Off the coast of Tanzania is situated Zanzibar, a majestic city radiating charm and adventure. Without a doubt, only few destinations in Africa can match the beauty of this jewel in the Indian Ocean. But whether you are visiting Zanzibar for business or leisure, here are five things to know before you visit Zanzibar.
Food may not be your major reason for visiting this city, but what goes into your stomach can greatly impact your overall experience. Not only is Zanzibar a melting pot of diverse cultures, it is also a city that buzzes with delicious cuisines. So, if you love to try new meals, Zanzibar’s food culture will dazzle you with its rich blend of European, Indian, Middle Eastern and Portuguese influences.
So, expect popular delicacies like Biryani, Pilau rice, Octopus Curry, Urojo, Mandazi and the famous Zanzibar Pizza. If you enjoy the smacking feel of meat snacks, go for a few brochettes of Mishkaki.
#2. Salutations and language
In Zanzibar, greetings matter a great deal. Yes, it’s important to say hello when you come across locals. If you are already used to the mind-your-business attitude that abounds in major cities like Lagos, you may need to adopt a friendlier approach to the way you relate to people in this city. The reason is that local people in Zanzibar are very warm to strangers, and generally like to acknowledge your presence.
You will have to learn to say a few “Jambos” and “mambos” to locals. And for the elders, it’s advisable to use “shikambo” which shows respect, and you will be amazed how the locals appreciate that.
#3.Top things to do in Zanzibar
The diversity of attractions in this city is usually overwhelming for first-timers. But there are places where you cannot afford to miss. First is the historical Stone Town. A stroll in the narrow tracks of this old colonial architecture is a big thrill, any day. It takes you on a journey back in time as you explore the ruins at Old Fort, House of Wonders, Palace Museum, the Hamamni Special Baths, Anglican Cathedral and the former Slave Market Site.
As opposed to the stunning safaris in Tanzania, Zanzibar prides in a rich, underwater wildlife. So, you should not expect to see giraffes, wildebeest, lions, and other creatures of the wild. But just off the main island of Zanzibar is the marine-protected Chumbe Island with beautiful coral reefs. This is where you can experience the best of snorkeling in Zanzibar.
You will not forgive yourself if you miss out on Safari Blue. It is a full-day boat cruise in a traditional dhow that allows you enjoy guided snorkeling and premium dolphin watching. Or you could consider a tour of Zanzibar’s only national park, the Jozani Forest that lies between the mangroves of Chakwa and Uzi. Here is where to find the rare Red Colobus Monkeys that live in coastal thickets.
#4. Cheap vacation packages to Zanzibar
One of the major things to know before you visit this amazing city is that you don’t have to break the banks to have your dream vacation here. Unlike most destinations that cost an arm and a leg, you can enjoy a budget getaway in this archipelago. For a start, consider some of these cheap vacation deals in Zanzibar.
The only means of reaching Zanzibar from outside of East Africa is by air. Entry into Zanzibar is pretty easy, considering that you can get your visa on arrival with just $50. No queue, no story!
#5. Special spot for honeymooners
Zanzibar is a city burning with romance – whether for couples who want to ignite the flames of their love story or newly-weds just discovering the amazing power of passion. So, if you have just said “I do” before the world, make your romance story a bit more idyllic, a bit more magical with a stay in one of the exotic resorts in Zanzibar.
For beach lovers, consider spending a few days at the famous Langi Langi Beach Bungalows seated at the heart of the beautiful Island of Zanzibar. It offers a clear view of the Indian Ocean and a myriad of deep sea fishing and diving opportunities.
One thing most tourists won’t hesitate to admit is the seductive appeal of the Arabian nights in a refurbished stone house with its scenic charm. From white-powder beaches to idealistic hotspots scattered around this city, Zanzibar is one of the best African destinations to feed your fantasies.