A 20 minute dhow cruise takes you out to Prison Island. Its history, wildlife and nature have made prison island a popular destination.

Also known as Changu Island, Prison Island was uninhabited until 1860. Majid bin Zaid, the first Sultan of Zanzibar, originally gave the island to two slavers, who used it to hold rebellious slaves in captivity until they could be sold at the market in Stone Town. In 1893, the island was sold to General Matthew, representing the British rulers, who had plans of using it to build a prison – hence its new name. Even though the prison was completed in 1894, it was never used. The buildings can still be seen today as ruins, as they were never maintained.

You will be wowed by the gigantic tortoises, originally from Seychelles. During your visit, you can watch, feed them and even pose for a photo with them for your memories. These tortoises weigh more than 200 kg.

Prison Island with its white sandy beaches, will give you every opportunity to do some sunbathing, swimming or just admire the wonderful underwater world with its colourful corals and fish.

Duration: Half-day excursion

Price: $100

Payment is made at the start of the tour

This trip gives you the chance to experience the magnificent flora and fauna of Zanzibar in Jozani, the biggest stretch of the forest on the island, located in the heart of Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park – which is the only one of its kind on Zanzibar. Covering an area of 50 km 2, the park features marsh, bush and mangrove forest. The vegetation closely resembles the type of greenery you will find in rainforests, even though it does not rain all that much on Zanzibar. The explanation for this strange phenomenon is that the area is rich in groundwater, which keeps the forest well irrigated all year round.

On top of the magnificent Flora, you will also experience some local wildlife. Several narrow paths criss-cross the forest, and the local rangers can spot the animals and explain animal sounds you hear as you walk.

The forest is particularly well-known for its rare, red Colobus monkeys, which are not found anywhere else in the world. You may also see bushbabies the bluish Sykes’ monkeys, bush pigs, elephant shrews, chameleons, and antelopes. The forest is also the habitat of more than 50 species of butterflies and 40 different bird species.

From Jozani the trip continues to another mangrove forest, where you can make your way along small walkways between the giant roots while the tidal water bubbles beneath your feet.

All profits stemming from visitors are used to conserving the forest and supporting the local community.

Duration: Half-day excursion

Price: $94

Payment is made at the start of the tour.

This trip brings you closer to the local population in the small villages of Zanzibar. Giving you a chance to do a cultural tour, that provides a fascinating insight into their traditional way of life centered around fishing and farming.

The trip starts with a visit to a spice plantation. Not only will you see how the farmers grow the spices, fruit, and vegetables, but you will also have the chance to smell and taste their produce.

You then continue on to the Persian baths ‘Kidichi’, which Sultan Seyyid Said built for his wife in 1850. From the baths, the tour makes its way to the village of Mchangani, where the lifestyle has changed little over the past few centuries. The women still use dried palm leaves to weave mats and roofing material. In the village, you will meet a local woman who will demonstrate how to paint with henna, and explain the difficulties involved in finding fresh water. Another villager will show and explain how important the coconut is to village life – and demonstrate the best way to peel one. You can even have a go yourself!

Your next stop is the fish market in Mkokotoni, where you can see all kinds of freshly caught fish and seafood.

It is then time to visit a local blacksmith, who will show how he makes the pins used to build dhows – the traditional, hand-built boats of Zanzibar.

Lunch is served in the village of Nungwi on one of the finest beaches on the island. After lunch, you will have the chance to take a dip in the clear turquoise water, so make sure to bring your swimming costume.

In Nungwi, the local craftsmen will demonstrate how they use simple tools and methods to build their sturdy dhows.

Last stop on the trip is at Mnarani Natural Aquarium, which is used for the study and conservation of marine wildlife, and also serves as a sanctuary for the endangered green turtles.

Duration: Full-day excursion

Price: $131

Payment is made at the start of the tour.

The trip starts at the village of Fumba, which is around 20 minutes from Stone Town. Here, you will board a traditional, hand-built dhow that will sail you across the crystal clear waters of Menai Bay, where you have an excellent chance of seeing some dolphins. The bay was designated a protected area in 1998 on account of its natural beauty, unspoiled sandbanks, and uninhabited islands.

The first stop on the trip is at a sandbank where you can go sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling in the turquoise water. You will also be served fresh fruit and cold drinks here.

The boat then continues on to another beach where you will likewise have the chance to go swimming and to experience the submarine world with its beautiful corals and colourful fish before lunch is served.

Lunch takes the form of a delicious fish and seafood barbecue, served with chips, rice and bread. For dessert, you can sample a variety of tropical fruits and try Amarula, the local African liquor.

After lunch, it is time to take a short walk into the tropical forest on the island, where you can see a 500-year-old baobab tree that was uprooted during a storm more than 70 years ago. What is really unusual about this tree is that its branches continued to grow, and now take the form of separate trees above the uprooted trunk. You can even climb up in the tree to admire the view.

Returning to the boat, you will sail out to the island of Kwale, famous for its natural lagoon surrounded by mangrove forest. Here, too, you will have the chance to go swimming again or to enjoy a short trip in a ‘ngalawa’, a traditional canoe built of a hollowed-out mango tree trunk.

As the sun starts to sink below the horizon, the time has come to return to Fumba. Heading back to dry land, you will have the opportunity to take some wonderful photos of the African sunset.

Meals, soft drinks and beer are included in the price

Duration: Full-day excursion

Price: $150

Payment is made at the start of the star of the tour.

A Zanzibar trip without spice tour is no trip, in fact the island is often called ‘Spice Island’. And you may want to think again before wishing someone away to the other side of the world – to ‘where the pepper grows’, as the Danes sometimes say – because this would land them on Zanzibar. This is where black pepper actually grows as fresh, green berries, along with nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, lemongrass and exotic fruits.

On this excursion, you will visit both small kitchen gardens and large spice plantations around the villages of Kizimbani and Kinchi. You can smell, touch and taste a wide variety of spices and fruits. You will also learn more about how they are grown, and how they can be used to make food, as medicine and also perfume!

Duration: Half-day excursion

Price: $75

Payment is made at the start of the tour.