Accessibility is not a one size fits all concept. This is an overall accessibility guide for travels, who can then research these attractions themselves to see if they fit your needs!
BlueBay Beach Resort Zanzibar
One of the island of Zanzibar’s most prestigious properties, the Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa is surrounded on one side by 30 acres of tropical gardens and the finest white sand beach on the east coast of the island. This beach resort offers a beautiful in-ground pool, fine wining and dining, sports and leisure facilities, naturally-lit suites, free wifi throughout the resort, and the famous Oasis spa. Not only is this a wonderful destination for vacationers, the resort offers fantastic facilities for meetings, conferences, and weddings.
This hotel offers one accessible room. There are ramps throughout the resort, however none into the boutique or store. The staff at the hotel is very accommodating and is willing to assist with any needs, including food allergies and sensitivities. The willingness of the staff and manager is what makes this resort special, as they try to accommodate every type of guest. Check out the VacayAbility accessibility tour of this resort on Youtube.
Zanzibar Taxi and Tours
Salum, the owner of Zanzibar Taxi and Tours, is truly one of a kind. I could not recommend him more. Not only are the prices some of the most fair and reasonable on the island, the personal touch that Salum offers on both his taxi rides and tours, make this worth booking. As someone with mobility issue, he took that into consideration and tailored the tours so that I would have the least walking possible. He is able to discuss with customers to tailor tours to different types of accessibility needs.
Check out the company Instagram, where you can also reach Salum!
Jozani Forest, also known as Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, is the only national park on Zanzibar Island, and is home to the rare red colobus monkeys and even rarer Zanzibar sykes’ monkeys, as well as 50 species of butterflies and 40 species of birds amongst the jaw-dropping dense, green canopy. Within this canopy exists countless natural remedies; the Jozani Forest is known for every plant or tree to have the ability to cure or aid something. This park acts as a wildlife sanctuary, so walking off the path is prohibited unless aided by an official guide, so tourists can experience nature’s true wonder apart from the rest of attractions offered on Zanzibar Island.
For those in a wheelchair or with other types of mobility needs, this tour may be difficult. There are no true pathways in the forest. However, the mangrove tour is located on a boardwalk so it may be more accessible for those with physical mobility needs. The sounds, touch and other sensory aspects of the tour may work out for those with other type of accessibility needs.
A 20-30 minute boat ride from Stone Town, Zanzibar, rests Changuu Island — a stark contrast of destinations in and of itself. While it’s most commonly known as Prison Island due to the fact that enslaved individuals were detained there, it’s also known as Quarantine island because it once acted as a quarantine zone for yellow fever cases in the early 1900s. On one side of the island is a beautiful refuge for giant sea turtles, and just a five-minute walk away on the other side lies prison ruins that have been overgrown with plant life and naturally turned into a beautiful sight to see.
For those with physical accessibility needs, please make sure that your guide understands this so that you can enjoy the boat ride. There are stairs to access the island. Pathways are located throughout the island for those with other types of accessibility needs. Booking with a guide (see Zanzibar Tour and Taxi above) that understands these locations is key for other types of accomodations.
Located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Stone Town holds prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa due to its mostly-19th century architecture reflecting the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture — a mix of Arab, Persion, Indian, and European design elements. The town’s name is termed by the use of coral stone as the main building material throughout the maze of streets filled with houses, shops, bazaars, and mosques. Major historical buildings and landmarks still remain, mostly on the seafront, making for easily accessible tours while vacationing.
Friendly Taxi and Tours
Friendly Taxi & Tours is located in Zanzibar’s famous Stone Town, where they offer airport and hotel transfers as well as Zanzibar tours with excellent service. Their goal is for visitors to have the smoothest and most excitement-filled experience while visiting Zanzibar and everything it has to offer. They offer tours of Stone Towns history, Zanzibar’s spice plantations, and the stories of regrettable endurance haunting the Slave Coast.
The owners of Friendly Taxi and Tours have an understanding of the need for accessibility and are more than willing to work with customers to address any type of needs to make your experience a great one. Check them out here.
Uzi Island rests south of Zanzibar, and as surprising as it may seem for the second-largest island around Zanzibar, has managed not to be involved in tourism development as most Uzis are fishermen and peasants. Due to the lack of tourism involvement, Uzi Island’s scenery is absolutely fascinating and lush with mangrove, banana plantations, and massive mango trees, and is partly a conservation area of an ecosystem filled with seaweed, corals, and a huge variety of plants and animals, both in and out of the sea. Uzi Island is known for its slow attitude and sleepy island approach to life, which is perfect for those wanting a calm getaway to learn about the island’s culture and history.
I would again recommend going with a guide that can drive to different locations on the island and go during low tide, as it is more accessible in that way.