We’ve spent a few days in Zanzibar and went through it all. This island is definitely not just about resorts, which most tourists are heading to. Come with us and see how the real Zanzibar looks like.
Nungwi and Kendwa are the most popular places in Zanzibar. There, you will find beautiful beaches with no low tide, but with many tourist resorts and beach sellers. In Jambiani, you can escape that.
Jambiani is a sleepy fishing village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. As you walk the beach, kids say “Jambo!”, you will meet a few beach sellers, but they are really polite. Yes, there’s a low tide, but all in all, it’s the perfect place to spend three or four days. Here are the best things what to do in Jambiani.
Learn how to play Bao game
In Jambiani, you can learn how to play a Zanzibari Bao game. It’s a really interesting and funny game and we have learned how to play from local guy in our bed and breakfast. Bao is not a short game and you can spend hours by playing. But luckily in Jambiani, you’ve got time to do nothing:-)
Swim in the clear, blue water
The water in Zanzibar is the most turquoise blue we’ve ever seen. You can spent many happy hours by swimming and snorkeling in the ocean, or just chilling with the locals.
See the beach life
In Jambiani, life is lived on the beach. You will meet women in colorful hijab, little kids building sandcastles and groups of boys playing soccer.
The huge and waist deep lagoon offers perfect conditions for beginners and intermediate kiters. It is surrounded by a reef far out which means that some corals might find their way to the shore, we recommend neoprene shoes.
It is a shame to travel such a long way to Zanzibar and not get a taste of the culture of real country. We’ve decided to visit Jambiani village with a local guy. Our first steps were to kindergarten in the southern district of Zanzibar, set up in 2000, and provides an early education for local children in languages – Kiswahili, Arabic and English – as well as maths, science and environmental studies.
The best way to know people, culture and real life is to meet them. And if it’s possible to visit them directly at their home. We were lucky and thanks to our local guy, we visited a small family in Jambiani for the lunch and small talk.
Important info about Jambiani
- Jambiani is around an hour and a half away from Stone Town. The easiest way to get there is to a take a private taxi – it costs around $50 for two people.
- Jambiani is small and everything is in easy walking distance.
- Make sure you are dressed modestly whenever venturing away from the beach.
- Zanzibar is mostly Muslim and while bathing suits are acceptable on the beach and in resorts, covering up on the street shows respect for the local culture.
- Men should wear shirts.
- Women will be fine with a kanga (brightly colored cloth) wrapped around.
- It is also possible to rent bicycles, scooters and cars.
- There isn’t much shopping in Jambiani, anything you might need should be purchased in Stone Town.
- There are a few small stores that sell packaged snacks, drinks, water and some basic household goods like soap and shampoo.
- Along the main road there are stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs and some local food.
- There is no ATM in Jambiani. The nearest ATM, banks are in Stone Town.
- We have stayed in beautiful Nur Beach Hotel in Jambiani. It’s a small bead and breakfast directly on the beach, with pool, kitesurfing and very good bar and restaurant. The price was around 60 Eur/2 persons/1 night with breakfast.