Things to Do in Zanzibar
Travelers looking for an authentic East African experience need look no further than the crowded stalls and narrow passes of Darajani Market. From early morning until late at night locals and visitors alike wander between merchants selling tree-ripened fruits, freshly caught fish, savory stews and spicy local delights. While Darajani is mostly a food-lovers paradise, with plenty of vendors selling fresh ingredients and homemade delights, visitors can also find some random items, like brand new electronics, spare tires and modern clothing shipped in from overseas. Travelers should be prepared to haggle for the best price—particularly on fragrant spices—one of the best souvenirs from a trip to Zanzibar.
House of Wonders, which is home to the Museum of History and Culture, is not only the largest—but also the tallest building in Stone Town. Built in 1883, the palace was the first building on the island to have electricity and the first in the region to have a working elevator. Since the early 2000s, House of Wonders has showcased a permanent collection of artifacts related to Swahili and Zanzibari culture.
Travelers can explore the grounds, which include a traditional Swahili boat, old-world fishing tools and famous ships, or wander the halls that offer an up close look at traditional garments, historic portraits of royalty and ancient furniture taken from former sultans’ homes. A visit to House of Wonders provides travelers with a window into the local culture and the island’s rich history.
This traditional African market is one of the largest and busiest in all of Zanzibar. Local Tanzanians wander the streets as the sun rises—or hop aboard rusty metal bikes just after the call to prayer—to collect fruits, vegetables and other family essentials well before the day kicks off.
Travelers can explore dozens of vendor stalls where cheap produce, fresh meats, dried maize meal, local crafts and inexpensive imported clothing line the narrow passes of this covered market. The thick smoke of cooking food mixes with dust, sweat and the sound of shouting voices, making a trip to Zanzibar’s Mwanakwerekwe Market a truly African experience.
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