12 Instagrammable places in Zanzibar
If you haven\'t considered 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 on the eastern African. Thanks to the Arabs who ruled the region for centuries after taking it from 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. The Stone Town
Located on the main island of Unguja, Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and the cultural center 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 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. The Jozani Forest
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 organized trip to the area.
3. The Nungwi Beach
Of the many beautiful beaches in Zanzibar, Nungwi stands out as one of the island\'s most popular beaches. 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 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 favorite local cuisine.
4. The Forodhani Market
Your list of the things to do in Zanzibar before you leave should undoubtedly include visiting the Forodhani market situated in the Stone Town. The market opens in the late afternoon and remains open until late to serve even the late-night customers. The market specializes 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. The Prison Island
The fifth Instagrammable places of list is the 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. The 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 center 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 the prisons for detaining slaves.
6. The Old Fort
It stands out as the oldest building in Stone town, located in the seafront before the renowned Forodhani gardens. It was originally brought up in the 17th century to act as a defense 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 amphitheater that still hosts events and functions.
7. House of Wonders
Do you want to taste 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
I can\'t deny it 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 in 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 The People\'s Palace 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
The name \'The Rock\' probably comes from the fact that this hotel is built on a rock. The hotel 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 hotel 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
The Matemwe Beach is secluded on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. It is ideally situated opposite the spectacular diving and snorkeling reefs of the Mnemba Atoll and is surrounded by other great beaches in Zanzibar. If you love privacy and exclusivity, then you have every reason to check-in into 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.
Formerly known as Kizimkazi Mkunguni or Kizimkazi Mtendeni, Kizimkazi is a fishing village on Zanzibar\'s southern coast, which was once a walled city. It situated three miles south-east 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 pictures with.
12. Bwejuu Beach
The last Instagrammable places 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.
By know 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. 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 a trip to Zanzibar and enjoy the beautiful moments in peaceful environments.
Judith is a Kenya based writer. Writing is her passion. She is the consummate professional with boundless enthusiasm. With a style that is spare and to the point, she delights in presenting facts accurately but also strives to lead readers into unknown worlds, worlds filled with ideas to explore and information to digest. Impossible meets the achievable, as she takes any challenge presented and makes sure that nothing is left to chance.