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Seaview Lodge

For about millennia dhows have extensively voyaged the Indian Ocean and Zanzibar in particular, Zanzibar being a very important gateway into Africa.
The Zanzibar international Film Festival (ZIFF) is one of East Africa’s largest cultural events and usually takes place in July. ZIFF presents an exciting and varied program of international films and videos, music, dance, drama and art exhibitions. In 2010, ZIFF celebrated its 14th anniversary, the festival attracting larger and larger crowds and gaining international prominence giving platform for artwork from across the Dhow countries of Tanzania, India, and Oman etc, giving a unique opportunity to preserve and promote understanding of culture from across the Dhow Countries.

Sauti za Busara, Swahili for sounds of wisdom is East Africa’s Premier music festival, showcasing the best music the Swahili speaking world has to offer. Every February, Stone Town’s Old Fort becomes a hive of activity, hosting Bongo flava stars, Ngoma, Dancers, Drummers, Taarab and Hip hop at the friendliest music festival on the planet.

The friendliest Music Festival in the World.

This festival is a jewel in Zanzibar’s cultural crown. Culture vultures enjoy close encounters with writers and musicians, while also getting put their feet up and enjoy island-life.The rich diversity of festivalgoers, all looking for first class entertainment, also enjoy being mentally stimulated by great debate, frank, and honest discussion. And so, to balance out the fun-side of our festival, we have a topical theme each year that highlights serious issues and encourages festivalgoers to take part in open debate and share their views.

from 18 to 19 August 2012
Eid el fitr is a festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, the Islamic month of fasting and praying to Allah. Eid-el- fitr is by far the most prominent of all festivals in Zanzibar, it is observed by praying, family reunion and feast and exchanging presents. The majority of Zanzibaris adhere to the teachings of Ramadhan which encourage both physical and spiritual restraint, people refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and Muslims stay away from dancing and clubbing.
Eid-el-fitr is looked forward to by everyone in Zanzibar; for the devotees it is the completion of a very important pillar of Islam, for others it is time to eat, drink and smoke as and when they please.
For kids it is time to get a treat from their parents and just an opportunity to wear their best, bright and new clothes. Eid-e l- fitr is undoubtedly the most colourful festival in Zanzibar.

Mwaka kogwa is a four –day celebration to mark the begigining of the Persian New Year, and is most actively celebrated at Makunduchi, in the south of Zanzibar. The origins of this holiday are Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam).
The day has a distinctive fairground feel to it, with hundreds of people clothed in semblance of fancy dress or their best clothes, all out for a day’s fun and celebration. Some of the events include the burning of a mock - up house and the purifying or cleaning of small temples, which house the effigies of good and evil.
There is also the purging of ill - will from both people and the land, to make ready for the New Year.
This is imported by furious running battles between group of males, who beat each other with banana stems (in place of the wooden sticks and staves that were traditionally used)
In this fighting, everyone gets a chance to clear his grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in. As the men fight, the women parade through fields singing songs about life and love. They are dressed in their best clothes and are taunted by the men after the fight is over.
The festivities vary from village to village, but Makunduchi is where the biggest event takes place. The holiday is held every year around the third week of July. The dates are based on the Shiraz calendar and coincide with the Persian New Year, called Nairuzim.


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