In the case of Tanzania and Zanzibar journey, Zanzibar is all the time scorching subject amongst travellers. When to go, is it protected, what to see… and though Zanzibar is sort of small island, there are all the time locations you’ll not discover within the information books. These locations and insider suggestions are finest obtained from locals.
And this submit is all about insider tips on Zanzibar from Lukman, the face of Pleasant Taxi & Excursions that is aware of Zanzibar higher than anybody. Lukman is 26 years previous Zanzibari man, formally educated and licensed tour information and taxi driver. Shoppers on Tripadvisor reward him because the pleasant and enjoyable, but skilled, punctual and educated individual. He’s additionally well-known Zanzibari soccer participant and at some point he hopes to open a visitor home in Nungwi.
We requested him about Zanzibar the most typical questions I often get from readers. Hope this interview will provide help to with planning your Zanzibar journey and also you get some worthwhile insights about Zanzibar behind the vacationer scene.
As a neighborhood, what’s your advice of 1 place a primary time customer to Zanzibar mustn’t skip?
A customer mustn’t skip a go to in Stone City. We name this a metropolis tour as a result of Stone City is a spot you possibly can uncover the tradition and traditions, in order to know Zanzibar Island and East Africa. You need to go so you possibly can see the slave commerce market, go to the slave chambers, and see the massive market the place it’s also possible to purchase souvenirs, in order for you.
All of this exhibits the tradition and traditions of the folks of the island. Zanzibar is a historic island, a spice island, and a paradise island. In order to know all of this you should go to Stone City. You’ll get the historical past and you will note how individuals are good. You may uncover the best way they dwell in a beautiful manner.
For instance, in a single place you possibly can see a mosque and a church. It’s a place that all the time will get a whole lot of consideration. Don’t overlook, Freddie Mercury home is in Stone City. You can too get a ship to Jail Island (extra about this later), so in a single place you are able to do two issues.
Persons are typically nervous that travelling to Zanzibar throughout April isn’t good thought. How is Zanzibar in off-season?
Most individuals say that and that’s precisely the best way it was once! However, these days it’s slightly bit totally different. I bear in mind once I was a boy, when it was raining throughout April, the rain was actually heavy. It was raining severely, however these days we don’t have such rain.
Usually it rains, stops, sunshine. Rain, stops, sunshine. This implies it won’t cease folks to do their vacation. In the event you go to in Stone City, it may possibly rain like 30 or 40 minutes. You may keep within the restaurant, close to the market, or in your automobile and when it stops, you proceed.
It rains on totally different components of the island too. So, it is extremely attainable for it to rain while you’re in Stone City. However, for those who depart Stone City and go to the seashore lodges, there received’t be anymore rain. So, I do advocate folks to go to in Zanzibar.
Within the wet season issues change into low-cost like lodging and transportation to the eating places. Additionally, it’s not so busy on the locations you could go to. You may go to the seashore, there aren’t lots of people, so you’ll get pleasure from it extra.
Within the lodges, once more not lots of people, so you’ll get pleasure from it extra. You’ll most likely get nice service too. In fact, you may get nice service each time you go to in Zanzibar, however throughout April you may get even higher service.
With drivers, the nice factor is that they have umbrellas, so they’re ready. It’s okay, you possibly can go to Zanzibar in April. It may be like 2 days, no rain. It’s April. Some days there will likely be a cloudy, however no rain. Generally, it rains slightly bit after which it stops. For positive, it’s okay to go to Zanzibar in April.
Travelling to Zanzibar Throughout Ramadan – sure or no?
The reply is sure, why not? You may go to in Zanzibar throughout Ramadan. In Zanzibar, we’ve excellent non secular tolerance. Which means we respect one another. That’s why we’re referred to as the paradise island.
The locals respect the vacationers and the vacationers respect the locals, that are Islamic. They know that you’re Christian, you will have your tradition and custom. We’re Islamic, we’ve our tradition and custom. You are able to do your vacation. However, the nice factor is to get extra data from the locals. I imply, for those who go to in Stone City, then you need to cowl your physique. Don’t placed on quick garments, so folks received’t see your physique. You simply cowl.
The second factor throughout Ramadan on Zanzibar is, you possibly can go all over the place and you are able to do any exercise you wish to do. You may drink and eat. However, it’s endorsed that once you wish to eat, you need to go within the resort.
