Mysterious, exotic and romantic, Zanzibar is evocative of times gone by and characterised by the magic of Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site as well as its beautiful sandy beaches fringed with coral reefs. Often described as the ultimate Indian Ocean destination Zanzibar is the jewel in East Africa’s crown.
Nungwi is situated on the north western tip of Zanzibar and is home to Nungwi fishing and boatbuilding village as well as some of Zanzibar’s most beautiful beaches and unique dive sites.
Flame Tree is well placed for our guests to enjoy a variety of local activities or day trips. For some of the further away tours we recommended combining a Spice Farm or Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park with a trip to Stone Town for instance. If you would like to plan an itinerary in advance of your stay with us or have some questions please get in touch.
We recommend you pack some reef shoes, snorkelling gear, reef friendly sunscreen, rash vest or long sleeve top as well as sunglasses and sunhat and a refillable water bottle!
STONE TOWN TOUR
Stone Town is situated on the Western side of the island, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. Constructed from coral stone in the 19th and 20th centuries it is famous for its narrow streets and Arab doors. The House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), The Old Fort, the Anglican Cathedral and the Sultan’s Palace (Beit al Sahel) are just some of fascinating places to visit during your time in town.
At Flame Tree you can walk out of our garden gate directly onto the white sandy beach and turquoise sea. At low tide the shore area is exposed and you can walk right up to the reef exploring rock pools and seagrass meadows. As you walk you will see the local ladies gathering seaweed which they later dry and sell. Just ask at reception about timings for low and high tide.
NUNGWI MNARANI NATURAL AQUARIUM
Just a short walk along the beach from Flame Tree is the Ras Nungwi Lighthouse, built in 1926 it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Zanzibar. Next door is the Mnarani Natural Aquarium a community-led project aimed at safeguarding hawksbill and green turtles. The endangered turtles are housed in the natural tidal lagoon alongside newly hatched baby turtles until they can be released into the sea. The centre is a local initiative and also runs a plastic recycling project tackling plastic pollution.
FUKUCHANI RUINS AND CAVES
Located around 15 minutes south of Nungwi, these beautiful and picturesque ruins date back to the 16th century and are known to locals as the ‘Portuguese House’. From here you can walk to the limestone cave that has a natural pool to swim in and with submerged stalagmites under the water. This tour can also be done by bicycle which gives you the chance to see the surrounding areas and get fit!
SNORKELING TOUR TO MNEMBA
Although Mnemba is a private island that is closed to the public you can snorkel or swim the surrounding reefs which are a marine conservation area. The island is a short boat trip away and you can go directly from the beach outside the Flame Tree gates. The reef is home to around 600 species of coral and fish and on the boat trip over you might spot a pod of dolphins in the surrounding ocean. Between February and September you might see green sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches.
Nungwi is a fishing village and famous for boatbuilding and it’s wooden dhows. A sunset sail is a wonderful way to enjoy the spectacular African sunset from a traditional wooden dhow as you sail along the coastline. An ideal trip for solo travellers, couples, families or groups of friends.
JOZANI-CHWAKA BAY NATIONAL PARK
Jozani-Chwaka Bay is a protected park and conservation area. Jozani Forest is home to the endangered Zanzibar red colobus monkeys as well as Sykes monkeys, bush-babies and duikers. Walk through the mangroves of Chwaka Bay with a swamp like environment of moisture loving trees and ferns and over 40 species of birds.
Shamba is Swahili for countryside and this is where the Spice Farms are located. On this walking tour you will meet local farmers and learn about the islands spices and crops. In the 19th century the island was the main exporter of cloves around the world. Zanzibar is sometimes called the ‘Spice Island’ and is still known for its clove, nutmeg, cardamon, turmeric, cinnamon, chili and black pepper and arguably boasts the sweetest pineapple in the world.
The Indian Ocean waters, and the channel between Zanzibar and Pemba islands are well known for both game as well as reef fish varieties saught after by big game anglers.
SAFARI BLUE TOUR
Sail with a centuries old design dhow, enjoy snorkeling, coloured fishes and corals, then enjoy lunch at Sandbank. Full Day program from 7:00 to 16:00
Discover the life of Nungwi villagers, the fish market and also different workshops of the local craftsmen.
Make a trip to another part of the Zanzibar Island with a minibus and then take a local boat to discover the wild dolphins. You can even swim with them, as they are very friendly. Half-day program from 7:00 to 13:00.
Near the turtle rescue/aquarium on the east end you will also find the traditional dhow boat building…fascinating since the hulls are one piece of wood and the rest hand hewn! This is also where you will find most of the locals, kids playing soccer and swimming.
With over 30 dive sites that include, reef, wall and wreck diving, Zanzibar is more than just a beach island to relax. Levan Bank off the northern tip of Zanzibar is one of the islands’ most famous and impressive dives, where strong currents create a haven for big game fish such as kingfish, trevally and tuna.