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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Must Visit Places in Zanzibar – Where Legends Are Born
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Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Must Visit Places in Zanzibar – Where Legends Are Born

Zanzibar is a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. Here, one is treated to serene beaches, crystal clear waters and reefs teeming with all manner of marine life. Enjoy the melting pot of culture, influenced by the African, Indian and Arabian people, as you savour the attractions listed below.

1

Misali Island

Enjoy the best diving East Africa has to offer, as you swim amidst the verdant reefs of Misali Island. Snorkelers will find that an easy swim from the beach to the nearest reef will turn out to be very rewarding while heading out to the western edge of the island one can stumble upon nesting turtles. But do reserve some time to chill on Baobab Beach, the most beautiful on the island.

2

The Cultural Arts Centre Zanzibar

If you are looking for something other than the typical wooden animal souvenirs, then head over to this arts centre cum shop and be amazed. Set-up by the local Hamad and other serious artisans in the area, this centre stocks a marvellous collection of inspiring paintings created in traditional methods, as well as, exquisite jewellery, handmade soaps, candles and other craft items. If interested you can join one of the courses in soap making, screen printing and painting; do make the bookings early.

3

Sauti za Busara

This is one of East Africa's largest festivals, held since 2003. The place is a venue which showcases musicians from across genres, hence, one is treated to jazz, Afro-pop, taarab, bongo flava, etc. with artists coming in to perform from across the continent, and other parts of the world. Typical venues include the Old Fort and numerous other areas on Zanzibar Island, while festivities last a total of three days.

4

House of Wonders

This is one of Stone Town's iconic attractions; the House of Wonders overlooks the water and is made up of lean pillars and expansive balconies perched above the water. The huge wooden doors carved to perfection are tipped to be the largest in East Africa. At the front of the house are two impressively huge Portuguese style bronze cannons, with inscriptions dating back to the 16th century. Inside, you will come across the National Museum of History and Culture which boasts some beautiful exhibits on Swahili history, civilizations and the people of the Indian Ocean. An ideal day excursion from properties such as The Residence Zanzibar by Cenizaro, this is probably one of the best Zanzibar attractions to visit.

5

Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond

The village of Nungwi in 1993 opened a turtle sanctuary within a tidal pool located near the lighthouse. Since this time these prehistoric sea creatures have thrived and enjoyed their life as a protected species, apart from the time they were extensively hunted for their flesh. The entrance fees are utilised to fund a children's project, making this one of the best missions in the areas. The sanctuary is open from 9 am to 6 pm.