What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

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What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

Postby baga_azul » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:06 am

Hi everyone,

I'm finishing a tour in Stone Town/Zanzibar and flying back home from Dar Es Salam. I'm wondering how much time I should spend in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam and what to do. I have many questions, maybe you have experience on it. :-)

I'm taking the ferry from Stone Town to Dar Es Salam. Are there several ferry companies, which ones do you advise, can the timetables be trusted, are they often cancelled? I depend on the ferry to get to the airport, so I can't get late. Should I return on the ferry one day before the flight?

I'm flying middle of the night. I'll probably just take a taxi to the airport. Shall I book one before, can I get one in the city, can you advise some taxi companies?

Are Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam very unsafe? I'm starting to feel uncomfortable with what I read about those destinations. I'm wondering what to do there in my free time and if I must take a taxi door-to-door all the time and should avoid public beaches.

What interesting things are there to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam for a couple of days? Any suggestions about attractions and how much time to spend on each? During the tour we go to north-Zanzibar to the beach and a spice plantation. Are there nice beaches near Stone Town? Are day-tours being offered from there? Is south-Zanzibar interesting? What to do in Stone Town? What about Dar Es Salam, we may have to spend 1 day there because of the flight, any attractions?

Thanks!
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Re: What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

Postby baga_azul » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:05 am

Just booked my tour and flight. I'll have 3 full days between the end of the tour in Stone Stown/Zanzibar and the flight in the evening in Dar Es Salam. Now I just need to find nice things to do on those 3 days and find a transport between Zanzibar and the airport at Dar.
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Re: What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

Postby markmol » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:34 pm

hi
on your tour you will spend a couple of days in Stone town giving you plenty of time to wander around. I did the 3 hr walking tour then walked around the maze of streets in the old part of town . a few people on my tour stayed the extra days they had out at the beach, there is plenty of hotels out there so easy to find a room for a couple of extra days.
Take the fast ferry if you can, they are more likley to leave on time, it is about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour trip. I know there is a ferry leaving at 7am so you have to be up early to get to the port. Last time i was there I flew back to Dar on Precision Air, i think the flight cost me around $80 US. 1/2 an hour flight & the veiws are great. I had no troubles walking around Stone town at night seemed safe to me, only stayed in Dar at a campsite overnight waiting for the ferry, so not sure what there is to do & see there. don't forget to try the zanzibar pizzas while you are there, it is a great trip hope you enjoy it.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

Postby bexonthebeach » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:16 pm

The beaches around Stone Town arnt great - it is a working port and so while it can be an ok place to chill with as book for an hour or two, you certainly dont want to swim in the water, and chances are you will see tankers and cargo ships moored.

As the tour takes you to the north, might be worth heading east for a few days as its a completely different type of beach - rather than little coves, the east offers a long stretch of palm fringed sand as far as the eye can see! Its hard to swim there when the tide is out, but it is a lovely area to visit. On the way you'll also pass thru the Jozani forest famous for the red colubus monkeys. It takes about an hour to cross the island from stone town to paje, and if u get one of the shared minibuses, its US$10 each way.

If you'd prefer to stay in stone town, you could do a day trip out to Prison Island to see the giant tortoises and snorkel on the reef there, or do a snorkelling trip called a blue safari that takes you of the southern coast.

I felt safeish in stone town, apart from down a few deserted alleyways. I got hassled quite a bit the first day, but then people seemed to back off. I did get lost and wander into Zanzibar Town to the west which I would strongly advise against - it was a bit disconcerting to discover I hadnt seen another tourist for at least 20mins and was no longer on the map! I had to be escorted back by a lovely local who was concerned for my safety, eek!

If you did decide to take the ferry over from stone town to dar, please be very careful of your belongingings. One of the guys I met in Zanzibar had come over with friends on the ferry and he'd had his wallet nicked from his pocket in the crush to get on.
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Re: What to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar and Dar Es Salam

Postby baga_azul » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:17 am

Thanks. I got some ideas for day tours. Did you got the tours from some local agent?
Dar is not worth visiting?
Do you know if there is an afternoon ferry to Dar?
Thanks!
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