12 Instagrammable places in Zanzibar

Judith Kamau16 August 20204066 views8 min. read
12 Instagrammable places in Zanzibar
travel to Zanzibar for a holiday or even a honeymoon, plan it now. Zanzibar isolates itself from Tanzania, with residents of the island preferring to call themselves the Zanzibaris rather than Tanzanians. Zanzibar itself consists of a collection of islands coupled with some of the most beautiful in the world. Here residents have decided to choose their leaders and have some operational governing structures. The Portuguese then came in the 16th century and conquered all the seaports in Eastern Africa. Thanks to the Arabs who ruled the region for centuries after taking it from the Portuguese and later handing it over to the British, the dominant religion is Islam. Since then, Zanzibar has grown to preserve some iconic cultural and architectural buildings you would love to see today. All these and many others qualify to fit our list of the 12 Instagrammable places in Zanzibar that you could consider visiting when there. Have a look.

1. Stone Town

aerial view of zanzibar Located on the main island of Zanzibar Archipelago - Unguja, Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the cultural centre of Zanzibar. Its name is inspired by the 19th-century architectural buildings whose designs were influenced by the European, Indian, Arab and Swahili settlers. This town is a preference for many tourists because of its richness in history that is well documented. You can learn a lot about the colonial periods, the culture then, the food, clothing, and even the lifestyle of the original inhabitants of this ancient coastal city. With so much to admire this town for and the fact that it is situated at Zanzibar's very heart, you can never travel to Zanzibar and fail to stop over Stone Town. The Anglican Church Cathedral, the Kidichi Persian Baths for Sultan Said, the Ceremonial Palace, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Dunga Ruins are among the many outstanding attractions you can visit while in the town.

2. Jozani Forest

jozani national park The Jozani Forest is one of the best Instagrammable places in Zanzibar. You can never miss visiting the Jozani Forest when you travel to Zanzibar. Why? Because it is the only indigenous forest in Zanzibar. The forest prides itself on being a vast and scenic spread of green in the region. Thanks to the Chwaka Bay flooding, where the forest is located, a swamp has been formed, which waters the beautiful trees and ferns that make up this great forest. You can easily access the forest via bus, chartered taxi, or an organised trip to the area.

3. Nungwi Beach

nungwi beach Of the many beautiful beaches in Zanzibar, Nungwi Beach stands out as one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. It is situated on the North West tip of Zanzibar and is preferred to keep tides far, much away from the shores. If you are looking for someplace to enjoy some sunshine, then Nungwi offers you an ideal setup for sunbathing as you soak your feet in the waters. Plus, there is a fancy hotel on the top where you can spend the night away and enjoy your favourite local cuisine.

4. Forodhani Market

zanzibar street food Your list of the things to do in Zanzibar before you leave should undoubtedly include visiting the Forodhani market situated in Stone Town. The market opens in the late afternoon and remains open until late to serve even the late-night customers. The market specialises in the sales of food products, and you can get a variety of local foods from your desires.  The locals and traders' energy in this market is one thing you would love to be entangled in. Fresh local produce, freshly grilled fish, meat, and vegetables are a common appearance in the market. You can take your fish served with fried potato balls, naan bread, or samosas, with the seafood options remaining the most popular order in the market.

5. Prison Island

prison island The fifth place on the list of Instagrammable places is Prison Island. There is no dawn without dusk! While Zanzibar today enjoys a beautiful, peaceful and serene environment that makes it one of the best places to visit in the world, it has a dark past that you may want to know about. Prison Island is the ideal place to visit if you need to catch up with the bitter truths of what transpired in the city years back. The land was once used as a detaining centre for slaves who were captured in the pre-colonial era and was later used as an isolation camp for people with deadly diseases when slavery was abolished. Today, however, the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place where you can see the ruins that were once used as prisons for detaining slaves.

