Welcome to your one-week in Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania known for its pristine beaches, rich cultural history, and vibrant marine life. This guide is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of what to expect, must-see destinations, and tips to make the most of your visit. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on white-sand beaches, exploring historic Stone Town, or diving into the clear turquoise waters, Zanzibar offers an unforgettable experience and adventure.

One Week in Zanzibar

Overview of the One-Week in Zanzibar

Why Visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, often referred to as the "Spice Island," is famous for its aromatic spice plantations, stunning beaches, and historical significance. The archipelago is a cultural melting pot, influenced by African, Arab, Persian, and European elements, which is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions. Visitors can explore Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, relax on idyllic beaches, and discover the underwater wonders of the Indian Ocean.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Zanzibar depends on your preferences and activities:

  • June to October: This is the dry season, with pleasant temperatures and less humidity, making it ideal for beach activities, snorkeling, and exploring Stone Town.
  • November to March: These months are warmer and more humid, with short rains in November and December. This period is great for diving, as the water visibility is excellent.
  • April and May: These are the wettest months, with heavy rainfall and fewer tourists. While some activities might be limited, the island is lush and vibrant.

Itinerary: One Week in Zanzibar

Day 1: Arrival in Zanzibar and Stone Town Exploration

Arrive at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar City. After settling in, begin your exploration of Stone Town. Wander through the narrow, winding streets lined with ancient buildings, bustling markets, and vibrant shops. Visit the House of Wonders, the former sultan's palace, and the Old Fort. In the evening, enjoy a sunset dhow cruise on the Indian Ocean, followed by dinner at a local restaurant offering traditional Zanzibari cuisine. Overnight stay in a charming boutique hotel in Stone Town.

Day 2: Spice Tour and Prison Island

Start your day with a spice tour, where you’ll visit a local plantation and learn about Zanzibar’s rich spice heritage. Discover how cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices are grown and harvested. Sample fresh spices and fruits and immerse yourself in the island's aromatic traditions. In the afternoon, take a boat trip to Prison Island (Changuu Island), known for its giant tortoises and historical significance. Enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters and exploring the island's scenic beauty. Return to Stone Town for another overnight stay.

Day 3: Jozani Forest and The Rock Restaurant

Head to Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park in the morning, home to the endangered red colobus monkeys. Explore the forest trails, mangrove swamps, and diverse flora and fauna. The park offers a peaceful and immersive nature experience. Afterward, travel to the east coast of Zanzibar and visit The Rock Restaurant, one of the island’s most iconic dining spots, perched on a rock in the Indian Ocean. Enjoy a leisurely lunch with stunning views. In the afternoon, relax on the nearby beaches of Michamvi or head to your hotel in Paje for an overnight stay.

Day 4: Beach Day in Paje

Spend the entire day enjoying the beautiful beaches of Paje, known for their powdery white sand and clear blue waters. Paje is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Try kitesurfing, windsurfing, or paddleboarding, or simply relax and soak up the sun. Explore the local village and interact with the friendly locals. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the beachside restaurants. In the evening, watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean and unwind at your beachfront hotel.

Day 5: Snorkeling and Dolphin Tour in Kizimkazi

Travel to Kizimkazi, a village on the southern coast of Zanzibar, for a day of marine exploration. Embark on a dolphin tour in the early morning, where you can spot and swim with playful bottlenose and humpback dolphins. Afterward, enjoy snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, exploring vibrant coral reefs and colorful marine life. Relax on the serene beaches of Kizimkazi and enjoy a picnic lunch. In the late afternoon, return to your hotel in Paje or transfer to a new accommodation in Nungwi or Kendwa for the next part of your adventure.

Day 6: Nungwi and Kendwa Beach

Head to the northern part of Zanzibar to Nungwi and Kendwa, famous for their beautiful beaches and lively atmosphere. Spend the day relaxing on the soft sands, swimming in the turquoise waters, and enjoying various beach activities. Nungwi is known for its vibrant nightlife, while Kendwa offers a more laid-back vibe. Take a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow boat and marvel at the stunning colors of the sky as the sun dips below the horizon. Enjoy dinner at a beachfront restaurant and stay overnight in a beachfront resort.

Day 7: Cultural Tour and Departure

On your final day, delve deeper into the local culture with a visit to a traditional Zanzibari village. Participate in activities such as weaving, pottery, or cooking, and learn about the island’s customs and way of life. If time permits, visit the Mnarani Natural Aquarium to see sea turtles up close and learn about conservation efforts. In the afternoon, transfer back to Stone Town for any last-minute shopping or sightseeing. Depending on your flight schedule, enjoy a relaxing afternoon before heading to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport for your departure, concluding your memorable week in Zanzibar.

Additional Information for your One-Week in Zanzibar

Health and Safety: Ensure you are up-to-date with vaccinations, including yellow fever and malaria prophylaxis. While Zanzibar is generally safe for travelers, it’s important to take standard precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping your belongings secure. Travel insurance is highly recommended to cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events. Drink bottled or filtered water to avoid any waterborne illnesses.

Packing Essentials: When packing for Zanzibar, consider the warm, tropical climate. Lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal for the hot days, while a light sweater or shawl may be needed for cooler evenings. Beachwear, including swimsuits, hats, and sunglasses, is essential for enjoying the island's beaches. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for exploring Stone Town and other excursions. Don't forget accessories like sunscreen, insect repellent, and a waterproof camera to capture your underwater adventures.

Cultural Etiquette: In Zanzibar, greetings are important, and a handshake is a common form of greeting. Use your right hand to give and receive items, as the left hand is considered impolite. Dress modestly, especially in Stone Town and other local areas, to show respect for local customs. Swimwear is appropriate on the beaches but not in town or villages. Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, as it shows respect and avoids any misunderstandings. Learning a few basic phrases in Swahili, such as "Jambo" (hello) and "Asante" (thank you), can enhance your interactions with the locals.


This one week in Zanzibar offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. From exploring the historic streets of Stone Town to lounging on pristine beaches and discovering the vibrant marine life, this itinerary ensures you capture the essence of Zanzibar in just seven days. Whether you're savoring the island's aromatic spices, swimming with dolphins, or simply soaking up the sun, each day brings new and unforgettable experiences. Pack your bags and get ready for an extraordinary journey through one of the Indian Ocean's most enchanting destinations. Enjoy your trip!