Cheap flights to Zanzibar depart from Manchester Airport and Heathrow Airport in London. UK citizens will require a visa to enter Tanzania. Check with the Tanzania High Commission in London for more information regarding visas. International flights to Zanzibar usually involve a stopover in Dar es Salaam before arriving at Zanzibar International Airport. Taxis are available outside the terminal for journeys to Stone Town and other destinations in the archipelago. The taxis are unmetered so be sure to settle on a price before getting into the vehicle.
Stone Town is best explored on foot, since many streets and alleys are very narrow. Dala-dalas are popularly used for journeys between towns and villages. Dala-dalas only depart when full, and are often crowded with passengers as well as cargo. Alert the conductor by yelling ‘Shusha’ to disembark. Private taxis are also available – they are more costly than dala-dalas but are more comfortable. Passengers should negotiate the fare before getting into the taxi.
The mesmerising jumble of Stone Town is easily the archipelago’s biggest drawcard. Wander through the narrow alleys to discover architecture influenced by many cultures. The famed House of Wonders, the district’s largest building, has a museum devoted to the culture of Zanzibar. The medley of architectural styled used in the construction of the Old Dispensary is a splendid reminder of Zanzibar’s multi-cultural heritage. Discover the town’s Arab influence in the Hamamni Persian Baths, a public bathhouse built in the late-19th century for the reigning Sultan. Although no long used as a bathhouse, the complex is still open to the public for tours. Leave Stone Town behind and venture into the lush Jozani Forest to discover local flower and fauna. The National Park’s green spaces play host to rare creatures such as the red colobus monkey, the Zanzibar Leopard, or an Ader’s Duiker antelope.
Explore the winding corridors of the Darajani Market to pick up brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, freshly-caught fish and seafood, as well as various meats and a variety of spices. The market also has several stalls which sell everyday items such as kerosene lamps and plastic tubs. Locals and visitors flock to the Forodhani Gardens after sunset, as food stalls gather to transform the park into a gourmand’s paradise. Enjoy local delicacies such as curried octopus, pepper shark, and Indian-inspired dishes, all sold at modest prices. Wash it all down with a thirst-quenching glass of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. The Africa House Hotel has a bar on the open-air terrace, which promises splendid views of the sunsets, accompanied by a variety of cocktails and beer.
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