6. Old Fort

old fort It stands out as the oldest building in Stone Town, located on the seafront before the renowned Forodhani Gardens. It was originally brought up in the 17th century to act as a defence front where the island could be protected from Portuguese attacks. It has remained one of Stone Town's main places to visit, with visitors admiring the former great fort's remains. Inside the fort, there is an old amphitheatre that still hosts events and functions.

7. House of Wonders

house of wonders Do you want to learn about the Zanzibari and Swahili cultures? If yes, then you have the best place to learn from; the House of Wonders. This place holds a highly interesting exhibition and gives you a brilliant revelation of the Swahili and Zanzibari cultures. It is also the most monumental and tallest building in Stone Town, located prominently in front of the Forodhani Gardens along Mizingani Road.

8. Palace Museum

palace museum I can't deny that Zanzibar is full of iconic and historical places to visit. But I would never be doing you justice if I failed to mention to you this historic building in Stone Town. It is commonly known as the Sultan’s Palace and a top attraction to many tourists who have been privileged to visit the island. Its location on the waterfront facing the sea is perhaps the other reason why tourists love paying a visit to the building. It was brought up in the 19th century as a home for the Sultan and his family hence the name Sultan's Palace. It was later renamed People's Palace Museum after the 1964 revolution, and the government decided to use it as a public government building. Today if you visit the place, you will be treated to the relics of the past Sultan family.

9. The Rock Restaurant

rock restaurant The name "The Rock" probably comes from the fact that this restaurant is built on a rock. Looking for places to eat in Zanzibar? The restaurant offers you some remarkable views of the island thanks to the rock which gives it a view-over advantage of all the city's main sights. It is not only the view that awaits you in this restaurant when you visit, but you also enjoy some top-notch delicacies prepared in the restaurant. The dishes offered include some of the best seafood that Zanzibar has to offer. You have to make your bookings well in advance as the hotel only has 12 tables that are always fully booked.

10. Matemwe Beach

matemwe beach Matemwe Beach is secluded on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. It is ideally situated opposite the spectacular diving and snorkelling reefs of the Mnemba Atoll and is surrounded by other best beaches in Zanzibar. If you love privacy and exclusivity, then you have every reason to check in on this beach.  You will have options to either spend your time on the beach sitting by the poolside enjoying the sun, or you could opt for the adventures offered on the beach, including going for a snorkel. Additionally, Matemwe Beach offers some excellent accommodation facilities where you can spend your night comfortably as you ponder on the city's beauty through private verandas.

11. Kizimkazi

kizimkazi village Officially known as Kizimkazi Mkunguni or Kizimkazi Mtendeni, Kizimkazi is a fishing village on Zanzibar's southern coast, which was once a walled city. It is situated three miles southeast of the Kizimkazi Mosque and has grown to become a significant tourist attraction. Daily boat tours are organized to bring visitors offshore to watch bottlenose dolphins or even swim with them. While here, you get to enjoy both the stunning beach paradise as well as the exciting display of the bottlenose dolphins, which you can even take Instagrammable pictures with.

12. Bwejuu Beach

bwejuu beach The last one on the list of Instagrammable places in Zanzibar is Bwejuu Beach. Zanzibar has several admirable beaches to offer you. The great thing about the Bwejuu beach is the availability of high-class accommodation facilities at Bwejuu Beach Palm Villa, located a few steps from the beach. This facility offers free private parking, a shared lounge, and a bar. You will also enjoy the concierge services and the tour desk services to register for a tour around the beach.


zanzibar sunrise By now, you already know what to do in Zanzibar anytime you land there. The iconic sites that await you in Zanzibar would demand that you spend some significant time visiting to be able to visit all of these beautiful places. You can apply for Tanzania visa now and start to plan your Zanzibar trip. The best time to visit Zanzibar would be during the end of the year when activities are at their peak and people are signing off an old year in readiness for a new one. However, if you have your free time now, you can plan to travel to Zanzibar and enjoy the beautiful moments in peaceful environments.

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