A number of the eating places won’t assist you to eat exterior as a result of the native folks observe their very own tradition. It’s nice to respect it and you need to respect one another. There are lodges which are on the seashore and that is the place you possibly can eat, even when you find yourself exterior. A lot of the native inhabitants is in Stone City, however on the seashore, you possibly can eat and drink such as you need.
It’s a good factor to do this as a result of that is the best way we’re, folks from Zanzibar. We’re all the time very respectful of one another and even after Ramadan, we have a good time collectively. This proves that we’ve excellent non secular tolerance in Zanzibar. Mosque and church; similar place.
Individuals pray in a different way, however after praying, they arrive and have a seat collectively. So, life goes on. You are able to do your vacation in Zanzibar, even throughout Ramadan. Crucial factor is to verify the vacationers aren’t disrespectful to locals as a result of the locals are all the time respectful to the vacationers. Life goes on. So, the reply is sure, it’s attainable and I like to recommend for vacationers to go to Zanzibar throughout Ramadan.
For extra curious travellers which are on the lookout for much less visited spots on Zanzibar, are there any off the crushed locations often below the typical vacationer radar, however are price to go to?
These days, there are only a few locations on Zanzibar I’ll say vacationers don’t go as a result of some vacationers are already right here they usually have been on the lookout for locations the place vacationers don’t go. As a result of they discover such locations, there are locations vacationers don’t go to incessantly.
Once I was a boy, vacationers weren’t visiting Tumbatu Island. This island is close to to Nungwi Village. From Nungwi, there’s a spot the place there’s a pure cave. Earlier than, folks weren’t visiting there. These days, they perform a little bit.
There’s one other place in Jambiani, it’s a cave that vacationers don’t go to so much. I believe these days they do, however earlier than, they weren’t visiting. However the different locations, vacationers do go. Generally, it occurs that there are some vacationers, however they wish to go to a spot the place there aren’t different vacationers, solely locals. So, there are villages within the countryside that I can take them to go go to. For instance, there’s Uzi Island.
Within the heart of the island is the place there aren’t any lodges, so most of those locations there aren’t any vacationers. So, when folks wish to do issues sans different vacationers, I take them there. Then, they’ll see how locals dwell, they’ll expertise the tradition and custom. They are going to be very .
Close to Stone City, there’s a spot referred to as Prizi. There’s a really huge baobab tree and on this place, vacationers don’t go. A very long time in the past, round 2002, the federal government wished to call this place as a historic web site. However, then they canceled.
The Chinese language got here they usually wished to do that place for tourism. However, they canceled. Which means most vacationers don’t go to this place. The attention-grabbing factor about this very, very huge baobab tree in Prizi, is that it’s surrounded by native homes and native homes are surrounded by the tree. It is extremely huge.
The roots of the tree are very tall. You may even disguise within the roots, they’re that huge. With among the homes, the foundation passes over them after which on the highest, there’s one other home. It’s in a spot referred to as Prizi. Once more, the attention-grabbing factor there may be the very huge and previous baobob tree. They are saying it’s the third greatest baobab tree on the earth. However, I’m not positive about this; it’s not assured. That is simply what folks say, however it’s large!
That are finest seashores for events, enjoyable and younger crowds that wish to celebration on Zanzibar?
At Kendwa Rocks, you possibly can celebration to the seashore. There’s one other place in Paje, it’s referred to as Jambo Brothers. In Nungwi there’s one other place, Cholo’s. It’s a bar, however it’s on the seashore. The factor is, each place on the seashore the place folks performed music after which noticed extra folks come, they’d then construct a bar proper there, as a enterprise.
First it occurs just for locals, however after they see “ohhhhh, lots of people go to this place”, then they construct a bar for everybody. Cholo’s began like this. It was an empty seashore, simply dancing after which they constructed a bar. They’ll drink and every thing like this. That’s it. Kenda Rocks was the identical.
Generally the locals can have their music to the seashore and play it all the time. Lastly, they are going to construct a bar. Kae Funk in Michamvi is identical. They began out with music, however they’ve a bar already. So, that’s what occurs so much.
The development is that many travellers wish to go native. Is there an opportunity to securely go to native village on Zanzibar and expertise village life?
Sure, there may be. They’ll go to to Mkokotoni Village. These are the locals that cope with fishing. They’ll see learn how to make a dhow – the standard Zanzibari boat. They’ll go to in Nungwi Village, it’s also protected. They’ll see how they make dhows and do fishing.
