History and Culture
The location and building furthermore have an interesting history. Originally the house of a wealthy Arab merchant, folklore has it that the square was christened, Kelele – Swahili for noise - because of the noisy dogs that the residing Europeans brought with them at the time.
Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar and is made up of ancient coral stone/lime stone houses with their famous carved wooden doors, palaces from the Omani days and a treasure trove of bazaars and galleries.
The Zanzibar Stone Town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000. The island of Zanzibar is known as the ‘Spice Island’ because of its long-standing association with the spice industry.
Steeped in history the hotel location is the ideal setting for business and leisure travellers. There’re stunning views with the backdrop of Indian Ocean where the promenade and island’s port enhance the atmosphere and ambiance.
Visitors can experience the exotic melting pot of cultures from Persian, Omani, Indian and Swahili influences which are reflected through the art, architecture, cuisine, music (Taarab) and the plethora of sights and sounds.
The area is known for its historical building & intricate architecture. Highlights include Tipu Tip House (where once lived one of Africa’s most colourful buccaneer), Slave Market (was centre of east Africa’s slave trade) the unforgettable Slave Chambers, National Museum, High Court of Zanzibar, Sultans Palace, Old Fort & House of Wonders. Biggest market in Stone Town is Darajani Market (also known as ‘Estella Market’). Here is the Fish Market (fish auctioned in loud voices), mountains of dried spices, fresh fruits, households, Kangas and list goes on. The market never fails to attract fashionistas interested in old Zanzibari jewellery and new trending designs.
A wide variety of excursions can be arranged for visitors by the hotel. These excursions can range from cultural, nature based to marine and sunset dhow cruises. Tours offered to date are: The Spice Tour, Stone Town Tour, Dolphin Adventure, City Tour, Dolphin Tour, Jozani Forest, Safari Blue, Prison Island, Culture Tours & North & South Coast Tours, Zanzibar Butterfly. Zanzibar is mysterious, romantic and intriguing. Explore the islands and discover the evocative heritage of Omani sultans, slave traders, spice merchants, fascinating culture of the Zanzibaris, swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, and relax on the white sandy beaches beneath palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze.
No visit to Zanzibar is complete without visiting some of the incredible historical sites on Zanzibar.
The Spice Tour
For centuries famed for its cloves market, Zanzibar is still the pre-eminent spice market of eastern Africa. This tour enables guests to touch, smell and tastes a whole world of spices.
Stone Town Tour
This tour takes you through the historical Stone Town, famous for its intricate architecture and rich history and on to some of the island’s most famous historical points. You will visit the town market, the Tipu Tip House (where once lived one of Africa’s most colourful buccaneer), the Slave Market (that was the centre of east Africa’s slave trade) the unforgettable Slave Chambers, the National Museum, the High Court of Zanzibar, the Sultans Palace, the House of Wonders and the Old Fort.
Jozani Forest Tour
This tour will take you to the south east of Zanzibar, right at the heart of a beautiful green mangroves forest. The forest is home to many endemic species, including the rare Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey.
This excursion diverts to the southern tip of the Island where Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins are frequently seen. The trip doubles as an exceptional opportunity to snorkel or just swim in the Indian Ocean. Lunch of a variety of local and seafood dishes is served in one of the many small restaurants on the beach.
The Safari Blue
This adventurous excursion will take you in a motorized dhow to the south west of the Island. The trip will take you to the mangroves forest, then on to one of the many sand banks for snorkelling before making a stop on the famous Kwale Island where your chance of making new acquaintances with Dolphins is a remarkable 85%.
Lunch on the Island is a sumptuous BBQ affair with local specialties and a choice of homemade local sauces. Late afternoon offers a choice of further snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing.
We take special pride in ensuring the first month of marriage for our honeymooner guests is worthy of recounting to the grandchildren several generations down the line. After the stress of planning the biggest day of your life -and in appreciation of your changed status and circumstances- we want to ensure that this is a time of relaxation and ‘enjoyment’ of each other’s company and love.
HOUSE OF WONDERS (BEIT-EL-AJAIB)
THE OLD FORT
DARAJANI & FISH MARKET