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Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

Explore Stone Town on Zanzibar

Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

Stone Town is a maze of haphazard alleyways leading between tall houses and palaces with intricately carved wooden doors with brass studs and heavy locks. The best time to visit is the early morning when the shops are still open and before it gets too hot. The spice market is a good place to start. Here you will see all sorts of spices being traded alongside tropical fruits, fish and every other item you could need from saucepans to stiletto shoes. Spices are a good buy but buy them by weight from the big piles and have them put into a bag. Do not buy the spices in the baskets as the baskets themselves can have small mite eggs in which can prove a problem when you return to the US.

After this you might like to explore the many alleyways of Stone Town. You will no doubt get lost, however somebody will always show you the way if you ask them. For shopping the Zanzibar Gallery (Kenyatta Road) has good quality gifts and you will find hundreds of other small curio shops on Gizenga Street and streets leading off it. On the waterfront you could stop at the big tree and watch the dhow builders. Good lunch spots included Kidude Restaurant (beside Emerson and Green Hotel — Zanzibari), Sweet Easy Restaurant (Shangani Road — Thai and Zanzibari), La Fenice (Shangani Road — excellent Italian) and Monsoon Restaurant (Forodhani Gardens — traditional Zanzibari). A good way to explore Stone Town is with a walking guide which can be arranged through your hotel.

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