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
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
We recommend Zanzibar for…
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.
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.
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 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 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.