Zanzibar Island, a city guide

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the exotic spice island of Zanzibar, known for its cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Its offshore location attracted traders from across the Indian Ocean drawn to lucrative East African markets. Its atmospheric capital Stone Town is a warren of narrow alleyways. They’re lined with mansions built from coral stone and hidden behind iron-studded wooden doorways. To the north, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the area.

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Best Hotel in Zanzibar Island

Zuri Zanzibar

In Swahili, the word “zuri” means beautiful, and it’s an apt choice for this delightful hotel set right on the beach. Zuri Zanzibar is located in Kendwa village, on the north western tip of the island. Low rise thatched properties nestle into the palms, creating a resort that’s lush and considerate of its environment. It’s a world away from the bustle and architectural beauty of Stone Town, yet the island capital is easily doable as a morning’s excursion. The vivid turquoise of the Indian Ocean is dazzling against the pristine white sand, perfect for waters sports or a spot of beachfront yoga or meditation. At sunset, watch the sails of dhows catch the wind and drift across a distant horizon. There are no rooms at the Zuri Zanzibar. Instead there are suites, villas and bungalows, all with terraces and outdoor showers. Modern bathrooms inside and of course high speed internet ensure that no sacrifices are made when it comes to 21 st century comfort. Their layout has been meticulously planned to maximise privacy and engender a feeling of intimacy. The majority enjoy sea views. High ceilings maximise the sense of space and an indoor/outdoor flow has been achieved to make the most of its tropical setting. A nod to Africa in the sophisticated décor, with artisanal art married with contemporary furnishings, creates a very special sense of place. Suites feature a jacuzzi, while the luxurious villas have their own infinity pool as well.

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Hotel Facilities

Highlights
  • Airport shuttle
  • Bar
  • Beachfront
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wi-Fi
General Facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Airport shuttle (additional charge)
  • Family rooms
  • Gift shop
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Packed lunches
  • Room Service
  • Shops (on site)
Activity Facilities
  • Beach
  • Canoeing (Additional charge)
  • Cooking class (Additional charge)
  • Diving (Additional charge)
  • Evening entertainment
  • Fishing (Additional charge)
  • Library
  • Live music/performance
  • Snorkeling
  • Water sport facilities on site (Additional charge)
Entertainment and Family Services
  • Board games/puzzles
Internet
  • Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas and is free of charge
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Awesome Restaurants
in Zanzibar Island

Mundana has set a high standard and hand picked these restaurants for their great food quality, good reputation, great customer service, clean environment, courteous staff and original menus.

Doors to Zanzibar

Fine dining from Adrien Ferran in the exquisite surroundings of this high end resort

House of Spices

A fusion menu of Indian and Italian dishes served in an 18th century merchant’s house, takes place in a room where spices were once dried.

Secret Garden at Emerson Spice Hotel

Tables are tucked between the ruins in this lush garden. The a la carte menu features the very best of Zanzibari cuisine. Live music adds atmosphere some nights; check with the hotel for the latest schedules.

Tea House at Emerson Spice Hotel

Sundowners kick off an evening of fine dining; the nightly degustation menu is one of the best in Zanzibar. The five course menu changes daily but always focuses on local ingredients.

Zanzibar Coffee House

This ageing building was once an Arabic house; now it's well known for its freshly brewed coffee and delicious cake.

Top Activities
in Zanzibar Island

 

Hamamni Persian Baths

The Hamamni Persian Baths were the first public baths in Zanzibar. They were constructed between 1870 and 1888, and finally closed in 1920. You can no longer bathe but it's possible to see inside this magnificent place. It was called ‘Persian’ because it was built by Shirazi architects.

Changgu Island

Also known as ‘Prison Island,’ Changuu is famous for its giant tortoises, some of which are over 200 years old. The island also boasts sandy white beaches and crystal clear water, so pack your swimwear. The name comes from the cells that housed prisoners in the 19th century; they can still be visited today.

Anglican cathedral

In 1873 Edward Steere, the third Bishop of Zanzibar and famous British abolitionist, built an Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church on the location of the whipping post from the island’s largest slave market. Steere is buried behind the main altar. In the grounds you'll find a distinctive slave monument. Look out for a wooden cross. Locals say the wood came from the tree under which the anti-slavery crusader Dr. David Livingstone was buried.

Best Shops
in Zanzibar Island

 

Sasik

Successful women's craft co-operative selling homewares, applique and soft furnishings

Moto and Dada

This shop stocks a range of fair trade artisan products, including woven baskets and homemade soaps

Zanzibar Gallery

Curios and art in the house where Queen front man Freddie Mercury once lived

Explore the Itineraries

Discover Zanzibar Island in one of Mundana's Itineraries, getting the most out of your trip.

Zanzibar Island: Paradise condensed on this exotic spice island

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Tanzania: Spice Island dreaming

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Tanzania: Safaris and spice

Dar es Salaam, Selous Game Reserve, Zanzibar island
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