Want a closer look at the reef on the east coast? Or maybe you would like to see some dolphins up close. Sau Inn Divers in Jambiani. They are located in the grounds of the Sau Inn and are fully equipped. They offer full PADI accredited courses. You can choose from 1/2/4/6/8/10 Dive packages, trips to Mnembea Atoll and Dolphin diving trips. Prices are reasonable and the staff are very friendly. So go on- have a dive!
I have seen recommendation for Baboo travel owned by a guy named Nooran Baboo from Stone town from Zanzibar.
I travelled with him and my family in February 2011 and I was very dissapointed.OK, we did safari, we saw migration,we stayed in Zanzibar . The organization was chaotic, not enough information regarding our daily plans from his side, but the cook and the driver were excellent, but Mr. Octopus as he likes to introduce himself to the tourists, was as a representative of his own company a big disaster, total lack of interest in customers..And the best at the end he still owes me money, 400$ I deposited at his account and 300$ for a trip we had not realized, and he promised to return.
Tanzania and Zanzibar are twothe most beautiful places to spend a vacation, just the guide was a bit strange, .
At first sight he is a lovely guy, I did travel with him before but the last trip with my family was just a mess ... so do not get mistaken with first impression.
Marcela from Czech Republic, slasha @seznam.cz
No visit to Zanzibar Island can be complete without a tour of the Jozani Forest. Any tour of Jozani will show you: The Rainforest, Red Colobus Monkeys (endangered species) and the Mangrove Swamp. The Forest is the last uncultivated/inhabited area on Zanzibar. Land crabs and the shy Blue Monkey are also present during your visit. You can either book a tour or just transportation, but do not miss Jozani!
The cost of entry to Jozani is very low so you will have to haggle big time for transport. You really need a good zoom camera and loads of film or memeory. The Red Colobus are inquisitive and will come very very close. They also move like the wind and it is very hard to just take a few photos to capture them.
I will build tips on the 3 seprate parts, but do not overlook the Blue Monkeys while you are here. They are very quiet and interesting, but usually ioverlooked.
** If you are driving there, watch for large Blue Monkeys running across the road where the speed humps are! **
If you are wondering why a lot of the pictures of doors are kind of sideways, its because the ‘streets’ are very narrow paths. Zanzibar doors can not be found anywhere else in the world. Traditionally when a house was built in , the door was traditionally the first part to be erected! The more elaborate the carvings and decorations on the door – the higher the cost. So you can see where the rich people lived 200 years ago very easily. There are, supposedly, 560 carved doors in Zanzibar with the oldest door dating all the way back to 1694.
The Best Beaches on Zanzibar Island are on the East Coast. If you want to see the beaches, yet stay in a real village, then a visit to Jambiani is a must. Jambiani was named after the curved Omani dagger when locals found one of these ancient relics washed up on the beach. The village has a long ‘road’ that follows the beach and locals always shout a warm Jambo! (Hello!) to you. There are plenty of economical, but beautiful hotels on the beach and yet you feel like part of local life when you walk along the road. The main money earner is seaweed and you can watch the harvesting and drying done by villagers everyday. This is then dried out producing a rainbow of bright colours. Fish are caught by boats and men in the water with nets to provide meals. Children scurry between school and the beach where they chase white ghost crabs. It really is worth a visit to see authentic village life.
Please visit my Jambiani Page for more photos:
Life changes, guidebooks are out of date and some VT tips need to be removed. There are ATM’s on Zanzibar! 4 in fact and all in Stone Town. They are linked to the outside world and an American friend with a Plus card easily got cash. Travellers Cheques can be cashed as well in several locations in Stone Town. Get Schillings in Stone Town BEFORE you go to your hotel somewhere else on the island! Your hotel will not give you a good rate.
You can now also use the Barclays Bank on Zanzibar!
Are you looking for a refreshing tour? A local inside view to the island? Go to Baboo travel and ask for Baboo himself... he has a full array of local tours - I recommend the Spice Farm but beyond that he will point you to such local must-sees as the local nightly market where you can sample seafood from different vendors - including his grandfather (Moses). Beautiful, on the beach and very inexpensive - he will point out the local landmarks and also can custom create various tours - fantastic welcoming experience --- stop by Baboo travel, at the tourism office -- he will set you up!
