What to see in Zanzibar in 7 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Much loved by tourists from all over the world, but especially Italians, Zanzibar, main island of the homonymous archipelago, is part of the Republic of Tanzania and is a place that smells of spices. Characterized by long white beaches bathed by the crystal clear sea where dolphins and multicolored fish swim, it is the perfect destination to relax after safaris in the parks of Tanzania or simply to spend a relaxing holiday.

Let's find out together what to see in Zanzibar in 7 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much does a week cost in Zanzibar
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

For your first day and to rest after the long flight we suggest you spend the morning on the Nungwi beach, north of the island, where we also recommend staying. If you are staying elsewhere you can reach the beach by taxi from Stone Town (1 h 30 min, 75.000,00 TZS, € 30,00) or by dala dala 116 (2 h, 2.500,00 TZS, € 1,00). This place is perfect for anyone who wants to practice some water sport or simply take long walks, swim, relax and sunbathe.

For lunch, stop for something at Mama Lisa (20.000,00 TZS, € 8,00).
In the afternoon go to the neighbor Kendwa beach (4 km from Nungwi; 50 min on foot; taxi 17.500,00 TZS, € 7,00; from to from 1.000,00 TZS, € 0,50). Here you can take part in various activities such as jet skiing and diving in Mnemba island, even for beginners! Stay and relax until sunset, because this is one of the most suggestive locations for admire the sunset. Then return to Nungwi to spend the evening.

For dinner, we recommend Fisheram's Seafood Grill, a rather chic beachfront venue (50.000,00 TZS, € 20,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 9,2 km / 1 h 54 min
  • Places visited: Nungwi beach (free), Kendwa beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 45,00
  • Lunch at Mama Lisa (Get directions), Dinner at Fisheram's Seafood Grill (Get directions)

2 day

For this second day we suggest you take part in an excursion to Prison Island with lunch on the beach included. From Nungwi go to Stone Town (1 h 30 min, taxi 75.000,00 TZS, € 30,00) and from there you will take a boat that will take you to Prison Island. Here once rebel slaves were locked up, today he lives a colony of giant tortoises. Then you will be taken to the coral gardens of Bawe Island to snorkel in turquoise waters.

For lunch you will be taken to the beautiful beach of Nakupenda, on the islet of the same name, where organized tours prepare an excellent picnic based on grilled fish. In the afternoon you can relax on this strip of sand, which has a peculiarity: when the high tide appears in the evening, the islet disappears! Soak up some sun, go for long swims or snorkel again until late afternoon you are driven back to Stone Town and dropped off at your hotel or resort.

In the evening, if you are staying in Nungwi, we recommend that you dine at Le Macis Zanzibar, a local restaurant that serves excellent meat and fish dishes (30.000 TZS, € 12,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 116 km / 2 h 34 by car from / to Stonw Town + tour lasting at least 5 h
  • Places visited: Prison Island, Bawe Island, Nakupenda Beach (tour from € 74,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 85,00
  • Lunch included in the tour, Dinner at Le Macis Zanzibar (Get directions)

3 day

Start the day early in the morning at Butterfly Center, in the central hinterland of the island (8: 30-17: 30; from Nungwi 1 h 15 min, taxi 112.000,00 TZS, € 45,00). This visit will take you 1 hour away and you can take a close look at life cycle of butterflies and admire colorful specimens.
From here by taxi (10 min, TZS 17.500,00, € 7,00) you reach the Jozani Forest, the only national park in Zanzibar, where you can spot the endemic red monkeys (every day 7: 30-17: 00). The forest is quite extensive, you will walk a lot accompanied by a local ranger who will explain everything to you. Consider an excursion in the Jozani Forest which also includes an encounter with dolphins.

Lunch at the Jozani Maridadi Restaurant, near the park entrance (25.000,00 TZS, € 10,00).
In the afternoon reach the Jambiani beach (25 km; taxi 25.000,00 TZS, € 10,00; from to 1.000,00 TZS, € 0,50). It is located near a fishing village and according to the tides the colors change taking on different shades. Here you can relax or snorkel. In the late afternoon, return to Nungwi by taxi (1 h 30 min, TZS 120.000,00, € 48,00).

