March 6, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Rich in history, culture and art, Stone Town is the most important city in Zanzibar. A walking or driven tour introduces you to the local architecture that reflects various cultural influences. The Swahili culture and architecture combines a mix of Arab, European, Persian, Moorish, and Indian elements. Most of the structures that go back to the 19th century have been preserved.
While in Stone Town, be sure to visit the Old Fort which is adjacent to the House of Wonders, a tone fortress built by the Omani in the 17th century. The centre of this square-shaped building has been turned into a courtyard full of shops and entertainment venues that hold live music entertainment and dance shows.
The House of Wonders, sometimes called Palace of Wonders, is located in on the seafront along Mizingani Road. Constructed way back in 1883, this is one of Stone Town’s most famous landmarks today. It was refurbished in 1896 after the Anglo-Zanzibar War and is the first building to have a lift in East Africa and the first to have electricity in Zanzibar.
The Palace Museum, which was formerly the Sultan’s Palace, is also located on the seafront north of the House of Wonders. It was constructed in the 19th century and features items that depict the daily life of Zanzibar’s royal family. The most famous artefacts are that of Princess Sayyida Salme who fled the country to be with her husband in Europe.
The Old Dispensary is an old building constructed from 1887 to 1894. It was a charity hospital which was later turned into a dispensary. It is a beautifully decorated structure with big carved wooden verandas, neo-stucco accents, and stained glass windows.
Jambiani is a tourist oriented beach town south of Paje and Bwejuu. If you love the beach, you will enjoy walking up and down the pristine white beach. This beach is famous for various seashells you can see all over the beach when the tide goes down. Take a small wooden sailboat out and snorkel over the coral reefs. Common sea life in the area includes octopus, tropical fish, sea urchins, and starfish.
Paje is a quiet fishing village that kiteboarders have discovered and made their own little private kitesurfing paradise. At night, you can play football with the locals on the beach. Local artists also sell their paintings for very affordable prices. It’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.