zanzibar-harbourJust a short flight from Dar es Salam or Arusha is the beautiful Zanzibar archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Nestled in the tropical waters, 36 km off the East Coast of Africa and 6 degrees south of the Equator you will find the many islands, over 50 in total. The main inhabited islands are Unguja, Pemba and Tumbatue.

The historic centre and capital city, Zanzibar City is located on the main island Unguja, which is informally called Zanzibar. The islands are lined with white sandy beaches and coral reef, a beach lover’s paradise.  Many people visit the island for diving (best on the North Coast and Pemba), snorkeling, to learn the ancient history and to enjoy the spices and flavors of the many cultures.

Over the centuries, Zanzibar has been visited and occupied by explorers, traders and settlers.  Persians, Arabs, Indian and Europeans have had their time, and left their impression- if not offspring.  The introduction of clove plantations and the flourishing of the notorious slave trade made Zanzibar a strategic trading center for many around the world.  

Zanzibar offers a tropical climate; the cooler season is July - October when the average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius, this is the most favorable time to visit the Spice Islands.

zanzibar-doorOne of the most exciting things about Zanzibar is its collection of cultures.  You can witness this in the cuisine, clothing and architecture.  Zanzibar’s Stone Town is the largest settlement of its kind in the world and has been designated a UNSECO World Heritage site. There are over 1000 coral stone buildings which have architectural significance and more than 200 carved doors.  Despite the quaint crumbling architecture, Stone Town is still very much alive with busy labyrinth like streets, linking homes, shops, workshops and schools.

Many of the high end beach resorts can be found along the North Coast of Zanzibar (Unguja Island), while the South Coast is for those looking for a break from the busy tourist areas.  Accommodations range from beach villas and huts, luxury boutique style resorts to large resorts offering all-inclusive services, there is something for every budget on the island of Zanzibar.

If you are planning a trip to East Africa for safari, to climb the mountains, to volunteer or for mission work, you must add a stop to this tranquil island. There are so many activities to choose from and you will wish you had just one more day! Oh, and you must not forget the shopping!

Contact Amanda to learn more about the many options for your beach holiday along the Indian Ocean. Relax, unwind and dis-connect from your worries. Visit Zanzibar's' wonderful beaches, feel the warm charm around the ancient island, experience friendly hospitality.

Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Portuguese invasion and control of the Swahili Coast in the late 16th century ended the golden age of the archipelago, although the Omani Arabs returned to power less than a century later. Today, many of the winding streets and high townhouses of old Stone Town remain unchanged and visitors can walk between the sultans palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and gardens, the merchants houses, and the Turkish baths of the old city. Day-long spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to observe the cultivation of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that have made the island famous.

The port city of Stone Town dominates the west coast, and although the beaches of Mangapwani, where slave caves are visible at low tide and nearby Bububu are less than half an hours drive away, a night or two spent on the east or north cost is well worth the extra hour it takes to drive there. That said, the Chumbe Island Marine Park just off Stone Town and nearby Prison, Grave, and Snake Islands make a refreshing day-trip and a good break from exploring the winding passageways of the old city.

On the south coast of Zanzibar lies the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection area for the endangered species that come to breed on the island. Roads to the southeast coast take visitors through the Jozani Forest, home to Zanzibar's rare Red Colobus monkeys and a number of other primate and small antelope species.

While enjoying the warm waters on the Indian Ocean there are many styles of accommodations to choose from, such as; Boutique beach resorts, Eco-chic beach bungalows, Large to medium sized all-inclusive style resorts, budget friendly beach resorts or lodges, Beach house rentals, Houseboat rentals, Small beach front properties, Intimate Private Island resorts, “Floating” Hotel rooms, Luxury resorts.

