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Swahili Culture in Zanzibar

For many adventure holiday lovers, Zanzibar is the perfect place to enjoy sun, sea and sand after a safari or mountain trek.

While the beaches in Zanzibar are certainly fantastic there is so much more to this amazing archipelago. African, Arabic and Portuguese influences all contribute to Zanzibar’s unique and vibrant culture, adding an incredible local travel experience to your adventure holiday.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town is the beating cultural heart of Zanzibar. Without a local guide getting lost in the winding alleys is almost guaranteed! The Old Town Market offers an everyday tale of thriving local communities whereas the Palace Museum and the House of Wonders share whispers of the past. Truly there’s something for every style of adventurer to enjoy!

The market is rooted in the structure of local Zanzibari household economies, providing an essential function in daily life. Actually, there are several different markets nestled throughout the Old Town: some specialize in fresh-caught seafood, others in household wares, used clothes, local and imported cloth, jewelry, crafts, and tourist goods. But every market will carry basic household needs.

The Palace Museum is a former sultan's palace on the waterfront with wonderful views looking out to sea. It is the most recent of the Sultans’ palaces, occupied by the last members of the Al Busid dynasty until they fled Zanzibar in 1964, and now hosts a museum about the daily life of the Zanzibari royal family.

The House of Wonders, Beit el Ajaib in Arabic, was built around 1883 as the ceremonial palace for the ruling sultan, Sultan Barghash. This is one of the most prominent and magnificent structures in Zanzibar and all of East Africa. It is also the first building in East Africa to have electricity and an electric elevator!

If you'd like to plan a holiday to Zanzibar, call our Luxury Travel Specialists for a chat about your dream trip or fill out our no-obligation enquiry form.

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