Then, close to to Kizimbani Village, there’s a Persian bathtub after which close to a spot the place folks do spice excursions, there’s a village they’ll expertise to see Swahili tradition and traditions.
What’s one of the best ways to journey round Zanzibar and why?
To the east coast of Zanzibar is one of the best ways to journey by automobile – taxi, as a result of, on the best way to there, to begin with, the highway is superb. There’s not a whole lot of bridges versus on the best way to the north coast, the place there are a whole lot of highway bridges.
Second, there aren’t a whole lot of police stops. Additionally, to the east coast, you possibly can cease on the best way to the totally different locations, to see among the attention-grabbing websites. For instance, once you go to the east coast, particularly Paje, there you possibly can move by means of Bungi.
In Bungi, there’s Bikhole Palace. There’s a historical past about Bikhole, coping with the sultan’s daughters. Gap is the identify and bi is an previous lady, so Bikhole. Usually you possibly can see a whole lot of mango bushes there, like a backyard. And there’s historical past with the mango bushes. I do know the historical past and it’s an attention-grabbing story.
You can too go to a different attention-grabbing place referred to as the Butterfly Heart. After the attention-grabbing Bikhole story and the Butterfly Heart, you possibly can move to Jozani Forest. These are the actions you are able to do on the best way. Then, you possibly can go straight to Paje seashore.
However, for those who say no, this place isn’t attention-grabbing for me, then you will have another choice from there. You may cancel the seashore after which go to The Rock to have lunch. However, if you’re not thinking about all of these items, the Bikhole, the Butterfly Heart, the Jozani Forest, the Paje Seaside, The Rock restaurant, and the Kae Funk Seaside, you continue to have a chance.
I’ll drive you for like 15-20 minutes after which you’ll arrive to Kizimkazi Village the place you possibly can see the dolphins. So, for those who’re not within the different issues, you even have a chance to take a ship and go see the dolphins. There are various choices and also you don’t have a disturbance, dangerous roads, on the best way going to the east coast. So, east coast is great place to drive.
Zanzibar has additionally surrounding islands. What are the highest islands to go to from Stone City?
From Stone City, there are 3-Four islands that are actually attention-grabbing. Initially, there’s Chumbe Island. It’s like 10 minutes driving from Stone City. The exercise you are able to do there may be snorkel. You may see the blue ocean and good coral reefs, this makes the snorkelling superb.
Two choices; you are able to do a half day journey from morning to night and you then come again to your resort or you possibly can spend the entire day to the island and sleep there. There’s a resort there. I can drop you to the town referred to as Mbweni on the resort referred to as Mbweni Ruins. As soon as I drop you there, you possibly can go to Chumbe Island.
So, how lengthy you keep depends upon you pursuits. It’s your selection, you simply say if you wish to go see it and sleep there or if you wish to come again. The primary exercise is to do snorkeling, to see coral reefs and the small fish with good colours. They’re very colourful, they’re excellent. That is the primary one, Chumbe Island.
The opposite island close to Stone city is Nakupenda Island. This you don’t want even 10 minutes of boat experience. Simply in Stone City, close to to Tembo Resort, you’re taking your boat and you’ll spend the entire day to the island. Initially, you are able to do the identical exercise of snorkeling.
However then, there’s additionally a pleasant shore, a seashore the place you possibly can spend your time. Proper there you possibly can have your barbecue seafood and you’ll have fruit. On the best way again, you’ll sail on the dhow. In the event you come again late, you may get to see the sundown. It depends upon the time you come again and the way you need me to arrange it for you. That is Nakupenda Seaside and it is extremely good.
One other island close to Stone City is Jail Island. The space between Nakupenda Seaside and Jail Island seems to be comparable, 35-40 minutes driving within the boat from Tembo Resort (close to Forodhani Gardens in Stone City).
So, to Jail Island, there are three actions to do. You may go to the tortoise chamber. There are a whole lot of tortoises in there and you’ll take even a million footage with them. Hakuna matata. You may feed them and take extra footage.
After that, as a result of it was a plan to be a jail, though nobody was introduced there as a prisoner, you possibly can go to the Jail Island chambers. And it’s also possible to view the jail cells. Whenever you end to go to Jail Island, there’s additionally a restaurant there if you wish to have some drinks, espresso, or eat meals.