There more popular excursions on offer include: diving and snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, swimming with dolphins and visiting the Jozani National Park.
The most popular seem to be the Spice Tour and a daytrip to Stone Town.
I suppose one can also visit Dar (by ferry) if you want to.
Paje is a small village on the east coast of Unguja. It has the most amazing beaches; long stretches of white sand, fringed by palm trees.
There is also a small supermarket where you can buy many things you might need during your trip.
Paje has many smaller, non-resort type hotels.
We drove several times along the Jozani Forest and was lucky to spot the very rare red colobus monkeys. We did not visit the actual Jozani-Chwaka National Park, but the area you drive through is part of a conservation area. So, I suppose we were very lucky to see the monkeys.
I visited a “factory shop” where doors are made. Post of the doors are made on order (hotels etc). The artisans use pictures of original doors in the designs. They are well trained and very skilful.
There is no entrance fee, but they have a donation box.
You cannot visit Zanzibar and not spend some time in Stone Town. Stone Town has UNESCO World Heritage status. There is a lot to see and do. The Town has a very interesting history. The buildings along the waterfront (The Old Dispensary, The House of Wonders etc) are some of the architectural highlights.
The slave trade history can also be traced when you visit Stone Town.
Good restaurants and cafes can be found all over Stone Town.
For more details, you can visit my page on Stone Town
Going on a Spice Tour is an enjoyable experience. As we were driving to the Spice Farm, I thought for a moment that I as in Kerala, India. This might explain why spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, turmeric etc grows so easily on Zanzibar Island.
The guides are very well trained and gives good information. You will have the chance to see how one should climb up a coconut tree to harvest coconuts.
You can also buy spices at the end of the tour (buy only if it is cheaper than what you pay in your own country).
I was also offered a selection of wonderful fresh fruit which grows on the island.
Prices – difficult to say, as it can vary a lot
On our journey from Zanzibar Town to our beach resort on the south east of the island we stopped for a while to explore the Jozani Forest. This forest once stretched over a large area of the centre of Zanzibar. It is now seriously reduced in size but what remains has been declared a natural park and is now under protection. The park is home to a species of Red Colobus monkey and a highlight of our visit was watching these energetic creatures leaping through the trees above our heads. Their speed makes them almost impossible to capture on camera, but our persistence paid off and we got a few half-decent shots, as you can see.
This species of Red Colobus monkey is endemic (unique to Zanzibar) and highly endangered, with only about 1,500 thought to be in existence. They are rather pretty monkeys, with attractive red, black and white colouring and distinctive tufts of white fur above their eyes.
The forest is also said to be home to a few of the rare Zanzibar leopards, but these are so rare in fact that very few people claim to have seen one, and the last sighting was several years ago.
The reserve is completely managed by the local people who operate tree nurseries and act as rangers and guides. From the visitors' centre on the main road to the south, there’s a 45-minute nature trail which we followed, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who not only told us all about the monkeys but also pointed out various interesting trees and shrubs and introduced us to the smallest species of frog – no bigger than my little fingernail!
On the afternoon of our Spice Tour our guide Mohammed brought us to one of Zanzibar’s best-known beaches, Mangapwani, by way of the nearby so-called “Slave Cave”. This is in fact no naturally-carved cave but a cube-shaped cell cut out of the soft coral rock. It was used as a place in which to store slaves, who would be brought here by boat from the mainland and kept in the cave while awaiting sale in the markets of Zanzibar Town. Even after the slave trade was officially abolished on the island in 1873 it is thought that the practice continued illicitly, and this cave would have been an important factor in allowing the traders to hide their slaves from official eyes.
From here we walked between the trees to a small secluded beach – not the main Mangapwani Beach (which is now the site of one of the luxurious Serena Hotels) but a smaller one separated from it by an outcrop of coral rocks. Here we could swim in the sea (having been warned in advance to bring or wear swim-wear) and relax on the sands.