Ornate wooden doors lead you into traditional coral houses, and Persian and Omani designs meet with rich Swahili culture. Spice plantations tantalize the nostrils while slaving history provides poignant stories. Zanzibar is Africa’s most culturally diverse destination, an island with a myriad of influences and artistic obsessions. From its earliest trading days to the day to day life of today, this handcrafted tour offers an intimate journey into all the history and culture that Zanzibar can offer.
Stone Town – First Impressions of the Maze
Sounds will guide you from the rooftop, suggesting what is happening Stone Town's labyrinthine streets. A little later there are church bells, and every so often there will be the tinkling of a bicycle bell or the gossiped laugher of chatting locals. At street level, you will be guided by delectable fragrances: cardamom, cloves, incense, burning charcoal, and sizzling seafood. So much will be happening, and it will be an entirely sensual experience. You will walk through lanes of coral houses, admire the thick wooden doors, and get lost in the maze.
This first day will be all about making your own impressions of Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of houses that have been constructed from coral. Over a thousand years of history can be found here, and the stories can go long into the night. You will need time to appreciate how unique this place is, and how the mix of influence has constructed something with a foot in many continents and cultures. After the ten-minute airport transfer, you will check into the hotel, and a guide will provide a brief orientation, so you know how to recognize the way back to the hotel. You will appreciate the atmosphere from the rooftop terrace and then head out to explore with Darajani Market being a superb first immersion into the conflicting sounds and smells of Zanzibar.
Stone Town – Exotic Spices and Zanzibari Cooking
Stone Town – Traditional Dhow Trip to Prison Island and Its White Beach
Stone Town – Remembering the Souls of the Stolen
Jambiani – Artisans and Architecture Before the Beach
Jambiani – Leisurely Day on the Beach
Jambiani – Rural Village Tour and Sunset Dhow Cruise
Jambiani – Departure
- Immerse yourself in Stone Town, where exotic influences create one of the world’s most vibrant cultural atmospheres
- Ride a traditional wooden dhow to Prison Island, where history meets with a white beach and a tortoise colony
- Follow the storyline through Zanzibar’s slave-trading history, from Tippu Tip’s House to the Mangapwani Slave Chamber
- Discover traditional village life with a day at a small community near Jambiani
- Meet with artisans and explore their crafts, notably the tradition of highly ornate wooden doors
- Spend a full day lounging on the beach at Jambiani, feeling the island’s sense of escapism
- Inhale the scents of spice plantations and track Zanzibar’s iconic spice trading history
- Take intimate walking tours through Stone Town, connecting many periods of history while embracing the lively culture of today
- Cruise towards the sunset on a wooden dhow, a historical vessel for traversing the oceans
- Learn Zanzibari cuisine on an intimate cooking class, using spices plucked straight from a plantation
$4,883 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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