Things to do in Zanzibar When it Rains

The rainy season in Zanzibar has the greatest effect on tourists on the island. Many tourists dislike visiting Zanzibar island when it approaches the rainy season. The reason for this is not far-fetched as there is a reduction in fun and exciting activities during this period.

The rainy season in Zanzibar begins around March and gets intense towards April and May. Many activities guests engage in while on the island require them to step out of their settlements. Unfortunately, the rain would hinder them from moving out of their accommodation.

However, there are still plenty of things to do in Zanzibar, even as the rainfall gets more intense. If you are wondering what these fun activities are, you are in the right place. I will disclose these tips and show you how you can easily get around the island with little help from locals.

List of Fun Things to do in Zanzibar when it rains

1. Grab a pizza at Forodhani Gardens

While it rains on the island, fewer tourists are outside their hotels and resorts. Almost everyone tries as much as possible to stay away from the rain and do other exciting things indoors. However, there are some interesting things you can do outside your accommodation.

For example, Forodhani Gardens, located in the central city of Stone Town, is a major attraction, especially in the rainy season. At Forodhani, several stalls and shops display and sell seafood, urojo soup, meat kebabs, seafood, sugar cane juice, and of course, Zanzibar pizzas.

It is called the “Zanzibar pizza” because it differs from the typical pizza style. The Zanzibar pizza is a flat pancake-style, though, filled with spices cooked in ghee. Of course, you can have your pizza accompanied by your favorite cocktail. In essence, this pizza is perfect for cold weather.

2. Learn about the Slave Trade

The rainy season in Zanzibar has fewer activities compared to the hotter season. However, you can take out a day during this rainy season to learn about the slave trade at Zanzibar. One way or the other, you must have heard about the Zanzibar slave trade, which went on for many years.

The island has a blend of African, Indian, Arabic, and European heritages, resulting from the diverse cultural groups present during the slave trade. It is rare to find a cultural mix such as this elsewhere, making it worth exploring and discovering more about it.

The Zanzibar we know today was once a ground full of numerous atrocities you might be interested in. Exploring the island and its historical places and museums can give you a great picture of all that happened during these past times.

If you are enthusiastic about the slave trade at Zanzibar, you can pay your respects at the Slave Monument, visit the Old Slave Market, etc. In addition, you can tour the house of David Livingstone, who played an important role in the abolition of the slave trade in Zanzibar.

3. Get around the island on a Dala Dala

Exploring Zanzibar, especially when it is sunny, is usually stressful and easily tiring. For this reason, the island is best explored in the rainy season, when you can retain your energy the most. To explore the island, your best choice is to get on a Dala Dala.

If you are visiting Zanzibar for the first time, there are higher chances that you haven’t heard of the Dala Dala. Well, you have heard of it now, and I’ll describe what it means. A Dala Dala is a minibus, usually packed and sweaty, but considered one of the best means to get around the island.

Your trip to Zanzibar or even Tanzania would be incomplete without going on a ride in a Dala Dala. This minibus isn’t considered fully safe, but the experience you will get is worth surely worth the trial. In addition, the Dala Dala is an economical way to get around Zanzibar.

If you are interested in boarding a Dala Dala on your visit to Zanzibar, you can find them in Darajini Market of Stone Town. Getting to Stone Town is quite easy, even by just asking around. From the market, you can navigate almost everywhere in Zanzibar.

4. Go on a short village tour

It is ideal for you to visit as many villages as possible on your vacation to Zanzibar. It is usually more fun, especially when you go with a group. However, nothing beats going on an organized village tour with a guide to hand picked village on Zanzibar island.

Visiting a village all by yourself isn’t bad, but it becomes easier when you have a tour guide with you. This way, you will better understand the day-to-day life of the villagers and they run their activities. To begin, you must already have a choice of the village to visit.

A perfect village to tour is Jambiani, located on the east coast of Zanzibar. Jambiani is a small fishing village and home to the most beautiful coastlines on the island. Unfortunately, you might be unable to spend quality time at these beaches due to the rainy season.

On your tour, you can see the fishermen, traditional individuals, seaweed farms, and women’s groups, amongst many others. Another benefit of organizing tours to these villages is that you can take pictures as long as you have a tour guide with you.

5. Attend a festival in Zanzibar

Even with its rich cultural heritage, it is normal to have a lot of festivals in Zanzibar. The great thing is that these festivals do not have special seasons when they are organized, allowing you to come anytime. Of course, there are different festivals, and I will point a few out.

The festivals include the Sauti za Busara, The Zanzibar International Film Festival, The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival, and many more. The first, Sauti za Busara is a music festival organized in Stone Town. Sauti za Busara takes place in February and features great artists from different parts of Africa.

The Zanzibar Film Festival, one of the largest film, music, and arts festival in East Africa, takes place any time of the year. Here, you will find the best talents around in this niche and vibe with them while getting yourself entertained too. The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival is impossible in the rainy season.

6. Try cooking Zanzibari Style

One of the most interesting things to do on holidays is to cook. Sometimes, cooking can be tiring, but it can never be boring when trying new things. Therefore, the holiday is the best time to try that new recipe and see how it tastes.

The food is also one of the many ways to know more about the local culture of a place like Zanzibar. You can take a few cooking lessons while on the island and learn the different cooking styles of the Tanzanian people. Some tutors will take you to the markets to buy ingredients.

7. Go on Safari Blue

Known as the best boat trip in Zanzibar, Safari Blue is a must-try for every tourist on the island. This unique boat trip begins in the small village of Fumba, located on the island’s south coast, down to Menai Bay, with several attractions.

At Menai Bay, you can see and swim with dolphins for as long as you wish. Many tourists prefer coming here for snorkeling, with many opportunities to explore the reefs. All guests on the boat trip are served lunch, which is a seafood buffet.

The lunch menu includes fish, calamari, fresh lobster, chicken, and several veggie choices. Of course, there are provisions for drinks ranging from non-alcoholic to alcoholic types.

Final words

The rainy season in Zanzibar, also known as the “Long Rains,” begins around March and extends to June. However, the rains become more intense and pick up a greater tempo as the season approaches April and May. Although activities are reduced, exploring the island is still a great time.

In addition, you should keep in mind that Zanzibar might look a little empty during this period due to the Long Rains. If you love it crowdy, I recommend you forfeit the idea of going in the rainy season and visiting the island some other time.