Discovering Stone Town

Unless you know the road you've come down, you cannot know where you are going. – Zanzibar Proverb.

On a gentle walk, explore the historical sites and picturesque architecture while discovering interesting artefacts like the carved Arab doors with brass studs. Learn about the Stone Town lifestyle, captivating places and unique viewpoints. Visit a local market place and the old slave market memorial and church as well as the old Sultan’s palace. A Stone Town guided walking tour will show you the history and current lifestyle and how they have blended in well to create the Zanzibari culture.

Stone Town is the soul of Zanzibar: heavy with the promise of exoticism and romance. The medieval centre with narrow streets, congested buildings with small courtyards and rooftop cafes built from coral stones where the name “Stone Town” originates. The Old Fort, surrounded by thick walls has survived to tell the historic tales. Much of the medieval defensive walls have remained in their original glory. Wandering about here is a pleasure in itself, and there are specific places to aim for, including the two cathedrals, and along the waterfront – two majestic palaces (now museums) and the brooding Omani fortress.

This impressive and mystical town is the capital and historical heart of Zanzibar. It was constructed from coral stone during the 19th and 20th century and it was declared a World Heritage Site in the year 2000. During a walk you will get to know who really made the city and what are the interesting international ties attached to the history of Stone Town.

Stone Town is one of the very few intact historical Swahili trading towns along the Indian Ocean Coastal region. Its myriad of unique shops, mix of people, busting markets and eateries, mosques, churches and Hindu temples combine and homogenize different elements of different cultures. As you walk through the labyrinth of streets too narrow for cars to pass, you will notice interesting things and your guide will share his knowledge and witty tales about Stone Town.

The interactive walk starts with a short stretch to the nearby Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) also called Omani Fort which comprises of heavy coral stone walls with squat cylindrical towers and castellated defences. The House of Wonders – Beit al-Ajaib, a stand out for exterior sightseeing of Zanzibar’s most distinctive landmark. See the Palace Museum, a large whitewashed three-storey building facing the ocean. You can walk in to check the historical valuable items and a room dedicated to Princess Salme, author of the acclaimed book: Memoirs of an Arabian Princess. Thereafter, visit The Old Dispensary, a grand four-storey building which has remained as one of East Africa’s finest and most beautiful landmarks. Thereafter your guide will lead you through the lanyrinth streets of central Stone Town and share his knowledge about the history and sightseeing place and if you would like to do some shopping you do so in between the walk.

Discovering Stone Town on a walking tour takes a couple of hours, and its best experienced as a morning till noon activity. For the best experience during your visit and stay at Zanzibar Island, we highly recommend that you stay in Stone Town for at least two days/nights which allows you to enjoy the Zanzibar Spice Tour during the day. Normally the first day is set for arrival and familiarization after the airport transfer for most travellers. However, if you happen to arrive early in the day and you want an afternoon activity, you can contact us for the Stone Town Tour at: [email protected] or give us a call: +255 777 429430