In a bid to meet demand and increase convenience, Safarilink have now introduced direct flights to Zanzibar from Wilson Airport. The new route which saw its inaugural flight take off on 1st Of July 2017 will have four flights scheduled per week for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Tourists coming in from various tourist destinations in Kenya will now have an easier time flying directly to their favorite exotic island without having to go to Jomo Kenyatta international Airport for a connecting flight.
Considered one of the most popular destinations in the world with travelers coming in every week through the year, Zanzibar’s aura blends together influences from ancient Persia, Ottoman Turkey and India to create a spice-scented world of Arabic-style houses, brass doors and winding alleyways.
This exotic archipelago is full of allure and retains much of its magic despite modern refurbishments geared towards its booming tourism sector.
With the Indian Ocean on one side and the rich history of Stone Town on the other, Zanzibar Serena Hotel is at hand to receive guests and introduce them to the magic of this historic town. Stone Town is a stunning collection of whitewashed buildings and winding alleyways at the heart of the city. It is East Africa’s oldest still-functioning settlement, and home to a myriad of traditional markets and historic sites. You will find it to be abuzz around the clock, and packed with restaurants and entertainment venues. Did you know singer Freddie Mercury (real surname Bulsara) was born here in 1946? He has a restaurant named after him as homage to Queen’s flamboyant front man.
While in Stone Town, look out for the oldest building in Zanzibar; the 17th-century Ngome Kongwe, an Ol Fort built by the Omanis as a defense against the Portuguese. Located opposite the Forodhani gardens, the fort is today used by traders to hawk their wares in a vast courtyard, and regular festivals are held in its small amphitheater.
One of Stone Town’s most prominent features is the Palace Museum, otherwise known as the Beit el-Sahel or Sultan’s Palace. It is now a museum on the waterfront, but was originally built for the sultan and his immediate family in the 19th century.
As part of its long history, Zanzibar was once the center of the Middle Eastern slave trade. At the site of the current Anglican Cathedral is where many of the slaves that left the island were traded. The cathedral was built after the slave trade ended. The site is more of a memorial, where you can see the chamber used to hold former slaves.
The St. Josephs Cathedral Roman Catholic cathedral in the heart of the winding lanes of Stone Town can be accessed from the backside entrance. It’s an iconic landmark in the Stone Town, and if you happen to walk past it, you can enter the compound and take a look inside. Alternatively, from the rooftops of many of the hotels in Stone Town, you’ll see the steeples rising high above the Stone Town skyline.
Easily the top attraction of visiting Stone Town is to just get lost exploring the ancient narrow lanes. Discover souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants, cafes, places of worship, street food stalls, and produce vendors on both sides of the lanes. Kids going to school, Vespas cruising thundering past, and carts full of oranges, are just a few of the things you’ll encounter on any stroll through Stone Town and make for a photographers dream. If you feel like you’re walking in circles, you probably are. But don’t worry, locals are happy to point you in the right direction.
Just outside the narrow lanes of Stone Town is the lively Darajani Market. This is the place where nearly all types of food supplies and ingredients from around the island are traded and sold. Giant stalks of plantains, stacks of cassava, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and cloves are all represented. There’s a large section of the market dedicated to fresh meat and also a fish market where you can check out the auction and occasionally spot huge sailfish and tuna.
Perhaps one of our favorite things about Zanzibar is the food; an exquisite cuisine that reflects the cultures that have made their mark on Zanzibar with bold dishes infused with exotic spices, an intriguing variety of textures and mouthwatering flavours. Your food adventures in Stone Town will lead you to restaurants, food markets and cafes. A must visit for anyone touring Zanzibar is Forodhani Gardens. This evening food market near the Old Fort on the waterfront is a regular hang-out for many for both dinner and snacks. Here you can find everything from the seafood skewers to samosas displayed under the glowing lamps and the buzzing activity at this popular meeting place will have you coming back for more.
So next time you want to just kick back and relax after an exciting safari journey through east africa’s top National parks, #FlySafarilink and experience the mix of cultures, explore the narrow lanes of Stone Town, and sample the delicious coastal cuisine.