Arguably the jewel of the Indian Ocean Zanzibar is one of the few unspoilt paradises left on Earth. A 90km x 30km main island that sits between 25 to 50km off the coast of Tanzania, when including all of the islands in this archipelago. Exotic, secluded, pristine and inspiring, it is easy to see why Zanzibar if often referred to as magical. To relax after a safari in Tanzania or recover after the epic Kilimanjaro climb Zanzibar is the place to go for enjoying one of the world’s most beautiful places.
If you want perfect beaches, you will be spoilt for choice. Silky white sands run into the crystal clear turquoise sea as palm trees frame the coast. Here are some of the best. Nungwi is special for its lack of tides and has a vibrant yet chilled out nightlife. Practically next to Nungwi is Kendwa, which has probably the most perfect shade of turquoise water in Zanzibar. The beach has a number of bandas, a type of shade hut that you can relax under. Sunsets here are amazing and dusk often inspires a game of beach football.
In the south-east of Zanzibar is Paje, one of Zanzibar’s nicest beach towns. It has fantastic palm tree lined beaches, beach bars, cosy restaurants, good swimming, and is a great place if you enjoy meeting your fellow travellers. It is also a particularly good spot for water activities. For luxury, five star hotels head to the north-east of Zanzibar to Kiwengwa. Here endless stretches of white sand line the coast offering visitors exclusivity and tranquillity.
If you love spending time outdoors, you’ll find no shortage of thrilling and relaxing activities here. Zanzibar is blessed with stunning coral reefs that are amazing for diving and snorkelling. There are a number of companies providing trips to the best reefs, including the stunning Mnemba Atoll Marine Park. Kitesurfing has become one of the most popular activities on the east coast of Zanzibar. There are training schools throughout this area that cater to complete beginners to the more advanced. Fishing is another brilliant activity with big game fish the main draw, especially in the Pemba Channel. If you’re more in the mood for pure relaxation sample some of the treatments at the world-renowned spas.
HistoryDestination Zanzibar has a somewhat mysterious and certainly interesting history. This history has left a unique blend of cultural influences here. Spend a day exploring Stone Town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that has been influenced by Indian, African, and Moorish cultures over the centuries. The town is a maze of tiny streets that take you on a journey through this magical place. Perhaps one of the most moving historic sites is the Slave Market, certainly an eye opener to this horrible period of history.
Zanzibar has a range of accommodation options to choose for your holiday. Maru Maru has excellent views of Stone Town and a boutique style. Africa House Hotel resides on Stone Town’s waterfront in one of Zanzibar’s most historic buildings. For those on a budget Funguni Palace Hotel offers good value and basic but clean facilities. You will find everything from budget to extreme luxury and everything in between in Zanzibar.