The Zanzibar Archipelago has some of Africa’s best beaches: gorgeous, long stretches of fine white sand fringed by palm trees. You’ll find a wide variety of hotels and lodges: something to suit everyone from luxurious, all-inclusive resorts to ‘barefoot luxury’ private islands and simple, inexpensive beach retreats. In addition to tours and relaxing on the beach, we can arrange deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and SCUBA trips. In addition to flying into Zanzibar, several ferries runs between Dar es Salaam and the island.
The heart of Zanzibar, Stone Town, was constructed during the 19th century: a labyrinth of narrow alleys complete with palaces, mosques, and tiny shops. It’s noisy, busy and not very clean – but it has a vibrant, exotic atmosphere that can be enticing! Stay here for a night or two – it’s often convenient for international flights – at one of the beautiful converted merchant’s houses, and look forward to eating out.
Two or three hours drive from Stone Town, the village of Nungwi marks the northern-most tip of Zanzibar. The turquoise-blue ocean surrounds it on three sides; Nungwi has long been a magnet for visitors seeking paradise. Come for some good diving and beaches, and proximity to a lively village where there’s always a lot going on.
East Coast Zanzibar
The northern part of east coast Zanzibar is lined with long, powder-white beaches. This is a more serene location than the north but close to many day tours and there are wonderful beaches here. Offshore you’ll find the magical Mnemba Island – the ultimate island lodge for those who can afford it.
Michamvi Peninsula and Southeast Zanzibar
South along the east coast of Zanzibar and the beach remains stunning: powder-white sand with a barrier reef, lots of palm trees and a significant tidal range. The villages become a little sleepier and more relaxed as you head south, and Jambiani, in particular, is very relaxed indeed. For an authentic visit to a friendly village, you can’t beat it.
Fumba Peninsula is south of Stone Town. Like the south-east of Zanzibar, this is a very relaxed and friendly corner of the island which has seen few visitors. There are two good lodges here –– whilst offshore is the award-winning eco-resort on Chumbe Island.
Pemba is a 30-minute flight northeast of Zanzibar. Though comparable in size, its economy is largely rural and agricultural. It’s almost exclusively Muslim, with a people who are more traditional in their occupations, and more conservative in their approach.
Although not part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, the neighboring Mafia Archipelago is a group of equally magical Indian Ocean islands, just south of Zanzibar – which has just a handful of small lodges. These are more remote, and quieter, than many places on Zanzibar – and the diving and snorkeling are generally better here.