Zanzibar, also known as the Spice Islands, is the original tropical paradise. Just off the coast of East Africa, it’s home to golden beaches, flanked by palm trees aside the Indian Ocean.
How to get there
Zanzibar consists of two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, and scores of smaller islands. The main island of Unguja (or Zanzibar) is a 20 minute flight from Dar es Salaam and can also be reached by air from Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Doha and Dubai among others. There are also ferries from Dar es Salaam, the quickest taking 75 minutes.
While Zanzibar is a place to relax on the beach, it also has a wide range of attractions, from the historic streets and alleyways of Stone Town, to boat trips to see dolphins or turtles, to the Jazani Forest, noted for its monkeys. Diving among the coral reefs is also an exciting possibility.
Zanzibar lies off the coast of mainland Tanzania which offers the possibility of combining your visit with a wildlife safari to the Serengeti National Park or a visit to Mount Kilimanjaro.
How to get the authentic Zanzibar experience
The best way to make the most of your visit to Zanzibar is with a local tour guide.
To contact a local tour guide, email email@example.com or call +255772871073. Boris speaks English, German and Italian.
- Jozani Forest National Park
This is home to the rare Red Colobus Monkey. An hour by car from Stone Town you will be shown a variety of animals and plant life in areas including mahogany forest to mangroves.
- Prison Island
This small island had been used by a wealthy Arab to house his slaves. The British built a prison here, but it was never used as such. Instead, it was used to quarantine passengers of ships in which there may have been an outbreak of an infectious disease. Prison Island is now home to a colony of turtles. It only takes 20 minutes to get there by dhow from Stone Town.
Just an hour away from Stone Town, this is the base for a two hour trip by dhow searching for bottle nosed and spinner dolphins.
- Boat trips
These are an excellent opportunity to go snorkelling and fishing. The dhows are built on the northern part of Unguja Island, where you can see them being made and also visit the Sea Turtle Sanctuary where injured turtles recuperate ready to be released back into the wild.
- Walking tours
Take a stroll around Stone Town, including the Spice Tour and the Freddie Mercury Tour (the Queen vocalist was born and lived in Zanzibar).
- Stone Town
This is the historic core of Zanzibar city. It consists of a maze of buildings separated by narrow passageways, mostly dating back to the nineteenth century. The area is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. On the seafront is the old fort and Palace of the Sultan
Hotels in Zanzibar city