When most people think of Zanzibar as an Island on the Swahili coastal region, they think of splendid beaches, exotic spices, wandering through the aromatic labyrinth streets of Stone Town bustling with roadside shops, Swahili restaurants, and open-air market space. Zanzibar maintains a good balance with the Old World through her colourful market stalls which attract visitors to go further into the lively streets to the pristine Forodhani Gardens where an ideal children playground setting allows for some tranquility and seafront rejuvenation. Here are some of the best activities for the family to do together and kid-friendly places, and facilities across Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is simply one of those ideal places to “disconnect” from iPads and televisions, while creating memories that will last forever with children get the right time to be kind and connect more with people. Stone Town has several Kids playgrounds and most the resorts have exciting activity programmes for children in addition to families embarking on land adventures and marine activities together.
During your visit to Zanzibar, the family will take of the fragrant scents of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom in the air, as a result of the Island’s culinary and spice farms. A visit to the spice farms allows families to get a detailed take through on how spices and tropical fruits are planted and cultivated as well as harvested (in season). In addition, a visit to a processing center is quite eye opening of the finished products which some are available on display for purchase and through conversations children can learn from the respectful negotiations spice-racks to stock up for cooking back at home.
Beach sellers strolling around with gift items and unique souvenirs present their items softly to people. Many a times, they will come to show their items the first time and they’ll be back for a second or third time… Chances are that they’ll get rejected initially but by trying again with a positive attitude, their chances of making a sell increase with every opportunity they have to showcase. Many a times handmade products and Zanzibar soccer jerseys are much appreciated by onlookers who may want to buy some for themselves or their friends.
Coming across people from all different religious practicing within a few feet of each other helps children see the similarities in religious beliefs and values, and to show respect for the other person’s beliefs. It can be quite an experience in watching the varied religious practices on Zanzibar and to see locals pray, shows how dedicated the Zanzibari people are devoted to prayer.
Experiencing another culture by immersing with locals, does open children’s eyes to the global community. During walks through the streets in Stone Town, the diverse cultural influence and how they blend into each other so naturally to create the Zanzibari heritage is clear through the market, shops, in restaurants and at converging places such as the Forodhani Gardens.
With many beach locations having young ones playing in the sand or jumping into the Indian Ocean waters, its likely that kids will play together and find their way of talking. An afternoon visit to the nearby Changuu (Prison Island) on a boat trip from Stone Town brings visitors to see the enormous Aldabra giant tortoises, which intrigue young ones even more and parents find it an impressive sight to see, as they are exceptionally relaxed around people and memorable moments are created for children with special opportunities for timeless photos.
The Swahili heritage is easily understood best from the source and some of the purest come from Zanzibar Island where it is believed to have originated due to the Island’s strategic location for trade with some of the Arabian peninsular countries. Visits to Zanzibar’s butterfly farm in Jozani where also the famous endemic Red Colobus monkeys among other smaller antelopes thrive provide vital lessons on conservation during a guided-walk through the netted enclosures where hundreds of colourful butterflies flutter around them while they shown the life cycle.