What Is Zanzibar Best Known For? Zanzibar is a popular Tanzania tourist destination due to its white sandy beaches, spice farms, top-notch accommodations, and historic Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Zanzibar, also known as the “Spice Island,” is alive with incredible smells and sounds to delight the senses. However, there is a different story behind the tourism and the picture-perfect scenery. Life can be difficult, and a large proportion of the population lives on less than 75 pence per day.


Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island off Tanzania’s eastern coast. Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a population of approximately 16,000 people.

Why Zanzibar?

This tiny archipelago has an interesting past, a fascinating culture, and stunning natural beauty. Even so, a large portion of the population struggles to make ends meet and lives on less than 75 pence per day, despite the country’s thriving tourism industry.

In a Nutshell

Zanzibar, in history, is the place to go if you want a taste of island life. As you immerse yourself in our host communities, we’ll take you well beyond the typical tourist route and provide you with an experience that is utterly authentic.

Did you know?

Zanzibar was the scene of the world’s shortest war. The Anglo-Zanzibar War, which took place in 1896 between the British and the newly installed Sultan of Zanzibar, lasted just 38 minutes in total.


Zanzibar Island is much more than just a pit stop on a journey; in fact, it can be thought of as a destination unto itself. It was made famous for its spices and the slave trade of the 19th century. Along its eastern edge, the island’s exceptional beaches, intriguing excursions like touring a working spice farm, and the cultural highlights of Stone Town with its Arabian forts and minarets make up what the island has to offer. What is the Zanzibar Island famous/best known for? The Zanzibar Island is best known and famous for the following:

  • Spice farms
  • The stone town/historical tour
  • Clean beaches
  • Luxury accommodations


Known as an island of spices, Zanzibar When the Arabs first began their large-scale spice plantations, Zanzibar became the world’s largest exporter of cloves, earning the moniker “spice island.” Clove, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chili, and black pepper are still prized in Zanzibar today.

When you visit the Zanzibar spice farms, with the help of your guide, stroll through the spice farm and sample the various spices and tropical fruits. Try to identify each one by examining the crushed leaves, fruit, shoots, vines, and creepers that are climbing the trees. Learn about their characteristics, history, and applications in both food and drink and as medicines.

You can learn about local customs and culture by visiting a spice farm village, where you can also sample some traditional Swahili cuisine, seasonal fruits, and spiced tea. You can find a wide variety of ingredients depending on the season, including vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, lemongrass, cloves, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, pepper, allspice, tamarind, jackfruit, custard fruit, orange, star fruit, banana, pineapple, tangerine, passion fruit, mango, avocado pear, papaya, and grapefruit.


East Africa’s Stone Town is a city with significant historical and artistic significance. Its architecture, which predominately dates from the 19th century, exhibits the various influences that shape Swahili culture and offers a distinctive fusion of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements.

As a thriving center of the spice trade, Stone Town, Zanzibar, is a truly historic and diverse city that is a multi-colored tapestry of cultures and an irresistible piece of Tanzanian history. It is a multicultural town with a diverse population. It showcases African, Arab, Indian, and European cultures.

Significance of Stone Town, Zanzibar

The older section of Zanzibar city is referred to as the old town,” or Mji Mkongwe, while the more recent section is called Ng’ambo. In all of East Africa, Stone City holds a true place in history and is significant in terms of art. The city, which dates to the 19th century, is marked by a strong and pervasive Swahili influence. Additionally, it is a superb illustration of East African Swahili coastal trading towns.

What Is Zanzibar Best Known For?
Zanzibar Safaris Tours

A variety of architectural styles, including Persian and Arab, are combined in Stone Town. Indian, European, and African influences combine to create a very cohesive yet varied architectural culture. The House of Wonders, the Old Fort, the Old Dispensary, the Palace Museum, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the renowned Forodhani Gardens are just a few of the must-see attractions in this historically rich city.


For beach vacations and tours, Zanzibar is the best place to go in all of East Africa. There is nothing but peace and tranquility in the air at these serene white-sand beaches with palm trees. The fact that the various beach hotels and lodges adhere to international standards is what most interests me.

To fit your lifestyle, you can choose from upscale luxury, average luxury, budget accommodations, and affordable but respectable lodgings. You can also travel to the nearby Mafia Archipelago, which has a more tranquil atmosphere and offers private, cozy accommodations. If you want to have a private, peaceful getaway, perhaps with just your significant other, on remote sandbars in shallow coral seas, Mafia is a great choice.

While all of Zanzibar’s beaches have powdery white sand and turquoise waters, not all of them are created equal. The lively, popular northern coast is less tidal and provides access to the spectacular diving around Mnemba Island, whereas the east and south are much more remote. Try Pemba, the second-largest island in the Zanzibar archipelago, to truly get away from it all.

It’s not surprising that beach vacations in Zanzibar have thrived, with tourism now one of the island’s mainstays and thousands of people relying on the income tourists bring. The beaches can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Watch the sunset from the deck of a traditional Swahili dhow, snorkel in aquarium-like conditions, or simply relax with a book and soak up the blissful warm breeze. Zanzibar’s picture-perfect beaches are so numerous that deciding where to go can be difficult; read on for a list of the best.

Of course, which beach you visit is entirely dependent on your mood and vacation preferences, but here are some beaches we think you should know about. However, make sure to visit the beautiful beaches during the appropriate season; otherwise, you may end up in the rainy season.

  • Stone Town beach (Nakupenda beach)
  • Nungwi beach
  • Kiwengwa beach
  • Pongwe beach
  • Kendwa beach
  • Paje beach
  • Kizimkazi beach
  • Jambiani beach

Zanzibar does luxury exceptionally well, from treetop suites to private islands and everything in between. Throughout the archipelago, there are world-class hotels and resorts, including some welcome new additions in Stone Town. Although a few days in Stone Town are required for any Zanzibar vacation, it’s the stunning beach-side boutiques and Intimate Island escapes that distinguish these East African spice isles.

Michamvi Peninsula, Ras Kizimkazi, Mafia, and Pemba Islands have the most exclusive beach resorts. All of the major beaches have excellent luxury hotels, but these four areas have many of the best.

Highlights of a Luxury Zanzibar Holiday

Zanzibar is full of wonder and beauty, but at the top luxury lodges, you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. The majority are hidden away on remote, if not exclusive, beaches or tiny, pristine islands where there is essentially no one else.

Enjoy private dhow cruises, candlelit dinners with your toes in the sand, and exclusive snorkeling reefs. You can also spend the night in a houseboat with an underwater bedroom, a baobab treehouse, or a luxurious beach villa in Robinson Crusoe style. On Zanzibar, exceptional levels of personalized service are the norm. This is especially true of the more intimate luxury shops, which only accommodate a small number of visitors at once. Here are some of the top luxury Zanzibar accommodations:

  • Zanzibar Serena Hotel
  • The Melia Zanzibar
  • The Residence Zanzibar
  • Baraza Resort & Spa
  • Hotel Riu Palace, Zanzibar
  • Diamonds, Star of the East
  • Constance Aiyana
  • Essque Zalu, Zanzibar
  • Park Hyatt Zanzibar
  • AndBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa
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