Why choose Zanzibar?

Throughout history, explorers have been drawn to the mystical coastline of East Africa and the island of Zanzibar is one of those reasons. The Zanzibar Archipelago lies off the coast of Tanzania in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. It is made up of over 50 islands, of which Zanzibar is the largest boasting some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world, interspersed with picturesque fishing villages.

Equally beautiful Pemba Island lies to the north of Zanzibar and Mafia Island, with its sensational diving, lies to the south alongside other tiny coral atolls with creepers and turtle nests waiting to be explored. Monsoon winds from Persia have bought traders from all over the world to these Islands for centuries offering an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of their colourful history.

Places to visit

East Coast Zanzibar

The East Coast of Zanzibar is lined with pristine white sandy beaches. The warm Indian Ocean offers ideal conditions for tropical marine life along the coral reefs, rocks and ship wrecks, making it perfect for diving and snorkelling. The extreme low tides expose small lagoons filled with star fish, sea urchins and small minnows, while the high tide offers a great open platform for the popular kite surfing, kayaking and many other water sports.

Stone Town

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main town in Zanzibar. It is the key to the hundreds of years of history of the island and houses many historical sites that tell the story about Zanzibar. Hand carved wooden doors and balconies studded with brass decorations line the twisting maze of narrow streets of Stone Town which are filled with locally made jewellery, fabrics, paintings and carvings. We’d recommend spending 1 night here & incorporating a Stone Town Tour and a Spice Tour.

Northern Zanzibar

A few hours’ drive from Stone Town on the northern shores of the island, warm crystal blue waters lap the white powder sands that you can walk along for miles. The village of Nungwi on the northern most tip is a bustling backpacker filled with many lively places to stay, eat and drink. It’s also home to a small sea turtle sanctuary where volunteers from around the world spend time helping and nursing rescued turtles to be released back into the wild.

Mafia Island

Just forty minutes flight from Dar es Salaam, Mafia Island is a magnet for divers with its unspoiled barrier reefs, rich in corals, sponges, sea anemones and staggering array of wave upon wave of colourful fish. Dolphins and turtles swim beside you and, on land, at dusk, flying foxes take off from the trees. The Island is covered in rich rainforest and dotted with villages among the passion fruit, mango and paw-paw trees. Despite all its attractions Mafia is still virtually unknown and wonderfully unvisited.

Southern Zanzibar

The South West is a very relaxed and friendly corner of Zanzibar. South of Stone Town airport is the Fumba Peninsula where you’ll find a few small secluded lodges. The sand is not as white as that on the East Coast and hence this area has fewer visitors. Diving and trips to explore the nearby lagoons and islands can be arranged. Further south, the village of Kizimkazi is home to wild dolphins where each year between March and July, these animals gather together to prepare for their annual migration.

Pemba Island

A stay on Pemba Island offers a 'taste of paradise'. Smaller and more densely vegetated than Zanzibar, it also grows more cloves than its larger sister and at harvest time the air is filled with their scent. Explore the rural farming and fishing villages, between which you will find women in bright kangas attending the crops in bright green fields. Off-shore coral islands have white sand and nesting turtles at night and offer some of the best diving in East Africa.

When to visit Zanzibar

As a general guideline, Zanzibar follows a similar weather pattern to Tanzania. There are two distinct rainy seasons: the unpredictable ‘short rains’ (November and December) and the ‘long rains’ (March to May) where afternoon tropical downpours are common, and the humidity is high. The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the long dry season. You can expect clear skies, plenty of sun and little to no rain, making it an ideal time for a beach holiday and for water sports including snorkelling and diving. Another popular time to visit is during January and February when it’s hot and dry and as it’s often quieter than the main dry season.

A Sample Of What You Can Experience

ZANZIBAR & ISLANDS

START PLANNING YOUR ZANZIBAR HOLIDAY

Our team are on hand to help plan your tailor-made holiday to Zanzibar. Give us a call on +44 (0)1823 452160 or email us here.

We recommend Zanzibar for…

HONEYMOONS

Zanzibar & the Spice Islands are a wonderful choice for a romantic honeymoon in East Africa. Blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters, the exotic islands combine romance and culture with tranquil surroundings and intimate, luxury accommodations.

BUSH & BEACH

Tanzania & Zanzibar offer an ideal combination for a bush & beach holiday. Begin with a classic safari in Tanzania with abundant wildlife, dramatic landscapes and diverse cultures. Then retreat to the white sandy beaches and turquoise shallows of the paradise island of Zanzibar for a relaxing coastal stay.

ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS

Zanzibar combines adventure activities and adrenaline with beautiful scenery and local culture. From guided spice tours to water sports activities, Zanzibar offers everything from kitesurfing to stand up paddle boarding and some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling in the world.

Zanzibar & Islands Accommodation

ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar offers everything from luxury hotels, private beach villas, boutique hotels and luxury beach resorts across the island. Many visitors choose to stay either in one or two beach areas, often combined with a night or two in Stone Town. For a relaxed beach stay on the East Coast of Zanzibar, we particularly like the Zanzibar Collection. This collection of 4 privately owned hotels and resorts inspired by the magic of Zanzibar are located next to each other on the idyllic white sand Bwejuu Paje Beach.

We particularly like Breezes Beach Club & Spa, an ideal choice for those in search of an affordable romantic getaway. Zawadi Hotel is another favourite for honeymooners offering a private, intimate getaway beach retreat with only 12 spacious villas & a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. The Palms is even more exclusive with only 7 villas in a personalised and intimate setting. For those looking for the ultimate luxury 5* luxury retreat on the island, we’d highly recommend Baraza Resort & Spa.

For accommodation on the northern tip of the island, we like The Z Hotel. Situated 50kms from Stone Town in a secluded plot on the corner of an idyllic beach in Nungwi, this chic, boutique hotel blends elegant, contemporary design with traditional Zanzibari features to create a unique cool and relaxing environment. Another favourite is Matemwe located on a quiet beach on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar framed by coconut palms and white sands.

MAFIA ISLAND

Mafia Island has a range of accommodation options to choose from. It is well suited to budget travellers who head straight through town and over to one of the more upmarket small lodges on Chole Island.

One of our favourite places to stay on Mafia Island is a lovely, relaxed luxury eco-lodge called Pole Pole. It has a peaceful and private atmosphere perfect both for those looking for relaxation after a safari and for the ocean-lovers who just can’t get enough of diving, sailing, islets and sandbanks. It is ideal as a perfect honeymoon getaway set amongst coconut palms on a hillside sloping up from the beach,

Pole Pole organises a variety of activities and excursions: by boat, by 4x4 car and by foot. The Marine Park offers exquisite sites for scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing and the occasion of visiting the local villages. Boat excursions and picnics in isolated islets, sandbanks or islands are arranged daily in accordance with the tidal patterns. In addition to the wonders of its reefs that make it a world-class diving destination, Mafia Island hosts the rare pleasure of swimming with whale sharks.

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