Zanzibar, the “Spice Island,” is, in fact, an archipelago of stunning tropical Indian Ocean islands
This absolute paradise consists of many small islands and two larger ones, Unguja (the main island, colloquially known as Zanzibar) and Pemba Island.
This most historic of islands; full of atmosphere, spice plantations, and beautiful beaches and just a short hop from the mainland. Think beautiful, clear, turquoise waters, patches of reefs, miles of palm-tree fringed white sandy beaches.
The Spice Island’s capital, Stone Town, is a historic centre and World Heritage Site. Rich in history and culture, this jewel of an island capital consists of crumbling palaces, cobbled, tiny winding streets lined with traders and mosques giving the muezzins’ call to prayer at daybreak. Stone Town is a fascinating true Swahili assault on the senses.
The north of Unguja / Zanzibar is its most lively location near the ramshackle fishing villages of Nungwi and Kendwa, steeped in tradition and nautical heritage and once the centre of the making of the local wooden fishing boats, or Dhows.
Zanzibar, while well-known, is not tourist saturated. Although tidal, it offers stunning beaches for those that savour this idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago. "If I'd been a Victorian explorer, I'd have thought, Sod it, I'll stay here" ~ Jeremy Clarkson on Zanzibar, which he further described, as having history and soul! Well, we couldn't agree more. Zanzibar is a fantastic honeymoon or family vacation destination and a great end to a safari on the mainland. There is plenty to do in Zanzibar, from spice tours to forest tours, snorkelling, or diving, with both Pemba Island and Mafia Island further being particularly good for diving. The latter being famous for the abundance of whale sharks passing through from October to March.
In recent years, tourism has overtaken the spice trade in the economy, but these Islands retain a rustic charm. So essentially there are many, many, places to relax and plenty of lovely accommodation options.
There are some luxurious resorts such a Zuri Zanzibar and The Residence, while others offer more lodge-styled luxury similar to those on the safari circuits, such as Kilindi and Mnemba Island Lodge. In additional, the boutique and exclusive villas such Xanadu offer full personalised services and are typically all inclusive. Some of the Zanzibar properties are unique in that they are a hybrid of all three, offering suites, rooms and villas throughout its beautiful gardens and beach front access, such as Zuri.
With space, social distancing and private experiences being even more key in 2021/22 a private villa is a wonderful option for any travelling party, couple or small family to multigenerational friends or extended family. In fact, it may well be one of our favourite accommodation options on the islands.
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