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Zanzibar Tours | Best Things to Do

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Are you planning to visit Zanzibar soon? Do you want to explore the island and its richness, but you are not sure which activities to choose? Mnemba, Safari Blue, Prison Island, Jozani Forest - you see these terms everywhere, but you are not sure what they correspond to? Are these activities worth considering? How much do they cost?

You are in the right place. This post was created to provide you with the necessary details and explanations about each possible activity in Zanzibar, in order to help you understand and choose your itinerary according to your preferences.

Stone Town Activities

Activities in the North (Nungwi, Kendwa, Kiwengwa)

Activities in the South (Jambiani, Paje, Kizimkazi)

Stone Town Activities

Safari Blue in the Indian Ocean

Explore the reefs, coral gardens, and islets around Zanzibar during a full-day adventure aboard the traditional Dhow boat. Enjoy a grilled seafood lunch on Kwale Island before discovering the Baobabs of the island and the mangrove forest of the Indian Ocean. The safari also includes a stop at a heavenly sandbank and a snorkeling session. If luck is on your side, you may encounter dolphins during your cruise. Sailing, diving, swimming, eating, sunbathing, exploring, feasting, observing, playing... A day with Safari Blue is filled with thrilling adventures.

Safari blue activity

Not Nakupenda

The charming little sandbank is located approximately 5 kilometers from Stone Town and is accessible by boat in just a few minutes. Surrounded by the incredible sea, in the most beautiful shades of blue and green, you can enjoy spectacular views of the ocean in all directions. Typically, the sandbank visit is combined with a tour of Prison Island.

Not Nakupenda sandbank

Prison Island: Giant Tortoises Island

You will have the opportunity to visit the turtle sanctuary, which houses a large colony of giant turtles imported from the Seychelles at the end of the 19th century. The average weight of these creatures is 200 kg, and many of them are believed to be over 150 years old. There will be a chance to touch the turtles and take photos. The island also houses a colony of beautiful peacocks.

For the rest of the activity, you can either enjoy the marine life by snorkeling around the coral reefs that border Prison Island or simply relax under the warm glow of the sun until you return to Stone Town or head to the (not) Nakupenda sandbank.

Prison Island activity

Spice Tour at the Farm

Spices and herbs were initially introduced to Zanzibar by Portuguese traders in the 16th century, imported from their colonies in South America and India.

This tour is a walking tour in a spice farm (shamba). There, you will see how spices, herbs, and fruits grow and are cultivated. Your guide will explain how the crops can be used.

You will smell and taste spices, herbs, and tropical fruits such as cloves, lemongrass, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, coconut, papaya, chili, black pepper, jackfruit, cardamom, cassava, and oranges. After the tour, you will enjoy a traditional Swahili lunch at the farm. This is where you can truly experience the different ways to use spices. The tour can be completed with a local lunch that you prepare with the village women. The tour ends with a stop at a spice stand selling freshly packed spices (cash only).

Spice tour farm

Cultural Tour of Stone Town

Stone Town is a lively place where you will find a mix of Arab, African, Indian, and European cultures coexisting harmoniously. As you stroll through the labyrinth of narrow streets, too small for cars to pass, you can see mosques, churches, and temples standing side by side.

While exploring the city, your guide will take you on a historical and cultural journey, visiting the former slave market, Darajani market square, the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, and the Sultan's Palace. The tour also includes lunch at a restaurant or a local home, if arranged beforehand.

Although the tour lasts only a few hours, we recommend staying in Stone Town for at least two days to discover many other magnificent wonders. Forodhani Gardens is definitely worth a visit, especially at night when it comes alive as one of the best street food markets in East Africa.

Stone Town visit

Stand up paddle in the mangroves

Discover the mangrove forest from your paddleboard. Due to the daily tidal changes in Zanzibar, the tour will take place at different times each day, so please check with us. It's essential to arrive on time for the tour, as the old saying goes, "time and tide wait for no one," and that's precisely how it is with tides in Zanzibar!

