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7 days in ST - is that too much?

Copenhagen, Denmark
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7 days in ST - is that too much?

I've planned and booked an 11 day holiday at Zanzibar in sept - 7 nights in Stone town, and 4 nights at the most amazing east coast beach...

But now, after been reading around, i'm having doubt, if the 7 nights in Stone Town is too long??

And would i be better of to take a couple of days elsewhere???

I have plans on taking several different tours though : the 1/2 day walking around ST-tour, the Spice tour, Jozani forest, Prison Island and a Dhow sunset cruise (or two?) is my top priority and my defintely 'must-see's'....

Among other things i've planned is good time to just stroll aound and shoot a LOT of photo's, and ofcourse do some shopping.

If you have been to Stone Town i would so appreciate to hear your advice(s) and experiences - this is probably my once-in-a-life-vacation, and would be sorry to find out afterwards that i might have missed out on something essential.

I'm a mid-40's female traveling alone, i love beautiful scenery, amazing, different and historical places/sites.

I'm not into squizing a bunch of things/tours in on the same day, as i like/need to have the time to enjoy and absorbe all impressions.

Nightlife/bars is not something i attend.

I do not have a drivers license.

Thank you very much for taking your time to (hopefully) clearify things for me :)

nyc
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1. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

Of course it's your holiday, but for those who travel to Zanzibar, they usually break up the time with more days on the beach, less in Stone Town. Granted most of the sightseeing is more easily done from ST, but 7/days might be a bit overkill. You can certainly do the various tours you mention in 4/days, 5/days max if only 1/tour per day or if you plan 1/morning; 1/afternoon... the rest can be spent on the beach.

Do know that the weather on the island is tropical - hot and very humid, with ST being even more so as it's a jumble of little twisting/winding, poor condition/dirty streets; though highest building maybe 5/floors... little air circulates. At least at the beach you might catch a breeze. Staying at the beach or ST, recommend having air conditioning rather than just a fan.

As 95% Muslim on the island, while on the beach you can wear swimsuits, bikinis, shorts, halter tops (no topless bathing), but when in ST, being respectful of the community... those items are not appropriate regardless some visitors ignore this, sadly. Rather covered arms (short sleeves fine, but not halter/backless) and legs should be covered at least below the knees (slacks, crop pants, loose skirt). Of course, a hat, good walking shoes and always have water with.

You decide.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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2. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

I'm not the kind of person who travel halfway around the world just to lay on the beach, i want to explore the place i'm visiting.

And (ofcourse) i do know how to behave, dress and about the climate.

My topic was about if 7 days was too long for discovering Stone Town, maybe i did not clearfy that thoroughly enough.

But thank you for your reply anyway.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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3. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

It would be too long for me, but everyone is different and has different interests.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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4. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

Exactly Karl -

So after giving it a lot of thouht, I think i will change it to five days in ST, and look for a new interesting/amazing place to spend the two days i'm cutting of :)

Alberta
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5. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

We spent just one night in stonetown in January.....and that was enough for us! We stayed the rest of the time on Chumbe Island and had originally thought we would go back to the mainland to see more but after the first very hot and uncomfortable day in stonetown we did not want to leave chumbe. But like others have said it is a very personal choice!

Zanzibar Island...
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6. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

Like many have added here there are some activites that can reallly make you stay that long in zanzibar Like the below package that goes for seven day in stone town:

Day 1

Transfer from Airport to stone town

Stone town and Slave market tour

Transfer from town to Hotel intown

Day 2

Dolphin tours with transfer to and from

Day 3

Spice tour Half day including transfers

Day 4

Prison island tour including transfers

Day 5

Pemba Island tour full day including flights

Day 6

Cultural tour With dinner

Day 7

Relaxing and ready for departure

Accomodation for all at maru Maru

But can still mbe modified as per your interest on some days

Poznan, Poland
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7. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

After spending over two weeks on the island I would agree that 7 days in ST is too much. ST has some great sites, but can be exhausting after a while, especially in the overwhelming heat, and (let’s say it) dirt. I would allocate maximum 3 days for ST in the beginning (including some ½ day excursions) and maybe another day and night before the departure for the shopping and seeing some more.

The rest of the time I would divide between at least two different places on the cost. East cost is amazing (Jambiani had some most beautiful beaches and friendly atmosphere)

Some of the activities you mentioned – sunset cruises, spice tours, Jozani forrest) can be done from the beach location as your base (not necessarily from ST). Also – things like safari blue, snorkeling trips, village tours can be done there.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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8. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

Thank you all for your very valued replies!

I have now reconsidered my itinerary, and decided on 4 nights in ST followed by 3 nights at Chumbe Island and then ending with 4 nights at this paradise-like hotel on the east coast of Unguja.

I have checked and researched about the different tours, and since they all are easier to reach from ST and almost halfpriced comparing to prices from beach hotels, i'm taking all the tours while staying in Stone Town.

I was also considering staying the last night in Stone Town, but since i fortunately have a 'late' flight, i'm going straight from the beach to the airport.

Oh my god - i'm so excited and i'm having severe difficulties waiting!

Started planning over a year ago, and now it's all coming together and i'm actually going.

Very surreal for me.

And i'm feeling so blessed and priviledged that I get the opportunity to go on this amazing holiday.

Again I thank you all for your help, advices and for sharing personal experiences - it's appreciated!

Kent
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9. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

Hello,

As above, its totally down to you, but in nearly 10 years I don't think we have sold a 7 night holiday to Zanzibar without some beach time. Personally I would stay a night or two in Stone Town and then head out to the beach. The Island is only small so you can easily visit if you feel the urge and when you don't you can relax in paradise.

I hope this helps and you enjoy your time in Zanzibar.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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307 posts
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10. Re: 7 days in ST - is that too much?

NB :

Regarding the weather, i can see that more of you went in january/february which is the peak of their summer with the higest temps and humidity.

I'm putting my trust in my research, so that my choice to go in september will turn out to be as i hope and expect,- which is that i will be a little more bearable since it's their winter and therefor with the 'coolest' temps and lowest humidity :)