Best time to visit Zanzibar

Cycling in Zanzibar

Bike routes winding Zanzibar will let you discover the island's real treasures

Best time: June–October | January–February


Discovering the pearl of the Indian Ocean by bike gives a unique opportunity to see its pristine nature, historical landmarks, and even local tribes. Try to find its hidden treasures by cycling! You can choose one of its famous bike routes, take a guide, and set off for adventure.

Explore coral caves filled with stalagmite and stalactite crystal rocks and cycle across rural villages on the Nungwi and the Northern Tip Route.

Another option is to take the Red Earth Village Route to a settlement built on deep red soil and meet its residents and their customs and traditions. Go cycling alongside the Matemwe and the North East Region Route to see beautiful green rice plantations and learn how farmers harvest rice or try picking it yourself.

The Off Road Biking to a Hidden Beach Route is the most adventurous one. As the name of the route suggests, you will go cycling off-road and visit the northern region that has majestic views of the north-west coast and Tumbatu Island. Try your favourite ripe fruit and get a tan at a hidden beach which is known only by locals. Try a cycling trip to Unguja Island and enjoy its beautiful scenery and learn about Swahili culture. Whatever route you choose, remember that cycling in Zanzibar is pretty safe. So go out and enjoy! But keep the seasons in mind while cycling in Zanzibar: during the rainy season many resorts and restaurants are closed, the roads may be rough and even closed for tourists.

Practical info

What are some recommended bike paths to explore in Zanzibar?

There are several bike routes in Zanzibar worth exploring, such as the Nungwi and Northern Tip Route, Red Earth Village Route, Matemwe and the North East Region Route, Off-Road Biking to a Hidden Beach Route, and the cycling trip to Unguja Island. These routes provide tourists with opportunities to experience scenic nature, immerse themselves in the local culture, and discover some historical landmarks. Each route offers a distinctive experience that is unique to Zanzibar. Show more

When is the ideal time to go cycling in Zanzibar?

The best time to cycle in Zanzibar is during the dry season. Tourists are advised to plan their cycling trips from June to October as it's a period of low rainfall and mild temperatures. Additionally, January and February also provide favorable weather conditions. However, the rainy season, which runs from March to May and October to November, poses significant challenges such as poor road conditions and the closure of tourist facilities. It's recommended to avoid visiting during this period. Show more

What makes the Red Earth Village Route stand out?

The Red Earth Village Route is a unique cycling path in Zanzibar that meanders through a settlement built on deep red soil found exclusively in the area. You'll notice that most houses are constructed using this uncommon soil. This route provides an excellent opportunity to interact with the local community, learn the customs, and traditions of the Swahili people. It's an informative and exhilarating experience that offers insight into the culture of Zanzibar. Show more

Where in Zanzibar can I witness the process of rice cultivation?

If you're interested in seeing the beautiful green rice plantations in Zanzibar, then you should visit the Matemwe and the North East Region Route. Visitors can observe how farmers cultivate rice, learn about the rice varieties grown in the region, and even participate in rice-picking. This experience provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in local farming methods and understand the livelihoods of the locals. It's an enriching experience that celebrates the diversity of Zanzibar. Show more

Can tourists safely cycle in Zanzibar?

Cycling in Zanzibar is relatively safe for tourists as the island has many bike routes that are well-maintained and secure. However, it's recommended that cyclists remain alert and avoid cycling in secluded areas or during the night. Low-traffic areas should also be considered when cycling. To get the most out of your cycling experience, it's recommended to hire a guide who can provide insights into the local culture and suggest the best routes to take. Show more

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