The Sultan Panorama Tours is ideal for visitors with little time who want to experience a bit of everything Zanzibar has to offer. It’s a full day excursion, starting in Stone Town, covering the history of the sultans, slave trade and invasions that shaped Zanzibar’s history.
Your guide will give you a broad overview of the island’s history and current affairs and you’ll pass by many historic sites and visit the Slave Market. A stop at the vibrant Darajani Market helps you to experience city life, with all the hustle and bustle, smells and noise.
You’ll be driven to a spice farm, and given the opportunity to taste seasonal spices and fruits as your guide describes their properties and uses. Throughout the tour, you can sample local delicacies and local staple foods.
Your next stop is at a local village for a slice of Zanzibari culture and life. Cooking, weaving, building houses and playing with the children, you’ll have chance to see what life is like for Zanzibaris.
The north coast is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar. Your drive to Nungwi will take you past the fish markets, where you can see freshly caught seafood being auctioned. There’s a stop at the ruins of an old Portuguese settlement, where your guide will explain the history of the ruins and the Portuguese conquest of Zanzibar, dating back to 1497.
A stop at the blacksmith is fascinating. Tools are still made in the traditional way for constructing dhows. At the construction site, dhows are built in the same way they have for centuries, skilled craftsmen bending wood to create the dhows. Visitors may be invited to try their hand at this unique craft.
A visit to the Nungwi turtle sanctuary and aquarium follows, where ailing turtles are nursed back to health and released into the ocean. A guided tour of Nungwi village, where mamas wrapped in kangas cook over firewood and smiling kids play. Walk down to the beach where you can enjoy an optional lunch at one of Nungwi’s popular restaurants and enjoy some free time sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.
Walk the streets of Stone Town and follow in the footsteps of Zanzibar’s most famous son, Freddie Mercury. Lead singer of the rock band Queen, skilled musician, flamboyant showman and also a Zanzibari. Born Farouk Bulsara on the 5th September 1946 in Shangani, Freddie Mercury spent his formative years living and playing in Stone Town’s winding alleyways. His parents were Parsi and had emigrated to Zanzibar from India.
His families were practicing Zoroastrians, a fire religion, founded more than 3000 years ago and believed to be the world’s oldest religion. After studying at boarding school in Bombay, Farouk Bulsara returned to Zanzibar, leaving with his parents and younger sister at the age of 18 for London, where his transformation into Freddie Mercury was completed.
Take a one hour drive from to Stone Town to Kizimkazi, on Zanzibar’s southcoast for a day of dolphin spotting. Kizimkazi is home to large numbers of bottle-nosed and spinner dolphins, beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish.
On arrival, you’re given a short safety briefing and the dos and don’ts when faced with these wild animals. Then, you board a traditional ocean going dhow and set sail on the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins.
You can get as close as 10 to 20 meters away from the dolphins. Sleek and grey, they jack-knife through the water, sometimes showing off with jumps and twists. In the past, some tourists have been lucky enough to swim and snorkel with these magical animals. However, the dolphins aren’t tame, and can be shy and elusive. Although visitors see dolphins on the majority of outings, there are no guarantees.
Whether you’re fortunate enough to see dolphins or not, you can enjoy two hours sailing and taking in the sights of the ocean. There’s superb snorkelling in the pristine coral reef and swimming in the clear, warm water of the Indian Ocean.
You’ll return to the beach for lunch, where you can swim in the shallower waters and talk to the crew, who can tell you sea stories about the one that got away.
Experience the way Livingstone felt discovering untouched land and sail away with us to sandbanks around the magnificent island of Unguja, Zanzibar. Come on board our traditionally crafted dhows, put your feet up and allow our staff to pamper you as the Sultans of Zanzibar were once upon a time.
We set sail to find an untouched sandbank an hour away from Stone Town. Swim in the crystal clear blue water around the sandbank and snorkel to discover a whole new underwater world filled with marine life and corals of brilliant colours. Tables are set out on the golden sand and a five star seafood lunch extravaganza, prepared by the talented chefs from the Zanzibar Serena Inn will await you.
After lunch relax on the sandbank listening to the hush of waves lapping against the shore or discover more underwater life around it and listen to stories from our crew about sailing the seven seas.
Step onto the deck of our vessels, relax and let us sail you away on a magical sunset cruise to end your day. Our sunset cruises leave Stone Town in the late afternoon to cruise along the coast, slicing through the clear turquoise water.
The sounds of the bustle of busy people in Stone Town grow faint in the distance until they seem only in a memory. Musicians take over playing songs of love and loss, as the butler serves canapés and keeps your glass topped up with your choice of a selection of beers, wine and sodas, encouraging you to sink back into the cushions and enjoy the romance of Africa while watching the scenery drift by.
On board our dhow we also have a personal guide who will accompany you on your cruise and give you a tour of Stone Town from the water. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about Zanzibar.
