Do Zanzibar Like a Local

29 November 2023
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You’ve decided to take the plunge and head out on an incredible adventure to Zanzibar! But you don’t want to fall into the same old tourist traps; you want to experience the unique culture of this beautiful island through local eyes. If you’re looking for all the tips for a great Zanzibar holiday, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for everything South African travellers need to know about exploring Zanzibar like a local.  

Zanzibar like a local

Attractions Not To Be Missed  

When it comes to attractions, there is much more to see in Zanzibar than just beaches and historical sites! The island has plenty of interesting and unique activities that can provide an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the locals. A few Zanzibar attractions not to be missed include:  

  • Visiting Stone Town – As one of the oldest cities in East Africa, Stone Town is home to many cultural landmarks including ancient palaces, houses, mosques, and churches. It also boasts an active nightlife scene with plenty of bars, restaurants and other entertainment options. There are also numerous art galleries and shops selling traditional crafts. 
  • Jozani Forest – This forest is home to some of the last remaining red colobus monkeys in East Africa. Take a guided tour through this lush rainforest where you can enjoy stunning views of wildlife such as antelopes, warthogs, wildcats and many different species of birds.
  • Spice Tour – The spice tour is a great way to learn about traditional medicine and cooking techniques used by locals on this tropical island. Learn how spices are grown from seedlings and taken from tree bark before visiting a spice farm where you can sample some delicious dishes made with freshly harvested spices. 
  • Diving & Snorkelling – With crystal clear waters teeming with colourful sea creatures such as manta rays, dolphins and turtles, Zanzibar is a paradise for diving enthusiasts! Experienced divers will love exploring some of the deeper coral reefs while snorkellers can explore shallower waters near beaches or mangrove forests. Make sure you visit Mnemba Atoll which is one of Tanzania’s best dive sites!

Zanzibar like a local

Low Season & Off-The-Beaten-Path Places  

Low season in Zanzibar runs from April to June each year when most tourists avoid visiting due to high temperatures and humidity levels. However, if you’re looking for something truly unique during your stay then low season could be perfect for you! There are plenty off-the-beaten-path places worth visiting such as Paje Beach where kite surfers flock from around the world or Chumbe Island Marine Park which offers beautiful coral reefs within walking distance from shoreline hotels.   

Zanzibar like a local

Best Beaches For A Fun Party Vibe  

If you’re looking for beaches with a fun party vibe then Nungwi Beach is definitely worth checking out! This beach has become famous among locals for its lively atmosphere at night with plenty of bars offering live music performances every evening. Jambiani Beach is another great option which has grown popular among budget travellers over recent years due its laidback beach vibes during the day before transforming into an energetic party spot at night!   

Zanzibar like a local

Travelling Around Zanzibar  

One of the best ways to get around Zanzibar is by hiring a car or motorbike. This gives you maximum freedom when exploring different parts of the island, and you can do it at your own pace without having to worry about timetables or restricted routes like public transport often requires. If renting your own vehicle isn’t an option then using local taxis or buses (dala-dalas) can be just as convenient although it may take longer depending on where you’re heading so make sure you factor that into your plans when travelling around Zanzibar!  

Zanzibar like a local

Is it Safe To Visit Local Villages?  

Yes – it is generally safe for visitors who stick mainly within tourist areas but if you plan on venturing off into more rural areas then make sure you do so responsibly by hiring experienced guides who are familiar with local customs so that all interactions between visitors and locals remain respectful at all times. In addition, make sure that any donations given go directly towards helping local communities rather than fuelling businesses that exploit vulnerable people. It’s a good idea to always check with your guide first before making any donations while visiting rural villages in Zanzibar. 

Zanzibar like a local

When visiting any new destination it’s important not only to know what attractions are worth seeing but also gain insight into how life works there through local eyes – something which most tourists rarely get an opportunity to experience first-hand! Follow our handy tips and you’ll have no problem enjoying your trip exactly like locals do – whether you plan on hitting up all those amazing beaches or taking part in more unique activities such as spice tours or going diving or snorkelling in Mnemba Atoll – we hope you have an unforgettable journey discovering everything wonderful about this beautiful tropical island called ‘Zanzibar’! 

Browse our incredible Zanzibar packages and get in touch with us to start planning your Zanzibar adventure today! 

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