Situated 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania, the Zanzibar archipelago is one of Africa's best-known and most attractive destinations.
Composed of two islands, Unguja (worldwide known as Zanzibar) and Pemba, this archipelago reveals an amazing mixture of African, Indian and Arab cultures. You can expect to find palaces remaining from the original Arabian settlement, Bazaars, active spice plantations; but ultimately you will find local Swahili African culture pervading through the island.
Zanzibar Island remained an independent country until 1964 when the archipelago was united to mainland Tanganyika to form the present-day nation of Tanzania.
Zanzibar is the ultimate Indian Ocean experience. To try and describe the beaches and surroundings of Zanzibar Island in words is like trying to simplify the feeling you would get if all senses were stimulated at the same time – sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. You literally need sun glasses just to look at the bright, white sands and you may wish to keep them on until you can truly enjoy the deep red setting sun as it disappears into the ocean.
You can smell the abundant spice as you take a walk through the weaving streets in Stone Town on this infamous ‘Spice Island’. The sounds of the ocean are utterly relaxing against the subtle bustle of local life and people enjoying a coffee in the sunshine. When you touch the local hand made clothing made from the finest materials (far from a mass production line!), you can enjoy wearing smooth luxury while supporting local entrepreneurs!
Taste is something unique in Stone Town if you visit the Forodhani Gardens where fresh, locally sourced seafood is served up in front of you while you share a bench with others and hear their local or travel stories.
Activities and experiences on Zanzibar are plenty, to cater for those that like a more leisurely pace and those looking for adventure in the ocean or investigating the local village areas. For ocean lovers, you will find snorkeling, diving, fishing and / or cruising to nearby islands as options.
For those that wish to understand Swahili culture and take their time exploring, you can rely on our experienced, enthusiastic “original” guides to give you their time and knowledge in getting to know more of the history of Zanzibar.
Quite simply, one of the primary reasons Zanzibar has attracted visitors from all over the world is its diversity as an island that has grown with its increase in tourism yet it still offers so much more than just a ‘beach holiday’. For people with certain music interests you may also be surprised and delighted to know it’s the birth place of Freddie Mercury and ‘Queen’. Come to Zanzibar and find your own ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
We have put together some suggested itineraries for time spent on Zanzibar which you can find here.