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Community, Cuisine & Livelihoods
Relax, you’re in Zanzibar!
Begin your adventure in Stone Town, an incredible place to explore, filled with history, culture, great coffee, drinks and food, and lots of local people to meet. Walk through town with your guide, shop at the market, learn about textiles, fish and spices, see where to eat & drink in the night market, and participate in cooking a traditional Zanzibari meal! Live like a local in Stone Town, with your on-call private guide to help you navigate its hidden corners. As a reminder that the beauty around you has not always been so peaceful: visit the site of the former Slave Market and learn about the history of the island.
Then you’ll head out of Stone Town, visiting a locally-owned spice farm on your way to the quieter coastal villages. Here you can sail on a dhow, a traditional wooden sailboat, and get active on the water with options for kitesurfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and even paddleboarding through mangrove forests.
We’ll take you out on a full day Ocean Livelihoods Experience, where you will see all kinds of traditional fishing and you might have a chance to buy seafood like fish or octopus directly from a fisherman. You will also get to go snorkeling in a beautiful area and have snacks on the boat. It’s a great, very leisurely experience, followed by a beautiful lunch at a local home with fresh seafood, vegetarian options and a lot of fresh bread and fruit. (Profits go to a local family.) We’ve also planned some time to just kick back and immerse yourself in local village life.
If you have more time, you can explore beaches all around the island: lively, quiet or local, just choose your vibe! Our local partners will help you make the most of your time on this fascinating island. And of course, you'll want to plan a visit to mainland Tanzania for an amazing safari and local homestay!
We are proud to partner with local Tanzanian start-up Simba & Spice to help build their capacity for a positive, ethical tourism. Learn more about them here.
All accommodations described in itinerary (based on double sharing room, with the exception of homestays where arrangements will be discussed with the client)
Arrival in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Karibu Sana Zanzibar! You are very welcome to Zanzibar!
You will likely hear the call for prayer as you step off the plane or ferry, clear immigration, collect your luggage, breathe in the fresh ocean air and meet your local guide under a mango tree. We will have a private vehicle and driver ready to take you to Stone Town and guide you through the labyrinth to your accommodation. And don’t worry, there's no need to experience Zanzibari bargaining just yet - we’ll have plenty of local snacks in the car to keep you fuelled up during this transition! Your guide will give you some orientation and show you some local spots along the way, and will be available to you on-call during your time in Stone Town.
In the evening, your guide will take you on a walk through the streets where local families will be enjoying leisure time and playing Bao on the corner. Jump right into your experience with a traditional Zanzibari meal prepared for you in a Stone Town apartment with your local guide.
Overnight in local apartment
Stone Town, a UN World Heritage Site, is lauded as an excellent example of a Swahili trading town. A lot of the fun in Stone Town is getting lost in the labyrinth of car-free streets and alleys, but a few hours of guided orientation will make even the most independent travelers enjoy it more. Tell us what you’d like to do, and we will make it happen! Your local guide will help keep your focus on the sights instead of working your way around many people trying to sell you things in town.
Your day will include a tour of the city, including admission to the historical site of the Zanzibar Slave Market. You have the option of customizing your time in Stone Town to focus on your personal interests such as history, art, food, fabrics, shopping, food markets, and even coffee shops! You'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In the evening, your guide will take you to the night market, then have a relaxing sundowner by the beach.
Overnight in local apartment
Stone Town / Prison Island
After a leisurely breakfast, your guide will get you set up for a very popular excursion to Changuu (“Prison”) Island. You will travel on a small local boat about 6 km to this small government-owned island, where you will learn about the history of the island and also visit the roaming Aldabra Giant Tortoises, an endangered species now cared for in this space. You can snorkel or swim and enjoy lunch prepared for you on the beach.
In the afternoon, you have the option for an ethical special interest shopping trip, a popular request by many travelers. A local guide will take you to the best places to buy your most sought after items, whether that be spices, local artwork, wooden treasures, Zanzibari fabric ‘kangas’ or anything else. This experience will ensure that the profits from your purchase go directly to the seller.
