Zanzibar - Beach Holiday


The archipelago of Zanzibar is a collection of two main islands and several smaller islands. Unguja Island is the most popular and many think this island alone is Zanzibar. It has earned the nickname of “The Spice Island” because of the long history of growing and trading in spices that dates back for centuries. The island’s most populous city is also called Zanzibar, but often referred to as “Stone Town” because of the many buildings built from coral stone.

Visitors to this island have a vast variety of activities and accommodation choices. Stone Town is rich with history and culture. Once a major Arab trading port with records of settlement as early as the 11th century, Muslem traditions are well intertwined with the Swahili culture. Zanzibar was also an important port in the slave trade from the 17th century until 1897. Visitors can see a memorial to the slave trade near the Anglican Cathedral that was built on the site of the slave market. You can also explore the area where the slaves were kept prior to the auctions. Further up the coast from the city are the Mangapwani Slave Caves where they were hidden.

Other popular places to visit in the city are the Arab Old Fort, the House of Wonders, the museum, and the city market. The Anglican Cathedral should not be missed. The wonderful stained glass windows are complemented by a series of copper plates depicting the story of Christ. However, the Moslem culture dominates the city and throughout the day the call to prayer can be heard from the towns many minarets.

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Accommodation in Zanzibar’s Stone Town vary widely in quality and price. For holidaymakers interested in the beach, Zanzibar has miles of spectacular beaches along the north, east and south coasts. Accommodation choices range between five star resorts to small guest houses.There are also exclusive villas. Most properties feature access to PADI SCUBA diving and also offer snorkelling. The coral reefs are an attraction to swimmers.

Each of the many choices of accommodation have their unique offer of activities. Some have tennis, discothèques, animation, live music, cultural theme meals, sailing excursions and fishing. All offer a great place to relax in the sun. Other activities of interest include tours of the spice gardens, visits to historic ruins, a guided tour of the historic Stone Town, a boat trip to Prison Island, or a dolphin safari. Jozani Forest can also be toured and features mangrove forest as well as the extraordinary red Colobus monkey.

Pemba Island

Pemba is located to the north of Unguja. The island is less frequented by tourists and there are only a few resorts that we would recommend. All offer exceptional diving and snorkelling. The island is home to a bird sanctuary and is a hidden treasure for birding enthusiasts. There are daily flights to Pemba from Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Pemba Island

Thanda Island

Located a few kilometres north of Mafia Island, this small island can be hired for exclusive use. It features a private villa with 5 connected guest suites in a central building. Access is only by boat from Mafia Island or by private charter helicopter from Dar es Salaam.

Mafia Island

Mafia Island

Though not part of the Zanzibar archipelago, Mafia Island is also a popular destination for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. Deep sea fishing can also be arranged for guests staying on the island.

The island lies 160 kilometres south of Zanzibar and can be reached by scheduled and chartered air service from Dar es Salaam. There are a number of recommended places to stay on the island that offer a variety of water sports activities.

Mafia Island

Accommodation in Zanzibar