You can wear beach/fitness clothes or even regular clothes, but having a change of dry clothes is recommended for later (please be mindful of the local culture when considering your attire for the tour).

Important to note - this tour is subject to oceanic/weather conditions, and your safety is our main concern. Participants must know how to swim and have a reasonable level of fitness. It's an active adventure and can be tiring.

Mangrove paddle zanzibar

Traditional Rooftop Dinner

Indulge all your senses and treat yourself to a magnificent sunset dinner at one of the renowned rooftop restaurants in Stone Town. More than just a meal, this experience offers a breathtaking 360-degree view, accompanied by the soothing sounds of a city winding down at sunset. Many guests and travelers describe this evocative evening as a "cinematic memory."

traditional rooftop dinner zanzibar

Cheetah Conservation Centre

The mission of the centre is to rescue as many wild animals as possible and provide them with the proper health, freedom, and happiness they truly deserve, while also contributing to the conservation of endangered species. There are three unique tour options through which you can support the center's cause: The Wildlife Grand Tour, the Otter Swim Experience, and the Combined Tour of both.

Cheetah Conservation Centre


Activities in the North of Zanzibar

Mnemba Attoll - dolphins

Observe dolphins in Zanzibar and continue the day with a picnic on the island and snorkeling. This full-day or half-day excursion takes you into the Indian Ocean to meet the dolphins, relax, and enjoy nature.

As we cannot guarantee dolphin encounters (nobody can), we make sure you have a great day by including a lunch on the boat for full-day cruises and snorkeling in the nearby coral reefs.


Mnemba dolphins zanzibar tour

Scuba Diving in Zanzibar

The coral reefs of Zanzibar are among the most abundant in the world, with over 500 species of marine life. Zanzibar is a diving destination that caters to all preferences: snorkelers, macro enthusiasts, and deep divers.

With over 30 dive sites, including reef dives, wall dives, and wreck dives, Zanzibar offers more than just a relaxing beach getaway. The strong currents of Levan Bank are a paradise for big game fish such as marlins, trevallies, and tuna.

Don't forget that Zanzibar is also one of the best places in the world to observe the largest fish in the ocean. Whale sharks are the stars of Mafia Island, coming in large numbers from November to March, delighting divers around this small island.

scuba diving zanzibar lesson

Visit to the Maasai Tribe Village

The Maasai are an African community living in Kenya and Tanzania. Their population is estimated at around 850,000 people who speak the Maasai language, although most of them can also speak Swahili and English. They are commonly known in the Western world for their large stretched earlobes adorned with wood and colorful beads, their red robes, and their traditional dances during tribal celebrations.

Take the opportunity while you are in Zanzibar to experience a cultural exchange with the Maasai during a guided tour to their village.

Maasai Village tour zanzibar

Natural Aquarium of Sea Turtles

Observe dolphins in Zanzibar and continue the day with a picnic on the island and snorkeling. This full-day or half-day excursion takes you into the Indian Ocean to meet the dolphins, relax, and enjoy nature.

Swimming with turtles zanzibar

Quad Bike Ride

Explore Zanzibar differently, from the back of a quad bike. This outing combines beach, paved road, off-road tracks, and a stop at a local school to allow you to explore a part of Zanzibar's vast potential - its greenery, forests, fruits, inhabitants, and villages.

These half-day quad safari excursions are available in both the morning and afternoon, in both the north and south regions of the island.

quad buggy zanzibar balade zanzibar best activity

Swimming/ Horseback Riding

All beach rides take place in Nungwi, in the north, a beach voted among the top 10 beaches in the world. Enjoy 30 minutes of swimming with the horses at high tide or 60 minutes of horseback riding in the village and on the beach at low tide.

horseback riding swimming with horse activity zanzibar


Experienced and qualified instructors prepare you to experience the thrill and excitement of skydiving by providing you with 30 minutes of training. Attached to a harness, you will jump from the plane with your instructor. They will take control from start to finish, allowing you to enjoy the view and the experience.

