Popular attractions in Zanzibar

Arab fort ©Olivier Lejade/Flickr

A main touristic destination in Tanzania, Zanzibar is best known for its superb Indian ocean beaches and the diversity of its culture. Zanzibar can be a very inspired choice for those wanting to enjoy a summer holiday on some exotic, beautiful island. In the same time, the history and culture of Zanzibar’s two islands, their unique animal and plant species, as well as the buzzing markets and streets offer enough distractions for a memorable African vacation. Here’s a brief list of some popular attractions in Zanzibar:

Stone Town

Few centuries ago, Zanzibar Citywas a flourishing port at the Indian Ocean, and the capital of the Zanzibar sultanate. A key port in the spice and slave trade, Zanzibar city has been the meeting point of three major cultures: African, European and Middle Eastern. Today, Zanzibar Stone Town displays a wonderful blend of architectural styles and all sorts of historic buildings and monuments, from fortifications and palaces, to mosques, memorial houses and public baths. Not to miss here are the former royal residence – The House of Wonders, and the 19th century, colossal Anglican Cathedral, built in place of a slave market.

Arab fort ©Olivier Lejade/Flickr

Beaches

No matter what you do in Zanzibar, you just can’t stay away from its beaches. The Indian Ocean is famous for its clean, warm waters and Zanzibar makes no exception. Some really fabulous beaches can be found on a small island known as Nakupenda, with fine white sands and clean, shallow water. Paje is a scenic beach where you can enjoy all sorts of activities: especially kite-surfing and snorkeling. Also, check out the remote, but beautiful Uroa beach.

old style sailing ©HBarrison/Flickr

Darajani Market

No Zanzibar vacation would be complete without a trip to the main bazaar. The Darajani market follows the tradition of the North African souk, yet with local flavor. You can find here anything from food and clothes to electronics. The central market is a great place to make your local spices, fresh fruit and fish supplies.

Butterfly Center

Children and adults altogether will enjoy visiting this small but very interesting project and learn about various butterfly species. One of the most popular attractions in Zanzibar, the center will have you learn about the life circle of a butterfly, and maybe even witness a butterfly hatching. Right next to the butterfly center there is a butterfly farm, which functions as a non-profit organization employing local workers. (And also close to it you can visit a tortoise sanctuary).

butterfly in Zanzibar ©Marc Veraart/Flickr

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