The history of Zanzibar would be incomplete without the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices which brought the Sultans of Oman and the beginnings of the infamous slave trade. They can be seen in the plantations just outside Zanzibar town, and a good tour includes opportunities to dazzle the senses with fresh spices. A detailed description is given about a variety of spices, and their uses in cooking and cosmetics. Visitors will be fascinated by the sheer number of spices produced and their incredible value for many ailments. This is also the cheapest place to purchase spices and spice oils.
This was built in 1880 by Sultan Burghush as a retreat for himself and to house some of his many concubines. As the name says, they are ruins with the Persian Baths being the only part left with a roof
These are the only remains of Sultan Said the Great's main residence. It is in a state of disrepair, so expect ruins. This was one of his favourite places and spent most of his time here. His daughter Salme described it as Eden. In the back there are many hallways and rooms with built in alcoves.
This is where you will find the Mangapwani Coral Caves and the Slave Chambers. The slave chambers are a little further along the road. They were used to house slaves after trading was banished in 1872. Traders used to hide the slaves in this underground structure, waiting for their ships to transport the slaves out of Zanzibar.
Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several school of bottle-nosed dolphins which can often be sighted following a short boat trip from the village. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim quite close to the dolphins which can be a very rewarding experience. Kizimkazi is also the site of a 12th century mosque, the earliest evidence of Islam in East Africa, and is thus worth a visit for both natural and cultural reasons.
This is a protected forest housing the endangered Red Colobus monkey. This is definitely worth a visit, if only to see the monkeys. Nature walks are offered through the forest and is a great way to see the wildlife on the island. Be sure to dress comfortably, as there is very little shade on the walk.
These baths were built in 1850 by Sultan Said, for his wife Sherehezade. It is in conflict with Muslim faith with portrayals of birds and flowers on the walls. Muslims consider it sacrilege to create any images of any living thing. Persian craftsmen brought specially to Zanzibar built it. The baths were used by Sherehezade to refresh herself after a long journey, or day of hunting.
Once the site of a gaol for misbehaving slaves, the island lies just off the old stone town. It is fringed with a beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkelling, and has a lovely white beach for sun-bathing.
It is also home to a family of giant tortoises, imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century. This island is ideal for a day-trip with refreshments available throughout the day. It also has a small restaurant where you can enjoy freshly caught fish.