Overnight in local apartment
Spice Farm - Mangwapwani Caves - Kizimkazi Village homestay
After breakfast, your guide will connect you with a driver and vehicle waiting to take you out of town to your next adventure! As you travel east across the island to the village of Kizimikazi, you will stop along the way to visit a locally-owned spice farm. You will see the important spices growing and learn about how they are part of Zanzibar’s past and present, as well as learn how they are used.
After lunch at the spice farm, visit the Mangapwani Caves which extends 90 meters and is lit by flashlight only. This area is quite remote and has a narrow entry with a fresh pool of water at its lowest point. History tells us that this cave was used as a holding pen for slaves after the trade was abolished in the late 19th century.
Continue your journey to the southern part of the Island and feel yourself relax as you enter the sleepy fishing village of Kizimkazi. Very few travelers settle here for more than a few hours, so you’re in for a treat. Settle into your homestay, meet your hosts and enjoy dinner together.
Overnight at homestay
Wake up with your host family and prepare for a day immersing yourself in local village life! After breakfast, you'll accompany your hosts as they embark on their day. You may find yourself fishing or building a
After spending the day with your hosts, you'll bid them farewell and check in to a relaxing local lodge with a pool and a very chill vibe. Dinner is on your own (available on-site at the lodge).
Ocean Livelihoods Experience
Today you will learn about how Zanzibari men and women make a living on the Indian Ocean! This is the original ethical travel experience that grew into Simba & Spice, our partner organization.
Every morning, dolphin-seeking tourists arrive in this quiet fishing village, driving for 1.5 hours from Stone Town hotels. They arrive at the harbor and embark on a motorboat with the sole purpose of finding pods of dolphins. When the creatures are spotted, more than a dozen tourist boats follow them across the water. When they’re gone, the boats return tourists to the harbor and tourists return to their taxis and go back to Stone Town.
We have created something different! On the Ocean Livelihoods Tour, you will learn about the many ways local people earn a living on the sea. With a private boat and captain, you will travel on the ocean to see local fishermen fishing with spears, nets and sometimes lines, catching all kinds of fish and octopus which you can often purchase directly from your boat. You can see women farming seaweed and children towing boats to the shoreline. You will see the coastline as your journey continues, and hop off the boat to snorkel by a beautiful reef. You will look for dolphins and know that if you are fortunate to see them off the beaten path, it will be very rewarding. Locally prepared snacks will be served on the boat.
After spending the morning on the water, you will meet your guide at the harbor and walk through the village to a local home, where you will have lunch prepared and also have the opportunity to clean and cook the seafood that you bought with help from your guide in traditional Zanzibar style! After lunch, enjoy a walk through the village before returning to your hotel where you can take a refreshing dip and relax by the pool.
Overnight at locally-owned lodge
After breakfast at the lodge, you'll learn how local women farm seaweed on a visit to a local seaweed farm. Afterward, you are free to explore the village or enjoy some downtime at the lodge. In the late afternoon, you'll take part in a local mangrove excursion followed by a beach picnic at sunset.
Overnight at locally-owned lodge
Departure -or- beach time add-on
After breakfast, you'll depart the island or you can extend your time and choose from these add-on options:
- Relax on the white sand in beach
- Snorkelling, kitesurfing, scuba diving, and fishing are some of the options for water-loving travelers. Tell us what you want to do, and we’ll connect you with the best place for it.
- With your local guide, visit the nearby village of Michamvi where you will visit some local homes and markets, have a traditional lunch, and explore the extraordinary mangroves by foot, paddleboard or boat.
- Visit the wildly popular beach strip called Page with your guide, now best known for kitesurfing and beach-side coffee and juice bars.
Nungwi offers travelers the perfect combination of beautiful beaches, connections with other travelers, modern Zanzibari culture, and a look at village life. Travel to the northern part of the island, possibly spotting the red colobus monkeys at Jozani Forest on the way.
- Take a walking tour of Nungwi Village (dhow building industry, fish market, Mnarani Aquarium)
If you’re looking for a lively beach experience filled with sporty fun, this is where you will want to be! Page is known for high winds, a vibrant kitesurfing community, and simple Zanzibari-style bungalows set back from the action.
Most travelers come to Zanzibar as part of a trip including mainland Tanzania. Check out some sample options here!
From $1950 based on double occupancy
8D / 7N
Custom dates available year-round
Stone Town - Kizimkazi - Stone Town/Beach add-on
Village experience, customizable
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