a safari, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and ending your journey on the paradise island of Zanzibar. Everything is possible on this trip.

We look forward to arranging your safari!

Warm regards

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