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“See Zanzibar”

Eco & Culture Tours
Ranked #3 of 19 Tours in Stone Town
Attraction details
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“See Zanzibar”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I felt veryy sorry for the people living there because life is difficult. To see what they are using for publick transport. But this is really something you must see, does not help me telling you. The people are very thankfull and honest and it is save to walk the streets in a group.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank ZantesVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jerusalem
Level Contributor
89 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“experiencing Zanzibar”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Having read the comments on Eco & Culture Tours on Tripadvisor, I got in touch with them before my trip to Zanzibar: the communication with Robert was fluent and to the point; after consulting another tour operator too, I chose Eco & Culture because with them I could take part in shared tours, much cheaper than private tours for a solo traveler like me.

I took two full day tours and two half day tours with this company. They were always on time, had good vehicles and boats, were polite and cheerful, and delivered all what they had promised. Here are the main details of each tour.

Full day tour visiting Kizimkazi beach, taking there a motor boat to see and swim with dolphins, followed by a visit to Jozani forest and to the Butterfly center: everything was beautiful and interesting apart from the dolphin experience, but this is no fault of the company but of the specific way this activity is done. Motor boats rush at top speed after the dolphins in order to allow tourists to jump into the water and swim with the animals, who are disturbed in this way for several hours on a daily basis. I was able to see six dolphins in two groups of three each, but decided not to get into the water so as not to contribute to the confusion. In my opinion, ecology conscious people should ask for another type of visit, with slower boats that would allow seeing the dolphins from quite a close distance without annoying them. The rest of the tour was wonderful, both the beautiful beach at dawn where a fish auction was taking place when I arrived, the Jozani forest with its mangrove vegetation and its rare red monkeys, and the really interesting Butterfly center.

Full day tour called Safari Blue: it was my best day in Zanzibar, an unforgettable experience. We snorkeled in two different places for as long as we liked over incredibly beautiful corals and tropical fishes, accompanied by a member of the staff who took special care of the children in our group, we had a short stop on a sandbank to swim, snorkel or sunbathe, then we swam in a lagoon where the shallow water allowed even non swimmers to refresh themselves. Afterwards we had lunch in a shaded area with tables and benches on a wonderful beach; there were clean ecological toilets, soap and water to wash hands; the food - vegetarian and grilled fish and seafood - was fantastic, cooked before our eyes, and at the end we received many different sorts of tropical fruits and were explained about them. After lunch, we could rest on sun beds under the shadow of coconut trees, take a walk on the sparkling white sand beach and swim again. On the way back we were lucky enough to see four dolphins; we finished our tour sailing and relaxing in the dhow. We were offered soft drinks, beer, coconut water, fruit and sweets all the time while on board. I didn't count the number of people in my dhow, but I think we were about 10-12; there were two other dhows that day. I have read some bitter comments about the amount of tourists taking part in Safari Blue: well, we had to wait a few minutes to get our lunch, but I never felt as part of a herd; furthermore, I had the opportunity to talk with many interesting tour companions, as well as with the members of the crew. A must for anybody visiting Zanzibar.

Half day tour to Prison Island: a short boat trip with three other persons to the center for giant land turtles, astonishing creatures, followed by a visit to the historical building that was projected as a prison but instead became a quarantine hospital for sailors from infected ships and is nowadays a hotel. After the visit, we had the opportunity to snorkel among corals and tropical fish. All in all, a very pleasant morning. If you just wish to visit Prison Island, you can simply take a boat on the sea promenade and pay the entrance fee to the turtle center.

Half day Spice tour: we traveled to a spice farm near Stone Town, where we were shown many different spices, received explanations about them and had the possibility to smell and taste them; some local young men made vegetation ornaments for us and climbed a coconut tree to cut some coconuts. Then we were taken to a small village where we had the possibility to buy spices and were shown some more. Afterwards we had a delicious vegetarian meal cooked with the right amount of spices for Western palates in a large Bedouin- style tent. According to what I can remember we were twelve tourists, ten young American volunteers, a British lady and myself, so the minibus wall full but not overcrowded. After lunch, the ten Americans continued to a beach afternoon with the minibus, while the lady and I returned to Stone Town with a local bus. This was comfortable enough and an experience I was looking forward to; the only problem was that, at first, the guide told us to take the bus and manage back to our hotels from Stone Town bus station on our own, not an easy thing when you have been only for a few days there; we insisted we wanted to be guided back and they did so with a smile. If you decide to take this tour, try to combine it with an afternoon on the beach or make sure you are taken back to your hotel.

I recommend Eco & Culture Tours to anybody visiting Zanzibar.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank Miriam d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poznan, Poland
Level Contributor
64 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Reliable and very communicative tour operators”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We booked most of our excursions from Eco & Culture Tours before our departure to Zanzibar. Via-email communication with them was great. Robert patiently answered all our emails and was helpful to arrange all the special requests that we had. We emailed our inquiry to a number of companies and although Eco and Culture was not (financially) the best offer we got, the response we got from them was most comprehensive and eventually they were able to match the best price we got.

We took Jozani Forrest Tour, Spice Tour, Prison Island, Jambiani Village Community Tour and some transfers with them. Our guide – Jamal - was great! Our driver was so nice that we kept using his services during all our stay on the island. Everything was great organized and punctual.

Robert’s (boss) English is impeccable and he is willing to take time to make sure your individual needs are met. 100% recommended!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank redsnapper30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Spice Tour”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

It is a Must do while in Zanzibar and the local Guides available are quite good and they know all about the spices. Did enjoy it to the fullest.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Kedar K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piraeus, Greece
Level Contributor
100 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“couldn't be better”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

my partner and I chose Eco and Culture Tours in 3 different occasions and we had a great experience.
The communication with Robert was excellent, prompt and professional even before arriving in Zanzibar.
We were suppose to do only the Safari Blue Tour which was a true apocalypse of beauty and the Spice tour which was exactly what it was described to us but we added a new Tour, the South east Coast of Zanzibar which is a "must do" tour since we started from the Mango grove, continued to Bweju and Paje beaches, had a great and informative tour in Jambiani and saw how rope is done by coconuts, had a great swim in Jambiani's emerald beach and then continued to Makunduchi and Kizimkazi villages.
Overall a great experience

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank covaltio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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