When you find yourself executed, exterior Jail Island there’s a spot to go snorkeling. Additionally, you might be allowed to take footage close to Jail Island, on one other island referred to as Snake Island. These days, there aren’t any snakes. However, a very long time in the past, there have been snakes. It’s only a identify now, like Jail Island. Nobody was introduced there as a prisoner, however we nonetheless name it Jail Island.
If having just one full day in Stone City – what to see and do?
For a full day in Stone City, you are able to do the Stone City Metropolis Tour and Jail Island. Or, if you’re a bit fast you are able to do three actions. You may spend 25-30 minutes driving from Stone City to Kidichi or Kizimbani Village to do the Spice Tour.
You are able to do it within the morning, that afternoon you are able to do the Stone City tour, and the remainder of your day you possibly can end in Jail Island. So you are able to do Spice Tour, Stone City tour, and Jail Island in the identical day. That’s the primary choice.
Spice Tour is a half day journey and you’ll go to a spice farm the place you will note totally different spices; cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, curry powder, and extra. You will notice a man that can climb a coconut tree for you.
Through the Stone City tour, you expertise tradition, traditions, the market, Outdated Fort, see the Home of Wonders, slave chambers, and should purchase souvenirs. You may see the Freddie Mercury Home in Stone City too. For Jail Island, you possibly can take a ship.
Go to feed the tortoises, take footage, snorkeling, and luxuriate in. You are able to do three excursions in the identical, at some point. However, for those who’re not thinking about doing these excursions and like to spend your day on the seashore, you possibly can spend it at Nakupenda Seaside. There, you possibly can spend your complete day. That’s simple. That’s how one can spend your day in Stone City.
Security on Zanzibar, suggestions recommendation?
Zanzibar may be very protected. There aren’t any terrorists and individuals are good. We respect one another’s tradition and traditions. However, all over the place on the earth there are good folks and dangerous folks. When dangerous folks see this, they take benefit.
For instance, there are some folks that aren’t from Zanzibar. They usually keep on the seashore they usually can steal the digicam or cellphone from vacationers. So everybody is meant to be very cautious. Whenever you go to snorkel or swim on the seashore, and also you see there’s no safety or police from the resort, you should be very cautious along with your bag (cellphone, digicam, or laptop computer) on the seashore.
Additionally it is advisable round 8:30-9PM if a solo traveler or household is out, for them to take a taxi on the best way again. It’s good since you by no means know and it’s higher to be protected. Once more, though there aren’t any terrorists and individuals are good, different folks generally use this to their benefit. Then they’ll steal issues from vacationers.
These days in Zanzibar, there’s a motorcycle referred to as a boda boda. It isn’t advisable to take this as a result of it’s not protected. Generally, the drivers are drunk and generally they experience motorbikes when they don’t have a driver’s license.
It is extremely low-cost, however generally turns into costly. So, it’s not advisable to not take the boda boda. It’s nice in the event that they take a taxi. The nice factor is that there are various taxis close to lodges, so for those who go to a celebration close by, the taxis aren’t costly.
You may get a very good worth, particularly for those who get a very good driver. However, it’s even higher to schedule a taxi. We do have a whole lot of shoppers that can schedule us to select them up, earlier than we even drop them off. Others discover my WhatsApp quantity from my web site and can textual content me. They are going to inform me the place they’re and can say they need me to select them up later.
For people who keep in Stone City, in the event that they exit within the night and wish to have dinner in Stone City, additionally they must be cautious with the seafood in Stone City. At Forodhani Backyard, they must be cautious with the seafood.
A few of it’s saved for a very long time. It may be saved within the fridge and resold the following day. So, it’s extra beautiful to go along with your native information or driver they usually can present you a very good place to search out seafood. In the event you go as a solo traveler or as a household, you possibly can simply select the meals they usually can cook dinner it for you proper there.
Like Zanzibar pizza. In the event you select fish, it’s recent fish they usually cook dinner it for you proper there. In the event you select one with meat, similar factor. It’s safety to your well being to you keep away from getting sick and having abdomen points. So, vacationers must be cautious with this. And for these that can go celebration within the night, they aren’t advisable to drink an excessive amount of.
If you’re trying to guide excursions and taxi transfers wherever on the Zanzibar Island throughout your keep on Zanzibar, you possibly can prepare all excursions by visiting Lukman’s web site Pleasant Taxi & Excursions . He will be the pleasant face ready for you on the Stone City airport or taking you on any tour round Zanzibar. You can too contact him by means of Whatsapp, you will see his quantity on his web site.