Zanzibar Swahili Experience at the Breezes
You can never have too much information
Once you’ve experienced the magic of Zanzibar, you’ll probably want to learn more. Which is why we have our own library of books covering everything from the flora and fauna of the archipelago to its vibrant ornithology and marine biology. Similarly, we’ve got books on the island’s extraordinarily colourful history and the spice trade for which it is universally known.
Take some skills home with you
If, like many, you’d like to pick up some new knowledge whilst you’re on holiday - then why not join our Swahili School? Held in the shade of our palm trees and led by a local Mwalimu (teacher) you can choose from learning how to speak Swahili or immerse yourself in Zanzibar’s colorful and turbulent history. Or why not attend a beach class and learn the ancient traditional craft of palm-weaving. And if none of that appeals, then join our chef for a masterclass in Swahili cuisine or the ‘science of SPICE’.
Creating unique memories of Zanzibar
In addition to the tempting selection of tours and excursions on offer at our Guest Relations Desk, which include island tours, spice tours and Stone Town tours, we thought you might like to try some of our own family favourites. Unique to us and designed to portray the authentic face of Zanzibari culture and heritage, they also promise some great photo-opportunities and the chance to genuinely interact with the locals.
The Zanzibar Experience
A fascinating glimpse into local culture
Why not visit the local village of Bwejuu and meet the locals? Join our group and you can visit the local school and mosque, have a soda at the corner-kiosk and enjoy a privileged glimpse into a real Swahili home before taking a stroll around the market stalls. A very authentic experience, our village trip delivers a rare glimpse into the traditional Zanzibari way of life. Better still, the proceeds go direct to the village fund where they are used for health, education and the funding of local initiatives.
Become a Swahili chef
Once tasted, Swahili cuisine is never forgotten. And for those who’d like to create their own Swahili menu at home, our chef offers an interactive cooking master class that is ideal for families and couples alike. A mesmeric blend of African, Indian, Arabian and Persian cuisines, Swahili cooking is redolent of sea-fresh fish, tree-picked coconuts, fresh limes and the inspirational addition of Zanzibar’s world-famous spices.
Be a Bao master
Zanzibar is the world HQ for the ancient game of Bao – the historic forerunner of chess and backgammon, which was first played in prehistoric times. Bao originated in East Africa and you can see it being played in villages all over the archipelago. Bao is based on a mancala board comprising four rows of eight pits each—in Swahili, pits are termed mashimo, meaning ‘holes’. Each player owns a half of the board comprising two adjacent rows and has 32 ‘seeds’ termed kete that are moved through a series of pits. Zanzibar is famous for its ‘bao bingwas’ (masters), one of whom gives daily tutorials ‘beneath the palm trees’. Head to our Guest Relations Desk for more information.
The Coral Reef Safari
We look out over one of the most spectacular beaches in East Africa, which comes complete with its own stretch of barrier coral reef. To discover the magic of marine life, why not join our reef walk, which is led by a professional naturalist whose knowledge of the many kinds of coral and on the creatures that inhabit this magical marine world in encyclopedic. Reef safaris set off at low tide – consult Guest Relations for more details.
Sail the Indian Ocean
Join our experienced Zanzibar seafaring crew as they sail down to the mangrove swamps of Mchamvi and around our local peninsula. We have our own dhow, which is used for snorkeling trips, island exploration and magical moonlit dinners alike. Blown by the monsoon winds, dhows have plied the Arabian coast for centuries, typically carrying dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands of the Persian Gulf. Dhows are one of the most magical sights of the Swahili Coast. One of the most ancient ships in the world, they originated in India between 600 BC and 600 AD before being adopted by the Omanis who brought them to Zanzibar.
The art of palm-tree scaling
If you’ve seen our gardeners shinning up a palm tree equipped with only a rope, you may have wondered how they do it. Now is your chance to find out. One of our team will be delighted to demonstrate this authentic Swahili art. He will also teach you how to weave your own palm mat or beach hat – the ultimate Zanzibar takeaway.
Stone Town, the sight you can’t afford to miss
You can’t visit Zanzibar without seeing the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town. A veritable wonderland of Sultan’s palaces, stone lanes, vibrant markets, antique emporiums and Omani fortresses, Stone Town is matchless and the world’s most perfect example of a Swahili town. The tour also includes visits to the Sultan’s Harem and Maruhubi Baths, the slave market and slave chambers, Prison Island and the unmissable spice gardens. Book your trip at our Guest Relations Desk.
Whilst you’re with us you may like to make an extraordinarily fulfilling eco-trip. We support a local sea turtle rescue programme that works in tandem with our local fishermen. The fishermen are rewarded for not fishing with the nets responsible for ensnaring turtles. They also work to rehabilitate those turtles that have suffered from coastal plastic contamination. Exceptionally worthwhile, the project also offers turtle nest protection and supervision of baby turtles on their first journey from nest to sea. Every visit also includes a trip to the Sea Turtle lagoon, which acts as rehabilitation space for young or damaged sea turtles and a chance to join the ‘Trash to Treasures’ creative recycling/up-cycling project. Operating in tandem with the action group, World Unite, and the local community, this project is committed to transforming the island’s plastic refuse into useful commodities such as building materials. For more details please contact our Guest Relations Desk.
Jozani Forest, home to the Zanzibari red colobus monkey
One of the last remaining tropical forests on the planet, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is the island’s only national park and is soon to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A green and shady realm, traversed by nature trails and boardwalks that meander through extensive mangrove swamps, this tiny park offers a glimpse into the Zanzibar of prehistoric times. It’s also a sanctuary for the rare and endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, Ader’s duiker, the Zanzibar servaline genet, bush babies, 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds. The professionally guided walk takes around an hour and make a rewarding excursion for couples and families alike.