One may be deceived by the vibrancy; the excited visitors, the overwhelming hospitality of Zanzibaris and the holiday buzz on the spice island. As one enters Stone Town, it’s a moment of nostalgia, a city that will take you back to time, hundred years back. For whatever you experience here is a reflection of a strong past, rich, complex and extremely captivating.
Karibuni Stone Town, a place to explore the depths of history framed in present and the rarest of vintage cities claimed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you spend a night or two here and arrive by sea, it is ideal to walk from your hotel to the harbor, soak in the warm sun and look around. An entire city made in coral stone, unpainted walls of popular landmarks and an unchanging architecture of new establishments. You can only imagine the great influence of four strong ethnicity; Swahili, Indian, Arab and European reflected in the buildings, most dating back to the 18thand 19th century.
While lost admiring the simplicity and the uniqueness of Stone Town, every moment that you spend here seems like you have time traveled back into history. It seems like a customary tradition but more than that a heartfelt desire of every Zanzibari to make you feel at home. The glimmering eyes of a 10 year old girl in hijab, a babu sitting on the baraza or a tour guide at the historical site all have it naturally to wish the guests with warmth and love.
A maze of narrow alleys with several curio shops, boutique hotels in aromatic spice scents, bicycles meandering and solemn prayers from the mosques are some unique experiences in Stone Town. It is also admirable to witness that most buildings that retain the classic architecture including new establishments; wooden stairs, mosaic glasses, traditional windows and the most attractive of all, long carved wooden doors studded with brass or metal uniformly seen across all entrances. If you travel beyond, excursion to unique stops and tours will add to a refreshing experience to your stay in this paradise.
A walk through openings and narrow alleys of the UNESCO Heritage SITE
One can only comprehend the title bestowed to Stone Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as you admire the majestic view of the Forodhani; the historical influence of the Sultan; colonial rule and rich traditions persists till date well reflected in the monuments lined on the main road; The Old Fort built in stone where international film and music festivals are held; The House of Wonder built by Sultan Burghash of Oman, The religious buildings; The Anglican and Catholic Churches, Malindi Mosque and Arya Samaj Temple, Jamat Khana and the Slave Market; landmarks that show the prominence of historical, cultural and architectural influences prevalent and intact till date.
Spice Island is most famous for its beaches and luxury resorts. As an explorer, Stone Town is a place for a unique stopover, an explorer’s paradise to celebrate a rich and infamous history of Zanzibar echoing in the architect, people and culture of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.