Beach Resorts offer amazing views of the East African Coastline and deliver the service you deserve as you relax and enjoy the tranquil Indian Ocean. We work with suppliers that are dedicated to preserving the land and operate as Eco-friendly properties. Creating the best East African experience is top priority when booking with Amanda.

zanzibar-dhow-palace-hotelFeaturing: Dhow Palace Hotel - The Dhow, being the heart beat of the East African culture, has been carrying people, goods and treasures to and from Zanzibar for hundreds of years. Today, the Dhow Palace serves as a meeting point for people and cultures from all over the world amidst a decor and artefacts from a time gone by.

zanzibar-fumba-beachFeaturing: Fumba Beach Lodge - is a small scale, peaceful hideaway set on one of Zanzibar’s most secluded beaches. With only 26 free standing spacious cottages, the essence of Fumba Beach Lodge is privacy, space, relaxation, nature and attention to detail.

zanzibar-spice-islandFeaturing: Spice Island Hotel & Resort - offers a wide variety of attractions such as swimming pool & beach, spa & wellness, conferences & weddings, and mostly famous for it's Jetti platform.  Take a dip into the cool water or start a sailing trip from here.  Sip a cocktail and listen to the sound of the sea and let the beauty of this island work it's magic on you.

zanzibar-beachesFeaturing: Breezes Beach Club Zanzibar® - is an ideal choice for those in search of a romantic getaway. Famous for its attention to detail, intimate and private dining, its beautiful Zanzibari decor with stunning carving, glistening brass and rich fabrics creates an elegant and unique atmosphere. Breezes features the award winning Frangipani Spa.

zanzibar-rasFeaturing: Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel - Infused with the laid-back, exotic yet ultimately natural spirit of Zanzibar, this is the place to relax and enjoy all that this extraordinary part of the world has to offer. The lush gardens drop down onto one of the finest and most unspoilt beaches on the island, which in turn is fringed by a wide and thriving coral reef.

chumbe islandFeaturing: Chumbe Island Eco-Bungalows - You will be accommodated in one of our 7 stunning eco-bungalows, perfectly blended with the surrounding nature and situated between the beach and the forest.

Each bungalow is equipped with double or twin beds in the sleeping area under the palm thatched roof, a self-contained bathroom with hot & cold shower, a large living room, equipped with handmade furniture and decorated with African art, colorful fabrics, and a very comfortable hammock.

Still confused about the type of lodging to book? Contact Amanda today for more insider advice and tips for planning the best beach holiday in Zanzibar - and competative rates!

Daily Departures (Half Day)

Spice TourThe half day guided tour begins and ends at your hotel.  You leave after breakfast and head towards the south of Zanzibar for a day of adventure, thrills and excitement. 

Since the abolition of the slave trade, spices have been the heart of Zanzibari enterprise.  The sheer variety of the islands strategic location as well as the depth of cultural interaction. 

Spice Tour ZanzibarIndeed no trip to Zanzibar could be considered complete without a visit to one of the carefully selected spice farms.  This involves visiting the spices growing areas to see the different spices and to leanr their nature, uses and taste some of them right on the spot, depending on the season.  In addition it involves visits to the famous spice producing area where you can see medicinal, cosmetics, ornamental plants and herbs.  Most of the interesting items are cloves, nutmeg, rambutan, lipstick, iodine plant, lemon grass, vanilla, hena and shampoo plants.

The spice tour offers the opportunity to indulge your senses with a kaleidoscope of smells, tastes and textures. From the punch of a chili to the refreshing succulence of green coconut flesh, you can be sure that this tour will awaken your senses.  It also provides you with the unique opportunity to purchase these unique spices straight from the source.

Daily Departures (Half Day)

coast stonetownThis three and a half-hour tour commences with a tour to Zanzibar’s colorful market. Alive with the buzz of locals bartering fresh vegetables and baskets of tropical fruit, amongst the heady smell of Jack fruit (and many other exotic fruits) we continue on the to the site of the cathedral built in 1874.  The cathedral signifies a potent time in Zanzibar’s history and stands on the sight of the past slave market, its high alter standing on the exact site of the whipping post. Slavery was abolished in 1873 through a decree passed by the then current Sultan of Zanzibar. 

Stone TownFrom here we visit the residence of the late Sultans Zanzibar, ‘Tip Top House’, ‘The Old Fort’, ‘Peoples Palace’ and the ‘House of Wonders’, full of intrigue and vivid history from a bygone era. The tour will take you through the narrow streets of the old stone town, the heart of Zanzibar’s vivacious history.

