The Rock, Zanzibar is one of the most iconic restaurants in the world and I visited for the first time in 2014. I’ve eaten there about 6 or 7 times since and it’s always a favourite day on the Rock My Adventure Tanzania trips.
So with that in mind, I wanted to share a few tips with you to make sure you make the most of your visit to The Rock!
Dining at The Rock Zanzibar: Everything You Need to Know
Book a Table
The Rock is a popular restaurant, so make sure that you book a table, especially if there is a big group of you.
They usually don’t allow you to just go for a drink and the restaurant is reserved for diners only. They do have an outdoor terrace, but it’s just for diners.
They have sittings 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm – you get a 2-hour slot.
Check the Tide Times
This is an important one.
Everyone wants the amazing picture of them with the gorgeous turquoise blue water behind them (as above). But what most people don’t realise, is that it doesn’t always look like that.
The tides on the east coast of Zanzibar are pretty dramatic, so don’t be surprised if the tide is out when you are there. When the tide is out, it looks like the picture below. Still cool, but a lot less picture perfect! I learned this the hard way the first time I went and was really disappointed.
Saying that when the tide is out it can create a wonderful mirror effect in the shallow water and you’ll often see the local women gathering seaweed.
If you want to guarantee the turquoise blue photos a) avoid the rainy seasons and b) check the Zanzibar tides and time your visit with high tide (or thereabouts) if you can.
You May Need to Take a Boat To/From the Restaurant
If the tide is in when you arrive or leave, you will need to take a boat. This is pretty fun as you watch the boatmen dealing with the tides. Plus, it’s literally just a few minutes.
If the tide is out, you can easily walk it. Just be careful not to slip on the rocks.
Go For the Experience, Not the Food
The food at The Rock is really good, but… it’s not the best food you’ll get in Zanzibar.
If you’re looking for a full-on culinary experience, I recommend the Emerson Spice Tea House or Emerson on Hurumzi. But if you’re looking for nice food, a super cool location, and perfect photo ops, then The Rock is the place to go.
Whilst it’s not super formal, it’s nice to dress up a bit for The Rock. I always like to wear something bright and colourful to contrast with the sea!
But remember you’ll need to take your shoes off to walk to the restaurant, unless you wear water sandals.
They Take Cash & Card
The nearest ATM to the Rock is in the village of Paje, a popular holiday destination around 20 minutes along the coast. Thankfully, they also take debit & credit cards.
Remember That the Sun Sets Early in Zanzibar
Remember sunset is early around 6 – 6.30, so you need to be there earlier if you want to see it in daylight. The last dining session is at 6pm, so it will be dark by the time you leave and as it’s on the east coast, you won’t be able to see the sunset either way.
Things To Do Pre/Post Your Visit to The Rock
The Rock is located in Michanvi Pingwe. If you want to make the most of your visit, you could spend some time at adjacent Upendo, a cool hotel/bar on the beach which has great views of The Rock. Or if it’s getting towards sunset, head over to the other side of the peninsular to Kae Funk, where you’ll be able to watch the sunset.
Enjoy your visit to The Rock! Let me know how you get on in the comments below!
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