skydiving best activity zanzibar sensation

Snorkeling at Tumbatu

Snorkeling on Tumbatu Island. A half-day experience departing from Nungwi, head to the outer reef to explore shallow corals and search for distinctive species such as turtles, leaf fish, octopuses, scorpionfish, moray eels, and nudibranchs. Although access to the island is strictly regulated by tribal elders, you can take a boat excursion - cruising along the beautiful coastline before returning to Zanzibar.

snorkeling zanzibar corals fish tumbatu

Visit to a remote village

Discover the non-touristy side of Zanzibar in a warm and authentic atmosphere. Make the most of your stay on this dream island by meeting the locals and experiencing their way of life. This activity is carried out with the purpose of providing donations to schools, hospitals, or directly to the villagers. Donations of medicine, school supplies, or even football jerseys will bring joy to both adults and children. You can also enjoy a local meal by dining with the locals.

authentic visit zanzibar donation

Local Fishing or Big-Game Fishing

Enjoy a fishing session in Zanzibar to catch jacks, barracudas, bonitos, and more. Depending on your budget, choose between local fishing with a fisherman on his small boat or deep-sea fishing aboard a large motorboat.

fishing biggame fishing zanzibar


Activities in the South of Zanzibar

Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest is best known for its red colobus monkeys, which are endemic to Zanzibar. About 20 years ago, the monkeys were considered endangered. However, this trend has been reversed thanks to conservation efforts. There are now approximately 6,000 red colobus monkeys residing in Jozani Forest.

After visiting the red colobus, you will traverse the mangrove forest, which is extremely crucial for Zanzibar's ecosystems, providing habitat for various lizards, snakes, and birds while preventing coastal erosion. Your tour concludes with a dance with the locals to one of Tanzania's popular songs.

jozani forest tour colobus monkeys

Blue Lagoon, The Rock & Sunset

We have designed this itinerary to offer an authentic experience, away from mass tourism. The day begins with snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon, followed by a second snorkeling session in the spot where starfish gather. Enjoy the morning swimming in the turquoise waters while exploring the shallow seabed. Once your snorkeling is complete, head to the famous restaurant, The Rock, to enjoy a meal and take in the view from the rock. After lunch and some time to relax, board your boat for a sunset cruise starting at 4 pm to watch the sunset from the open sea before arriving at Kae Funk Beach Bar to enjoy music, a bonfire, cocktails, and the local ambiance. Your driver will be waiting for you outside the bar to take you back to your hotel late in the evening. Please note that it is strictly prohibited to touch or remove starfish from the water.

blue lagoon dhow cruise snorkeling the rock

Cosmestic Seaweed Experience

Enjoy a low tide sea walk to see how seaweed is harvested and cultivated. Then, follow the African mamas in their transformation process to learn everything from harvesting to its use in cosmetic products.

seaweed cosmetic experience zanzibar

Natural Cave, Dance and Local Cooking Lesson

We know that you travel to connect with the local culture, so we offer authentic Swahili experiences that you will never forget. We provide a cultural immersion that is both educational and entertaining. Dance, drum, and sing with the locals, cook and eat with the locals! Spend the whole day swimming in an oasis of natural caves and relaxing in a cool, refreshing place, regardless of the weather.

activités zanzibar sud jambiani grotte cenote cours cuisine

South's Secret Beach

The perfect beach to relax and enjoy the view away from the crowd. Take time to unwind and breathe in the fresh air. Two restaurants are located on the beach, where you can have lunch at your leisure before returning to your hotel whenever it suits you.

plage secrete non touristique zanzibar

Kitesurf Sessions

Zanzibar is an ideal destination for learning or improving your kitesurfing skills. The island is home to one of the best kitesurfing spots in the Indian Ocean: Paje. In recent years, we have witnessed this charming little village transform into a true kitesurfing haven.

kitesurf zanzibar session zanzibar

The photos and information provided are not contractual. This post is for informational purposes only. We create tailor-made activities based on your budget and preferences.


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