Zanzibar is a unique and the right destination for heritage tourism. Apart from Stone town - a world heritage site, a collection of buildings have been marked as the most cultural and architecturally important in Zanzibar including Maruhubi Palace and Kizimkazi Mosques. Many of these demonstrate classic feature of this unique architectural and cultural synthesis.
Stone Town, Zanzibar’s historic centre, is a must-see. Shop at the markets, explore the museums and gaze at the fascinating architecture. Don’t miss the area’s oldest building, the Old Fort, originally built in the 17th century to defend the island from attacks by the Portuguese, who had occupied Zanzibar for nearly two centuries. Today, the Old Fort is one of Stone Town’s main sights. Another attraction is the Hurumzi Henna Art Gallery, an empowering cooperative where women create paintings and prints based on traditional henna body art. If you’re interested in history and religion, visit Malindi Mosque, one of three mosques in East Africa with a cone-shaped minaret on a square platform.
Immerse yourself in Swahili culture of Zanzibar Island. The Swahili culture is famous for its music, dance, visual arts, traditional games, and rich cuisine, and as you wander through rural Zanzibar, you have the chance to experience it all. Your local guide will take you through a rural village where you can observe the everyday life of the Zanzibar people. Traditional daily activities include basket weaving, grinding millet, and cooking with traditional methods. In addition, you can watch the women decorate themselves with traditional henna body painting, and witness the young boys making rope to scale palm trees and search for coconuts.
Indigenous to the archipelago, the Zanzibar red colobus monkey is a furry creature that will definitely win over your heart. Conservation efforts have been going on since the 1990s to ensure that this endangered species is able to thrive. You can see this adorable mammal at Zanzibar’s only national park, the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park.the park is the last remaining sanctuaries for the species and offers eco tours around the area. Wear comfy shoes and explore the mangrove swamps, a coastal wetland that is essential to the surrounding ecosystem.
Zanzibar is never short of festivals and celebrations. It is one of the countries with highest number of celebrations/festivals in East Africa. Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Mwaka Kogwa, “Sauti ya Busara”, Cultural Festivals, Mangapwani Festival and Makunduchi Food Festival are among the events that showcase the best of Zanzibar culture