Stone town in Zanzibar Island : Stone Town, a perplexing network of streets and lanes that form the westernmost tip of Zanzibar Town, is Zanzibar’s historic heart. The island’s bustling capital now has a quarter-million residents, but it’s easy to get lost in the maze of Stone Town’s narrow alleyways and imagine yourself drifting back in time. Stone Town is the historical center of Zanzibar City, the archipelago’s capital. Stone Town has been a unique meeting spot, integrating African, Indian, Arabian, and European cultures for over a millennium as a primary trading hub on the spice, silk, and slave trade routes. It is one of Africa’s few remaining ancient towns, Stone town in Zanzibar Island.
Though the Portuguese first settled the area in the 16th century, most of Stone Town’s construction dates from the 19th and (to a lesser extent) 18th centuries a mesmerizing mix of Arabic, Persian, Indian, and British architecture and Victorian accounts of the quarter still have an authentic feel to them today. Its natural beauty and historical significance have won it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. during your Zanzibar vocation at stone town Not only your senses will be assaulted by the aroma of the sea, spice, as well as the calls to prayer ringing from the minarets, but also this city is physically stunning, with old colonial buildings and wonderfully carved Zanzibarian gateways to make you feel you have entered a new world on another planet.
GETTING THERE/HOW TO GET TO STONE TOWN
From all over the world, Condor, Jetfly, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, Arkia Israeli Airlines, KLM, FlyDubai, Meridian, Fasyjet, Mango, and Turkish Airlines all offer direct flights to Zanzibar City into Aman Abeid Karume International Airport.
If you can’t find a direct flight from your country to Abeid Aman Karume International airport- Zanzibar, fly to Dar es Salaam Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha. From these two airports, it’s simple to connect to Zanzibar by domestic flights or a ferry from Dar es Salaam, Stone town in Zanzibar Island.
Another option of getting/ accessing stone town-Zanzibar is to fly to one of the adjacent east African nations, such as Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, or Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport, and then fly to Zanzibar from there. When you arrive in Zanzibar, you can move around using dala-dalas (trucks converted into passenger vehicles) or local buses, which run all around the island for as little as a few Tanzanian shillings. However, keep in mind that this mode of transportation will be substantially slower and less comfortable.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT STONE TOWN?
Zanzibar stone town, like Tanzania’s northern wildlife safari circuit, has two rainy seasons, one short and the other long. From March through May, monsoons are common, which means the beaches are less crowded and hotels offer discounts, but you’ll be sunbathing in torrential rain. If at all possible, avoid visiting Stone Town on a Friday, because this is a Muslim holy day, several restaurants, pubs, events, and attractions may be closed during the day.
The best time to visit Stone Town is between December and February, when the weather is hot and mostly dry, or between June and October, when the weather is cooler and the weather is drier. The weather is mild at this time of year, and there is less possibility of rain interrupting planned outings. If you want to combine your trip with a wildlife safari or hiking safari in Tanzania, these seasons are ideal.
Because the stone town is dominated by Muslims, most restaurants and food shops will be closed during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, and most pubs and nightclubs will likely be closed for the entire month. It is preferable not to eat or drink in public at this time, as this is considered socially inconsiderate. Furthermore, both men and women should wear modest clothing at this time. If you want to avoid these restrictions, make sure you verify the Ramadan dates every year and avoiding visiting this island at this season.
STONE TOWN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES (THINGS TO SEE AND DO AT STONE TOWN)
Stone Town, also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “Old Town”), is the oldest area of Zanzibar City. It was designated as a UNESCO World Legacy Site in 2000 for its diverse cultural heritage, which includes Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences. Because it is a historic town, it has a variety of unique and fascinating tourist attractions and activities to do or partake in while visiting this colonial town. The following are some of the attractions and things to do in Stone Town:
Try local food at Forodhani Garden Markets.
This market, which opens at 5 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m., is arguably one of Stone Town’s most popular attraction and must visit area. Locals and tourists alike congregate here for some alfresco street dining, with kebabs, local seafood, coconut bread, grilled cassava, roasted maize, sweet potato chapatti, and fresh fruit drinks available from colorful stalls and grills. This is one of the liveliest parts of town, and the food is not only delicious but also inexpensive, Stone town in Zanzibar Island.
Go to Darajani Market
Stone Town’s old alleyways are home to Darajani Market, one of Zanzibar’s primary marketplaces. Despite the fact that the market now extends beyond the main structure and onto the adjacent lanes and side streets, the original building that contains the modest indoor part was constructed in 1904. This popular Stone Town market is a great place to acquire spices, fresh meat, fruit, and veggies. It’s best to attend early in the morning, while the vendors are still setting up and the produce is still fresh, if you like a quieter market experience.
Walk the streets.
This is another thing to do in the Zanzibar stone town and is the best way to see Stone Town (by foot), but if you’re short on time, renting a bicycle is an option. On this unique way of exploring the stone town you will get a chance of passing through different streets at the town with shops, restaurants and other unique attraction.
Let’s go shopping.
Stone Town has enough to offer the determined shopper, from clean, ethical fashion stores to the loud, chaotic market on Creek Street. Brightly colored kanga and kikois (traditional wrap-around clothing), silver and tanzanite jewelry, handmade leather bags, sandals, and shoes, a seemingly endless array of woven baskets, wooden carvings, throws, wall hangings, rugs, antiques and ornaments of all shapes and sizes, not to mention spice-infused beauty products and oils, and, of course, the spices themselves, are all to be found.
Take a spice tour.
The Zanzibar archipelago is known as the “Spice Islands” because of its historical and present significance as one of the world’s leading spice producers. Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, lemongrass, vanilla, and nutmeg are among the spices you’ll encounter on the spice tour, which will help you appreciate the island’s long history in the spice trade.
Visit the Old Arab Fort
This remarkable structure was built on the site of a historic Portuguese fort in the late 17th century. It has an outstanding amphitheater, as well as an art gallery and a curio market. Try to catch a live concert in the open-air amphitheater if you can the Sauti za Busara Music Festival, which features musicians from all around Africa, takes place here every February.
Visit Prison Island/Changuu Island
This is a fantastic half-day adventure that involves a scenic 20-minute boat journey offshore to Prison Island, a former quarantine station. The enormous tortoises, the oldest of which is 192 years old, will be introduced to you on the island. After that, you can cool off by snorkeling off the coast of Nakupenda. Some tours include a meal and snorkeling equipment.
Visit Jozani Forest Tour.
Jozani is Zanzibar’s sole national park, and it is home to the red colobus monkey, one of the world’s rarest creatures, as well as a variety of birds, butterflies, and bush babies. The boardwalks make walking around the forest easy, but if you want more information on the plant and animal species you could observe, you can hire a guide at the entry.
WHERE TO STAY IN STONE TOWN
Stone Town is home to a number of luxury hotels, boutique hotels, and backpackers’ hostels, making it one of the best places to stay during your safari and vacation. The Lost and Found Hostel is a popular backpacker hangout with a convenient location, friendly staff, bunk beds with curtains, and, of course, air conditioning. Also The Emerson Spice Hotel is a charming boutique hotel that was previously a merchant’s residence.
Tembo House Hotel, Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Zanzibar, Mizingani Seafront Hotel, Zanzibar Coffee House, Zanzibar Palace Hotel, Fumba Beach Lodge, Zanzibar Serena Hotel, Maru Maru Hotel etc are other some of the accommodations/ lodges to stay in during your vocation at Zanzibar stone town.