Exploring Zanzibar Stone Town
Stone Town is an extraordinary place to explore; the ancient maze of narrow streets is a romantic hotchpotch of historic old stone buildings built close for cool respite from the tropical island sun; shaded by elegantly carved balconies, loggias and verandas that cling precipitously overhead.
Stone Town gives a glimpse of the essence of Zanzibar, the sights, sounds and smells of the market, restaurants, harbour and mosques; albeit a very real and unsanitised view. It is increasingly becoming a dedicated tourist centre, with masses of tourist tat flooding the markets, and all visitors should be prepared for noisy street vendors, dirty pedestrian streets and a sense of crumbling glory.
Stone Town History
A short stay in Stone Town allows time to see the Sultan’s Palaces, and experience the sights and sounds of this idiosyncratic centre. There are many fine buildings to see, and some, such as the House of Wonders and the Arab Fort, have been restored to create areas for coffee and relaxation. Generally the best way to explore Stone Town is to meander the streets, window shopping and absorbing the atmosphere.
Zanzibar Stone Town by Night
As the sun sets, muezzins in their different mosque towers call the faithful to prayers again, dogs bark and children shout as they play football in open corners or dive into the harbour waters and demonstrate feats of bravery with their friends.
A crowd gathers along the harbour front and in Forodhani Gardens, where smoke rises from barbecues at the assorted food stalls and the curio markets assembling by gaslight amid a hubbub of banter and chat…This is a world apart, and well worth a visit.
Mystery of Zanzibar
A walk here reveals a range of elaborately carved doors with delicately executed patterns of lotus flowers, fish and vines or dates, and sometimes inscribed with passages from the Koran to tell of the household within. The door was usually the only outward expression of a house concealed within the courtyard beyond, and was often even created first.
Zanzibar – Guide to the Island and Beaches
Zanzibar is an idyllic beach holiday island with charisma, coconut palms and powder-soft coral sands washed by cobalt clear sea.
Zanzibar beaches are among the best in the world, and have a very special charm; views from the palm-fringed sands reveal the hand-sewn sails of traditional wooden fishing dhows, and ocean explorers discover the glorious depths of thriving coral reefs all around.