Dinner at the Baraka Beach Restaurant (45.000,00 TZS, € 18,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 206 km / 3 h 45 min by car including travel to / from Nungwi
  • Places visited: Butterfly Center (12.000,00 TZS / € 5,00), Jozani Forest (19.000,00 TZS / € 7,80), Jambiani Beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 140,00
  • Lunch at Jozani Maridadi REstaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Baraka Beach Restaurant (Get directions)

4 day

Today we advise you to participate in one of the most beautiful and unmissable excursions: the blue safari along the stretch of sea in the southwest of the island, a beautiful dow tour with barbecue lunch and departure from stone Town (from € 104,00 per person). The first stop is Fumba, a small fishing village where you will embark on a dow, the typical wooden boat, and reach a stretch of sea suitable for snorkeling, along the Kwale coral reef.

For lunch you will be taken to Quail Island where you will be served an excellent barbecue and a buffet of seafood and tropical fruit. In the afternoon you can relax on the beach, take a long swim or take a nice walk in the jungle where there is a 500-year-old baobab tree. At around 16:00 you will embark and if you are lucky you will meet numerous dolphins that will accompany you along the way. Once back from the tour, return to Nungwi.

For dinner we recommend the Badolina Secret Garden Restaurant, which offers dishes of Israeli origin with a mix of local recipes (30.000,00 TZS, € 12,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6 hour tour, departing at 9:00 am from Stone Town
  • Places visited: Fumba, Kwale and Quail Island (tour from € 104,40)
  • Daily shopping: € 120,00
  • Lunch organized by the tour, Dinner at Badolina Secret Garden Restaurant (Get directions)

5 day

For this morning we advise you to take a snorkeling excursion to the Mnemba atoll reserve (from € 96,00), a private island that is not accessible if you are not a client of the resort, but the seabed belongs to everyone. On board a boat you will reach a point of the barrier where you can swimming and snorkeling among yellow sneppers, barracudas, turtles and many other fish. You will be taken back to the shore and can ask to be dropped off at Matemwe beach.

For lunch, choose one of the seaside restaurants, such as the Bin Jabir Restaurant (19.900,00 TZS, € 8,00).
In the afternoon, sunbathe in the beautiful Matemwe beach, far from mass tourism and characterized by white sand and crystal clear water. Also this place is subject to the phenomenon of the tides and when the water it is possible to spot marine fauna with the naked eye.
In the late afternoon, return to Nungwi (30 min; dala dala 2.500,00 TZS, € 1,00; taxi 37.400,00 TZS, € 15,00).

For dinner we recommend the Flame Tree Cottage Restaurant right on the beach which offers African, fish, meat and vegetarian dishes in a fantastic location (44.900,00 TZS, € 18,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 55 km / 1 h 36 min by car including travel to / from Nungwi and tour to Mnemba
  • Places visited: Mnemba Atoll Marine Reserve (tour € 96,00), Matemwe beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 135,00
  • Lunch at Bin Jabir Restaurant (Get Directions), Dinner at Flame TRee Cottage Restaurant (Get Directions)

6 day

This day is dedicated to visiting two of the most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar. In the morning, leave your hotel in a taxi (1 h, 50.000 TZS, € 20,00) and be accompanied to Uroa Bay. This beautiful beach even during the low tide phenomenon offers a wonderful show because it takes on multicolored shades and you can also observe numerous particular shells and starfish.

For lunch, stop by Sai Marce Restaurant, a typical restaurant that offers only the catch of the day and Zanzibari recipes (20.000,00 TZS, € 8,00).
In the afternoon, move to the Paje beach by taxi (50 min, 50.000 TZS, € 20,00). Here you can practice sports such as kitesurfing or go swimming when the tide rises. And if you feel like it, you can take a tour of the adjacent village where there are many local stalls and shops selling African souvenirs and objects. In the late afternoon, return to Nungwi (taxi, 1 hour and 30 minutes, 62.500,00 TZS, € 25,00) and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the beach.

