Zanzibar is a great addition to a Tanzanian holiday. Of the Indian Ocean beach destinations, it is the most easily accessible, just a bit over one hour flying time from Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ). Flights are also available departing from the Serengeti. See more information on our Travel Tips article on this page.
What makes Zanzibar such a good destination?
Zanzibar has a rich history as a trading point where many varied cultures have mixed together. In addition to African culture, European, Indian, Arabic, and Persian cultures have heavily influenced the area. It is here that the Swahili language was born as a trading language. This was a hub for trading ivory, spices and slaves. Remnants of former slave markets are still found. The architecture is marvelous, especially famous are the ornate hand carved wooden doors. Cultural tours, spice plantation tours, and Jozani Forest tours are wonderful but it is the beaches and water activities that are the main draw. Some of the best white sand beaches in the world are found here. It is a great place to "do nothing at all". Or you can partake in aquatic activities such as dolphin swim tours, SCUBA/snorkeling, dhow cruises, deep sea fishing.
Destinations in Zanzibar
Nungwi/Kendwa -- Both located near each other at the northern tip of the island. In addition to the beautiful white sand beaches, there is very little tide activity (unlike the rest of the island) making is perfect for all day water activities. The area is filled with activities, jet skiing, para-gliding, SCUBA diving, and beach volleyball. There are many restaurants and bars with much late night activity. Located slightly on the west, sunsets are beautiful here.
Paje/Jambiani -- Beautiful beaches and a good destination for more solitude. Its location on the island makes a good launching spot for day trips and water activities.
Pongwe -- Protected by a coral reef the waters are calm and the beaches beautiful. This is a good snorkeling location. Some high end hotels are located in this area and it is a good place for solitude. Along with Paje this is a good place if you like beautiful sunrises.
Kizimkazi -- This area is the place to be if you like to swim with the dolphins. The difference in high and low tides is big in the area, giving you no beach at times and 100m of beach other times.
Stone Town -- Culturally, this is great. Interesting history and architecture, great restaurants, wonderful to explore the narrow winding alleyways. But it is also a bit dirty, noisy and expensive. The beaches here are not good (too many stones), but as a day trip a visit to nearby Prison Island will allow you some good beach time. There is one upscale hotel, Verde Hotel, building their own beach that looks promising otherwise it is best to plan only one night at this destination.
What we can do for you
We can book hotels, domestic flights, and arrange ground transportation. Day trips are best booked directly through the hotel once you are there. The exception being if you want to visit Cheetah's Rock. Cheetah's Rock is an animal rescue sanctuary located on the island that allows the animals a limited number of interaction with people. Tours for Cheetah's Rock are limited and should be booked well in advance. Our clients who have gone there have really enjoyed the experience. If you are interested you can visit their website http://cheetahsrock.org It is best that you book this yourself directly on-line. They will not need payment until the end of the tour.
If you would like our assistance planning your beach holiday, contact us through our inline form request info