Giving you a taste of Zanzibar’s history and its immaculate beaches, this dhow trip is a full day excursion for the ultimate dhow experience.Departing from Stone Town, the dhow sails to Prison Island, built by the Sultan to condemn rebellious slaves to isolation and later used as a quarantine station between trading ships and the main island of Zanzibar.
The Arabic house and prison ruins are still intact, but the island is now a sanctuary for Giant Tortoisessome of which are over 100 years’ old.After visiting the tortoises and snorkelling in the reefs of Prison Island, you’ll set sail again towards the coconut-fringed beach at Mangapwani.
The two hour journey will take you past the historic waterfront of Stone Town, eventually anchoring on the beach where you depart for lunch at Mangapwani Beach Club and enjoy a barbecue extravaganza of seafood, tropical fruit and other Swahili specialities to tantelize your tongue. Taking time to relax on the beach after lunch, guests can then venture forth to explore the Mangapwani Slave Caves.
Princess Salme. Rebel, outcast, revolutionary? Salme sent shockwaves through Zanzibar, teaching herself to write, conspiring in a plot to overthrow her brother, becoming pregnant and eloping to Germany with a young merchant, Heinrich Ruete and writing the sensational Memoirs of an Arabian Princess.
This tour takes you to Mtoni Palace, where Salme was born in 1844, the daughter of Sultan Said and one of his secondary wives. She spent her childhood in the palace, served by slaves and playing in the gardens. You’ll then head to Marhubi Palace, built by Sultan Barghash, Salme’s older brother, who she helped to escape after a failed attempt to overthrow their brother, Sultan Majid.
From here, you’ll travel to Stone Town, where the princess lived in a relative exile, unmarried and shunned by her family for her role in the intrigue. The Palace Museum has a room dedicated to Salme’s life and writings. Your guide will take you to her house, where her romance with Heinrich Ruete began across the balconies, resulting in secret trysts and meetings in the countryside. The tour ends at the Gallery Bookshop, where you can buy Salme’s book, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, available in many languages.
There are many elements to the Swahili culture – music and dance, visual arts, traditional games, cuisine, and dhow culture to name a few. A Cultural tour is a great way for visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and to see how many Zanzibari’s live on a day to day basis. On this half day tour, your guide will accompany you to a rural village where you will have the opportunity to see daily activities being undertaken – women weaving baskets, grinding millet, and cooking local dishes, using traditional methods.
Watch as they decorate themselves with the traditional henna body painting, and braid hair. Behold the sight of young boys making rope and scaling tall palm trees for fresh coconuts, which are then peeled and cracked open for a refreshing drink under the midday sun. Sit with the men of the village as they weave palm fronds to make the thatch roofs for their huts, or play a game of Bao, Zanzibar’s favourite pastime.
Further afield cassava plantations and bananas with their various products can be seen and tasted – cassava chips, grilled cassava, ripe banana with coconut, and grilled banana with local spices. The Cultural Tour is the ideal excursion for those who want a real insight into the people and life on the Island, and is a great way to support sustainable tourism and the people of Zanzibar.
Take a break from the sun loungers and souvenir stalls, and escape into the Island’s green pockets of lush indigenous forest. This half day tour takes you into Zanzibar’s quiet interior, and offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing. First stop is Jozani Forest, home to the island’s most famous and photographed resident, the Zanzibar red colobus monkey, as well as the Ader’s duiker, Sykes monkeys, bush babies, African civet, giant elephant shrews, and chameleons as well as around 83 species of birds. Next door to Jozani is the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, an interactive butterfly exhibit consisting of a netted tropical garden with hundreds of butterflies, all of which are native species to Zanzibar.
The enclosure is one of Africa’s largest butterfly exhibits and provides residents and tourists of Zanzibar with an interactive and visual environment to learn about butterflies. Our last stop on the tour is ZALA Park – a fascinating menagerie of exotic reptiles and amphibians, as well as duikers, bushbabies and hyrax. Various concrete compounds are dotted about the small park, and inside natural habitats have been created for snakes, monitor lizards, crabs and chameleons, to name just a few. You may even be allowed to crawl into the large cage housing four enormous pythons!
This excursion begins at the Dhow Harbour in Malindi, where slave ships brought their human cargo from Bagamoyo to Zanzibar, moving to the house of Tippu Tip, the notorious Arab slave trader and then on to the Anglican Church, built on the old slave market.
A short drive to Mbweni will bring you the ruins formerly a school for freed slave girls, before heading to Livingstone’s House and Mangapwani slave caves. Walk through the caves, which stored hundreds of slaves, kept waiting for the monsoons and the arrival of the dhows to be exiled away from home.
There’s no better way to get to know a culture than learning about and tasting their food. On this half day tour, you will wander the streets of the old Stone Town with your guide, and discover an existing and historical town known for its rich culture and culinary diversity. Discover the history and culture of this beautiful area while visiting Local food stalls and restaurants, and tasting the local specialties.