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Top things to do in Zanzibar: from nature trails to traditional dancing

Zanzibar in Africa is fantastic destination for travellers who are looking to soak up the sunshine on pristine beaches. However, there's more to this East African archipelago than endless white sandy stretches and turquoise sea, and according to the online magazine Pulse, tourists can enjoy activities, from visiting Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park to watching traditional dancing and drumming at the Old Fort for Ngoma.

Top things to do in Zanzibar: from nature trails to traditional dancing

Zanzibar is one of the Africa’s most tropical destinations, and every year, thousands of holidaymakers head to the Tanzanian archipelago to sunbathe on white sand beaches and take a dip in the turquoise sea. Visitors who are looking for more than sand and sea will find plenty of activities to enjoy that will help them explore the culture of the Zanzibar.

Online magazine, Pulse, has listed some of the best activities to enjoy in Zanzibar:

Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park.

Located in the central eastern region of Zanzibar, this huge national parks spans 50 square kilometres and is home to thousands of diverse animals, birds, and insects. Tourists can walk along boardwalks and signposted nature trails to catch sightings of animals like colobus and Sykes monkeys jumping from trees and bushes. The Butterfly Centre and Zala Park are great places to visit in the area

Prison Island tortoise sanctuary.

Situated on Prison Island which was once used as a prison for slaves and a quarantine station, this sanctuary is home to giant Aldabran Tortoises. Imported from the Seychelles in the 19th Century, some of these fantastic creatures are more than 100 years old. Visitors will have the chance to feed the tortoises, and the island is also home to birds, peacocks, bats, and butterflies. The surrounding coral reef is perfect for snorkelling activities and there’s a beautiful secluded beach for sunbathing or picnics.

Chumbe Island Coral Park.

This non-profit eco-reserve sits eight miles south of Stone Town and is home to plethora of fish, marine creatures and a thriving coral reef. The reserve has protected Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve that are home to rare wildlife species, and visitors can visit the Education centre, go on nature walks, visit historical monuments, and stay in a small eco-lodge. Snorkelling is permitted and the shallow waters boast more than 440 different fish species, and marine creatures including bluespotted stingrays, batfish, lobsters, hawksbill turtles and vibrant coral gardens.

House of Wonders.

Tourists can visit exhibitions on Swahili culture and history at the Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture which is located within the House of Wonders in Stone Town. The large square building with huge pillars is a landmark building in the town and it was built in 1883. In the museum, there are traditional dhows on display, and visitors can learn about the old Zanzibar Sultanate.

Traditional dancing.

The Old Fort is positioned south of the House of Wonders in Stone Town, and is a great place to experience traditional Swahili culture through dance and drumming performances on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays evenings. The fort was built in the 18th Century to protect the island against Portuguese colonialists, and it has an open-air theatre where performers put on shows for the public.

Situated in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is an East African archipelago which is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. The main island is home to Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, with historical buildings such as old churches and the Malindi Mosque, and a collection of relatively new hotels and B&Bs.

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