A Bustling Town Behind Its Elegant Waterfront


Stonetown, more than anything else is what makes Zanzibar so different from a thousand other tropical islands. Behind its elegant waterfront, it is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners fought with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. One of the most characteristic aspects of these ancient mansions, are the brass-studded, carved wooden doors – there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork.

The vivid colours and perfumes and smells of Stonetown are both pleasant and unpleasant and can leave a strong impact on the visitor. The senses are heightened and the impact is sometimes overwhelming. You either love Stonetown or you hate it. Fortunately most fall in love with the town and never forget it.


The following excursions can be organised through the Manager at Zi Villa:

Spice Plantations

The history of Zanzibar would be incomplete without the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices which brought the Sultans of Oman and the beginnings of the infamous Slave Trade. They can be seen in the plantations just outside Stonetown: a good tour includes opportunities to dazzle the senses with fresh spices and a detailed description about the variety of spices and their uses in cooking and cosmetics. Unfortunately with the exception of Salome’s Garden, none of the old plantation and country houses have survived but the experience is nonetheless not to be missed.


About one house south of Stonetown is the little village and beautiful beach of Kizimkazi. The local fishermen have organised themselves to take visitors on trips to see the dolphins. Sightings are almost guaranteed and it is not uncommon to be able to swim amongst them.

Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest once stretched over large areas of the centre of Zanzibar. It is now seriously reduced in size, but is now a natural park and protection is improving. The park is home to an endemic species of Colobus Monkey as well as Sykes Monkey. Nature trails have been set up and a visit to the Forest is well worthwhile for those who enjoy wildlife.

Diving and Snorkelling

Zanzibar diving and snorkelling is amongst the most spectacular in the world with stunning coral gardens containing more than 350 fish species recorded. The diverse aquatic life off Zanzibar’s coast include frequent sightings of dolphins, as well as occasional sightings of humpback whales and whale sharks. Variety and adventures are offered for beginners trying to scuba for the first time as well as for the experienced diver.

Snorkelling can be done around the shallows in front of the Villa and the Cottage.
Enthusiastic snorkelers may choose to book an excursion to the Coral Gardens at the famous Mnemba Atoll.

Mnemba Atoll

Is a favourite with many divers and visibility here is often in excess of 20m. You will visit dive sites with depths between 10 and 30m, suitable for both beginners and advanced divers. Visit a steep coral bank with a number of small crevices hiding lion fish and porcupine fish, if you look in the wall you may be lucky and see the occasional pod of dolphins swimming by, or look out into schools of kingfish and grouper. Further round the atoll, Watta Bommy and the Aquarium are locations for turtles. Both Hawksbill and green turtles come here to rest on top of the plate.

Near the famous Mnemba Atoll, the Great Wall is an advanced deep dive. This site boasts dominant brain coral. Napoleon wrass, snappers and tuna are often seen to be found here. Ask the Manager to book the excursion of your choice.


Things To Do & See

  • Spice Plantations

    Spice Plantations

  • Kisimkazi


  • Jozani Forest

    Jozani Forest

  • Mnemba Atoll

    Mnemba Atoll

For More Information

Contact Us

Allan Foggitt


Phone : (+27) 11 807 2682

Email : info@zivilla.com

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