To end the day, we recommend the Saturn Restaurant (30.000 TZS, € 12,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 189 km / 3 h 22 min by car including travel to / from Nungwi
  • Places visited: Uroa Bay (free), Paje Beach (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 100,00
  • Lunch at Sai Marce Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Saturn Restaurant (Get directions)

7 day

We recommend you for the last day in Zanzibar's move to Stone Town, where to stay overnight in view of the flight back to Italy (58 km from Nungwi, 1 h 20 min; taxi 75.000,00 TZS, € 30,00; from to from 116 2 h, 2.500,00 TZS, € 1,00). Spend the morning on a 3-hour walking tour of Stone Town, start by visiting the Arab Fort which now houses several shops and a theater (8: 00-18: 00). Also nearby is the Palace of Wonders (9: 00-18: 00) Then move to the old dispensary, the most beautiful palace on the island (9: 00-24: 00). Strolling through the maze of streets, end the morning with a visit to the Hamamni Persian Baths, the ancient Persian building that housed the thermal baths (8: 00-18: 00).

For lunch, stop at the panoramic Terrace Restaurant at Maru Maru (30.000,00 TZS, € 12,00).
In the afternoon, take a tour of one of the many spice farms in the vicinity of Stone Town. You can discover the secret of many plants such as cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg and learn about the production of these precious products.

To conclude, we recommend that you spend the evening in the Forodhani gardens area where in the evening tables, chairs and banquets are set up to taste the local cuisine. Choose the stall that inspires you the most, check that the fish is fresh before being grilled and also ask for a good sugarcane juice (20.000,00 TZS, € 8,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,4 km / 31 min + spice tour
  • Places visited: Arab Fort (free), Palace of Wonders (6.000 TZS / € 2,50), old dispensary (free), Hamamni Persian Baths (free), Spice Tour (from € 28,00), Forodhani Gardens (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 80,00
  • Lunch at Terrace Restaurant at Maru Maru (Get directions), Dinner at banquet at Forodhani Gardens (Get directions)

How much does a week cost in Zanzibar

NB: The costs expressed in the table above are to be intended per person.

The cost of a week's vacation in Zanzibar varies greatly depending on the facilities and services chosen.

They are present on the island Lodging simple, cheap and clean, but there are also luxurious lodges and resorts. Regarding the restaurants, also in this case you can find luxurious places where you spend a lot of money for a dinner, but you can eat very well even with a few euros by choosing typical places that serve local fish of the day.

For excursions and transport, you can rely on the cheap "Beach Boys" who organize transfers, trips and tours at affordable prices, or rely on organized tours by booking your activities comfortably online even before leaving, to have everything under control. The cost of the "attraction" item will therefore greatly depend on the excursions you will make.

  • starting from € 470,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 1.105,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Zanzibar: July, August and September are the best months, but January and February are also okay, warm, sunny but a bit more muggy - find out more
  • the airport is 7,5 km south of the capital Stone Town. Direct charter flights arrive here from many Italian cities; Milan and Rome are connected to Zanzibar by Turkish (Istanbul airport), Emirates (Dubai airport) and Ethiopian (Addis Ababa airport). Flight duration 12 to 18 hours depending on stopovers - compare flights
  • in the north Nungwi is less prone to tides, has resorts, small tourist villages and several restaurants and clubs for the evening. The east coast, more prone to tides, has beautiful beaches and the most suitable area to stay is Kiwengwa - compare accommodations
  • Getting around: the most comfortable and safe means of transport is the taxi, which can be recognized by the red plate (average cost for routes of 45 km € 30,00); alternatively dala dala, public transport with 10/15 seats used a lot by the local population that have no specific timetables or stops (you go up the road stopping them with your hand; very cheap, 45 km on average € 1,10)
  • Local currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) / € 1,00 = TZS 2.498,00
  • Time zone: GMT + 3 (+ 2h compared to Italy, +1 when there is summer time)
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of 6 months, tourist visa to be obtained before departure on the government website of the Republic of Tanzania or at the Honorary Consulate of Milan (€ 79,00). It is recommended to take out travel insurance
  • Safety info: the political situation in Zanzibar is stable and there are no particular dangers. However, in Stone Town there are frequent episodes of common crime, especially in public places usually frequented by foreigners. Before leaving, always consult the official website of the Farnesina.

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