Maruhubi and Mtoni Palace Ruins, Zanzibar - Stein Travel
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Maruhubi and Mtoni Palace Ruins

If you are looking for a place to escape the bustle of Stone Town for a few hours, head north to the peaceful Maruhubi and Mtoni Palace ruins. Sultan Said bin Sultan first built Mtoni between 1828 and 1834 after he left Muscat and made Zanzibar his throne and it was also the childhood home of Princess Salme. The decadent Maruhubi Palace was built later in the 1880s by Sultan Barghash, as a harem for his 99 concubines and wife. The structure was mainly wooden and one of the most beautiful of its time, but was gutted by a fire in 1889 and left in ruins. The rolling lawns, bathhouses and water lily ponds are reminiscent of the life of affluence enjoyed by the palace residents over a century ago. To view a well-preserved Hammam from the 1850s continue north to the Kidichi Persian Baths, constructed by Sultan Seyyid Said for his Persian wife.

Information & Facts

Admission

Free

Language

Swahili and English are the official languages. Several indigenous languages are also spoken.

Money

The official unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), divided into 100 cents. The tourism industry prices everything in US Dollars and they are the preferred unit of currency. Major currencies can be exchanged in the larger towns. Foreign exchange bureaux in the main towns usually offer a better rate on travellers cheques than do the banks. ATMs are available in major cities only. Major lodges, some hotels and travel agents in urban areas accept credit cards, but these should not be relied on and can incur a 10% surcharge.

Time

GMT +3.

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