prison island zanzibar

Let’s go to Stone Town!

I met with the lovely Aiysha from Aiyshas’ adventures. She is the first, and for the moment,  the only registered women guide in Zanzibar!  I like meeting strong independent women everywhere, so I stayed with her for my entire stay. As a woman, and solo traveler I wanted to discover the island from a different angle.

prison island zanzibar

The lovely Aiysha

So here we go into Aiyshas’ adventures

We started with Stone town.  It’s the historic city center of Zanzibar. It’s now a world heritage site because of his carved wooden doors, and the coral’s blocks use to build the houses.It also has a rich history and culture with Indian, Arab and British influence,  that gave a unique atmosphere to Stone town.
The starting point of the visit, with the beautiful  Forodhani Gardens located along the sea walk.

forodhani garden- stone town

It was a slave marketplace that has been rebuild into a garden after the end of the slave trade

forodhani night market - stone town

At night it becomes a popular street food market where  locals and tourists gather

It’s located near the House of Wonders.  The tallest and most significant building of Stone town built in 1883 by Sultan Bin Said. It was the first building to have electricity and an elevator in the region at that time.

house of wonders stone town zanzibar

It is made of corals, concrete,  steel and mangrove woods.  I didn’t have the chance to enter the palace since it hasn’t been renovated for a while and my guide advised we do not.

house of wonders stone town zanzibar

You can see by yourself the poor state of the palace.  I really hope they will renovate it, it will be such a pity if the place just collapse 🙁

house of wonders cannons - stone town

The front side with two old Portuguese cannons donated to the sultan.

I don’t know if they served for the short Anglo – Zanzibar war that lasted for around 38 and 45 minutes.  It was caused by the death of pro-British sultan Hamid bin Thuwain and succession troubles between the two sons of the sultan.

house of wonders sign stone town

It became a museum around the 2000s, but it’s now closed for safety reasons.

stone town carved doors

This is the beautiful carved wooden doors in the main palace entrance

Just beside the palace is the Old Fort. It’s known as the oldest building of Zanzibar and the only building left by the Portuguese.

fort stone town

The place is now used to host festivals, and there is one going on from the 9 to 12th of February here’s the link to the website Sauti Zanzibar busara

stone town theater

The open theater has been added later by the Arabs

Stone town is a maze, and you can easily get lost in its narrow streets. Aside from the corals used to make the houses the city is also well known for its beautiful carved wooden doors

stone town - Punjabi style door

The owners of the houses used the doors to display their status or origin.  This is a Punjabi style door.

They were mostly merchants, and their houses have some wooden balcony, which according to my guide, they used to watch their shops.

stone town punjabi style

This one is Arabic style; you can spot the Quran calligraphy on the top of the door

stone town -

The Indian style.  And you can see some renovation on this one.

Those doors are now protected, according to my guide some people used to sell them before it became a world heritage site.

This one is in the Anglican cathedral compound.  I guess we can call this Christian style… 😀

That door leads us to our visit of the Christ Church belonging to the Anglican Church of Tanzania.

It’s a historic church built⛪ in 10 years , starting from 1873 based on Edward Steere 3rd bishop of Zanzibar.

It is also made of corals as the others Stone town buildings.

The church is where the most prominent slave market of Zanzibar used to be.  It’s construction was intended to celebrate the end of the slavery.

The altar is said to be where the whipping post of the market used to be.

The church square has a slave monument and museum.

We later went to visit the only remaining slave’s chamber…  At high tide, the room was flooded with water and left with mud after

There’s now a hostel above the room

what a lovely way to end the day than to sit on this rooftop with Aiysha to have a drink and plan our next move.

Since I like supporting the locals, if you need a guide don’t hesitate to contact  Aiysha’s adventures, her empowerment in this field will I hope, inspire other women to take part in the travel industry.

Stay tuned for the rest of my  Aiyshas’ adventure!


Stone town-Zanzibar

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Gabonese expat and Lyonnaise by heart.
I'm an IT Engineer, bloggin at night and a bookworm the remaining time .
Come with me as I travel the world !
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