1. Foodie heaven
There’s a reason Zanzibar got its nickname ‘Spice Island’ – the cuisine here is a hybrid of Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. Pair these flavours with fresh fish from the island’s waters and you have some truly spectacular dishes to sink your teeth into. Don’t leave without sampling an octopus curry, a great example of all the culinary delights of the island.
For a unique dining experience, head to The Rock Restaurant. This amazing eatery is perched on a little rock off the coast. When the tide’s high, you’ll have to take a boat, but it’s much more fun to earn that meal and swim to the door.
2. History galore
Feel the bustling energy of Zanzibar’s old Stone Town, strolling through vibrant markets, sampling fresh sugarcane juice and exploring the historic buildings which pack out this UNESCO World Heritage site. See sights such as the House of Wonders (formerly the Sultan of Zanzibar’s palace) and the last open slave market as you immerse yourself in the island’s past.
3. Endless blue
Zanzibar’s azure waters are a dream come true. Enjoy lazy days on the island’s jaw-dropping beaches, walking barefoot over white sand, taking in the balmy sea air as it passes through swaying palms. Hop on a dhow boat over to Prison Island and snorkel among beautiful coral reefs. The former prison is now a nature haven, home to giant land tortoises, peacocks, and tiny antelopes called duikers.
4. Happy-go-lucky locals
Those familiar with the Disney movie phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ may also know it’s Swahili for ‘no worries’. It’s a popular phrase in Zanzibar and locals certainly live by the relaxed motto. From singing Zanzibari songs with taxi drivers to sharing a coffee with the island’s elder, the atmosphere is so happy, you’ll want to bottle it up and take it home with you.
5. Unforgettable sunsets
From golden honeys to hushed pinks, it’s easy to get lost in the warm hues of a Zanzibar sunset. Sail out on a dhow for a peaceful sunset cruise or if you’re looking for something slightly more energetic, head to the Forodhani Gardens. As the sun goes down, local ‘Sunset Jumpers’ take to the shore, with kids competing to see who can do the best somersaults into the sea. Their silhouettes on the sunset background make for amazing photos.
For more information make sure you read our Zanzibar Destination Guide.