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Places to See in Zanzibar

Updated on July 23, 2012

Zanzibar Island is a multiracial and multicultural community, characterized by beautiful sandy beaches, coral reefs and the magic of the historic Stone Town.

Stone Town

Stone Town is the oldest city and cultural heart of Zanzibar. The city was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, but it is still a real community and not a museum or theme park. Sensitivity should be shown to the local people of the city who work and stay there.

Most of the houses in Stone Town were built in the 19th century with coraline rock of Zanzibar. Coraline rock easily eroded and therefor many buildings are in a bad state or busy being renovated. Another unique characteristic of the buildings in Stone Town is the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors, more than 500 different examples can be seen.


The Old Fort

The Old Fort was constructed at the turn of the 17th century to fend off the Portuguese seafarers and Mazuri Arabs from the "Spice Islands".Today the fort houses shops and henna painting stores as well as the work of local craftsmen and in the evening they offer local music and dancing at the open-air theater.


House of Wonders (Beit el-Ajaib)

The House of Wonders (Beit el-Ajaib), built in 1883, was the first building in East Africa to have an elevator and the very first building in Zanzibar to have electricity. After renovations in 2005 the House of Wonders Museum was opened and visitors can admire the carved doors, the 16th century Portuguese cannons and shop around at the craft market on the veranda during the day.


Anglican Cathedral and Slave Market

The Anglican Cathedral is built on the grounds of the old slave market that closed down in 1873. The altar of the cathedral stands exactly where the whipping post of slaves where in those days. A stark memorial can be seen outside the cathedral, look for a sculpture of a slave family bound round the neck by a historic chain.


Central Market

Central Market in Stone Town is known for its vibrant array of colours and spicy scents. Since 1904 the local people sell their products at this market and you can find anything here, from tropical fruits, exotic spices, brightly coloured khangas (worn by local women), fish and rare provisions such as pomegranates and red bananas.


Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest is the only protected reserve in Zanzibar and was declared a forest reserve in 1960. It contains about 100 tree species from a total of 43 families and a few unique species including the red colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, bush babies, duikers, hyraxes, over 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds.


Travel Guide & Photo Gallery - Zanzibar

Map of Zanzibar


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