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Zanzibar - Tanzania

Stone Town is the economic capital of the island of Zanzibar. A city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is rich in history. The influences in its architecture prove it, and the atmosphere is different there compared to the coastal villages. Discover in this article the places to visit during your stay in Stone Town:

Visit the old fort 

Stone Town Old Fort is the oldest building in the city. It is located opposite the forodhani park where the night market takes place in front of the sea. It was built by the people of Oman in 1699. It served as a prison, a railway terminal and later an amphitheater and now hosts the Sauti za Busara music festival every year in the month of February.  

 

My photos were also taken at this time, hence the installation of the scene.

 

Entrance to the fort is free 

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Visit the Sultan's Palace

The palace of the Sultan of Oman stands between the old dispensary and the old fort. It was built in the 19th century and he and the Sultan's family lived there. You will be able to discover the building as well as the furniture. After the Zanzibar revolution in 1964, it served as the seat of government and became the museum we visit today.

Price: $6 entry 

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Boat ride at sunset

From the beach directly (to the left of the restaurant on the pontoon) you can directly negotiate with the locals for a 2 hour tour for the sunset. We were 4 and paid 10,000 tsh each (about 4.20€). We went to the mangroves then came back the other way. A great moment to observe the city from the sea, at sunset.

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Visit a spice farm

The spice farm is a must. Discover the plants of the country and their virtues. You will be able to see those that heal but also those that serve as natural make-up, or even taste cassava fresh out of the ground. You will then be treated to a snack of fresh fruit and gifts made from palm leaves.

There are several farms but the best for me is Kidichi Farm. Just outside North of Stone Town. You can get a dala dala at darajani in Stone Town. It bears the name "Spice Farm" you get off at the terminus, in any case someone will tell you. Or by taxi.  

Entrance to the farm: $10

Time on site: about 2 hours

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Visit the old slave market

Because when visiting a country it is also interesting to discover its history. Unfortunately we have all studied slavery. This visit took me personally to the guts and I had a hard time stopping my tears on the way out (while Russians took selfies laughing ******)

You will be able to visit the old market place where the slaves were sold, a church that was built on the same spot, see the chains from the eras to which they were chained, as well as the "cellars" where they were piled up while waiting for to be sold.

Then there is a small more explanatory museum with photos from the time.

A guide will make you the visit and the explanations it is included in the price of the entry.   

Admission: $10

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Take a trip to Prison island + Nakupenda island

This excursion is offered everywhere. There are all possible prices. Do not hesitate to negotiate.  

Prison island is an island just in front of stone town where very old turtles live. It's impressive to see their size. Personally I don't know what to think, I think it's very touristy and not necessarily great for the welfare of the animals. Up to you. It is also possible to visit the old prison because this island really served as a prison environment at one time.

A little further from Prison Island is a huge sandbar called Nakupenda island . It's touristy so there are often lots of boats around. There is a nakupenda bis that only certain agencies offer and therefore less visited.  

Prison island + Nakupenda Island: 25€ per person

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Walk around the city admiring the alleys and shopping

The city itself is great to explore. A real maze of small alleys (don't hesitate to find yourself thanks to maps.me!).

 

Local life, small souvenir shops, incredible and diversified architecture according to the influences of colonization.

 

I also recommend:

- to eat at Luukman, a super good local restaurant.

- to taste a zanzibar pizza at the night market in front of the sea at Forodhani market.

- to stroll in the souk in Darajani.

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Go have a drink at sunset on a rooftop

Having a drink at sunset is always nice.

But with an unobstructed view of the city and the sea, it's even better!

 

The upendo is a hotel that has a rooftop bar with a swimming pool accessible to all!

 

There are not many places so do not hesitate to come well 1 hour before sunset. To enjoy the swimming pool, an additional contribution will be requested if you are not part of the hotel.

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Visit the house where Freddie Mercury was born

And yes ! Who knew that Queen's Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar? You can visit his house which has been transformed into a museum. I'm personally not a big fan so I didn't went there but I heard good reviews.

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A local music festival 

If you're ever around in February, there's a multi-day music festival every year. An absolutely incredible energy in which I had the chance to participate!

Check online for exact dates.  

The name :  Sauti Za Busara

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I hope this article will have guided you to discover this magnificent city on a human scale, full of history and influence.

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