Okay, so Stone Town is far. Almost from wherever you are! It sits on a promontory jutting out from the western side of Unguja island into the Indian Ocean. But then, we travellers love the far and away, always hopeful of discovering places and experiences that are out of this world.

Stone Town caught our attention for these charming reasons:

  • It’s a UNESCO Heritage Site
  • It gets its name from the houses built with local stone by Arab traders and slavers during the 19th Century.
  • There are several daily high-speed ferries from the port of Dar es Salaam to Stone Town.
  • Stone Town is known for its colonial buildings, cathedrals, Persian baths and old forts.
  • You’ll get a beautiful view of the town on a sunset cruise aboard a traditional sailboat.
Sunset Cruise, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Sunset Cruise

More Stone Town Secrets:

“A day trip to Chumbe Island or Prison Island. Prison Island is known for being home to over a hundred gigantic tortoises that you can interact closely with, while Chumbe Island is a small private island known for its ecological innovation and exceptional coral reefs.” This tip comes to you from Spirited Pursuit, whose blog on Stone Town is just lovely, with lots of tips and photos.

“Stone Town can easily be explored on foot. Watch it come alive with historical, multi-story buildings; bright textiles; giggling schoolchildren scurrying across courtyards; and social activity on baraza benches where locals gather throughout the day.” This wonderful tip comes to you from travel writer Helen, who blogs on notwithoutmypassport.com.

A street in Stone Town, Zanzibar

AnnaEverywhere has this interesting secret: “The doors in Stone Town are absolutely marvelous. You can find three types of doors in town: those influenced by Indians, Arabs, and mixed.

Door, Stone Town, Zanzibar

You can recognize them by their unique characteristics such as flower motifs and studs (once used as a defense against charging war elephants) on the Indian doors and chains on the Arab doors. My guide explained that the chain symbolizes slavery.”