Finally you will meet Maruhubi Palace Ruins built by the third Sultan of Zanzibar named Sultan Said Baraghash Bin Said, in 1880  the ruins were built especially for housing 99 of his harem.  Sensible shoes and hats are advisable.

Daily Departure (Half day - lunch incl)

Tour Highlights – Visit Mchangani village – Kidimni village visit – Visit a local school
Cultural Tour ZanzibarStarting out in the morning you’ll get a firsthand glimpse at the every-day lives – and enduring traditions of the Zanzbari people. Begin by venturing to the island’s north-east coast, to a beach community.  Here we observe the locals engage themselves in seaweed cultivation as a means of lively hood. Learn how the seaweed is nurtured for the initial stages to the point where it is ready for sale as a source of income for the beach community.

coast culturaltour2More than 30 world class beaches line the coast of Zanzibar island – which itself is just 50 miles long.  With its warm currents year-round, the sea here attracts a variety of marine life, as we can see in its pristine, shallow waters and lush coral reefs.  On a visit to the village of Mchangani the local people who call this region home will teach you of the many different uses of coconut and coconut products.

Next, you will ride to Kidimni, a village that specializes in the construction of the famous Zanzabari doors that adorn Stone Town and the many homes in Zanzibar.  Here you will meet the villagers, learn about their craft and also visit a local school.  Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and make your way back to your hotel.

Daily Departure (9:30am- 3:30pm)

We assure you a relaxing excursion, departing daily from Forodhani Garden or Africa House for Prison Island, also locally known as Changuu Island.  You will visit the old slave prison ruins and the Aldabra’s giant tortoise, once property of the Sultan Said Majid.

Play with the starfish at the beach before heading to Pange Island (Sandbank) on a Swahili dhow.  On the way you will be served breakfast with ginger spiced tea, juices, homemade bread and tropical fruit.

Enjoy this isolated island, covered twice a day by high tide, an astonishing white sandbank surrounded by crystalline water, the ideal trip to relax and practice snorkeling to discover treasures of the Indian Ocean. On the sandbank we offer a variety of local fruits, beverages and snacks and later we will serve a lunch buffet of Swahili cuisine, Italian cheese, soft drinks and white wine.

Prison Island

Zanzibar Butterfly CentreA Community and Environmental Project located in Pete Village, next to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park.

The Butterfly Centre has trained local people from the Pete community to farm the butterflies (in pupae from) sustainably and buys their pupae for their netted garden.  Revenue generated by tourist admissions supports Zanzibar Butterfly Centre with the project’s aim of poverty alleviation and conservation of the local forest.

Zanzibar Butterfly Centre provides visitors with an unique and fascinating opportunity to learn all about the different butterfly life cycle stages close up in one of Africa’s largest butterfly exhibits.  Visitors can enjoy and interactive tour with one of the centres knowledgeable guides in the tropical garden where hundreds of butterflies, all of which are native species to Zanzibar fly freely.

Zanzibar Butterfly Sanctuary

jozani red colobusJozani forest is an official reserve in the heart of Unguja island, on the Zanzibar archipelago that is famous for its indigenous red colobus monkeys, not found anywhere else in the world. These monkeys were endangered for some time, but fortunately conservation and education efforts have halted their decline and now numbers are strengthening again.

The groups that inhabit the forest close to the road are used to regular visits from humans and easy to see (and even curious and sociable), so visiting the forest is usually a satisfying experience - but use some caution. Don't stand directly under a monkey as they have been known to pee on people's heads! And on a more serious note, don't get too close to them or visit when you have a bad cold or flu, as they don't have immunity to protect them from some human viruses.

As well as red colobus monkeys you can also spot Sykes' monkeys, elephant shrews and other creatures.

When you visit the forest, you can also walk on a boardwalk path around the tidal mangrove swamp. These trees may be less cute than the monkeys but of critical importance to the island's health as they help to protect Zanzibar from coastal erosion, purify its waters and provide nutrition for the outlying coral reefs, which in turn pay host to much of the archipelago's marine life.

Mangrove poles make an excellent building material also, and were harvested for a long time before awareness of the importance of Zanzibar's mangrove defences grew. But now these special trees are protected again and alternative timbers are being used in building projects.

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