Zanzibar; romantic, exotic archipelago, redolent of Arabian nights and Indian Ocean indolence. Only 15 minutes flight from the mainland, the wonderfully sleepy island of Zanzibar is one of East Africa’s finest beach destinations, surrounded by coral reefs with idyllic beaches lined by huge sweeping palm trees. Zanzibar is the obvious beach addition to a safari on mainland Tanzania.
Though many visitors spend a night or two in Stone Town, the charismatic island capital, the real attraction of is its glorious coral sand beaches, and the fantastic snorkeling and diving. Tourism has eclipsed spice trading as the main form of income, but islands retain their rustic African charm despite the developments of the last decade. Zanzibar is a land apart, entirely charismatic and well worth a visit.
Zanzibar: The geography .
Zanzibar is much larger than one might expect; driving from north to south takes at least two hours.
Zanzibar Holidays: Where to Stay – Top End .
We are thrilled to have tried and tested the new finessed beach-chic style White Sand Villas in south eastern Zanzibar, filling a gap in the market for top end accommodation of this kind, it suits our dream perfectly! Its sumptuously vast villas provide clean, simple and yet brilliantly appointed respite, privately swathed in fab sandy gardens. In the same price bracket but in a different, luxuriant Arabic style, the sister hotels Baraza and The Palms are also amongst the finest hotels on the island. Baraza has 36 bungalows each with a private plunge pool; this is our favorite hotel for families wanting the best the island can offer.
Zanzibar Holidays: Where to Stay – Mid-Range.
Up a notch or two in the $250 – $350 pppn bracket, general standards of accommodation and service are very high, and hotels often have facilities such as dive centers and tennis courts etc. One of our favorites in this category is Ras Nungwi on the northern tip. With all the facilities of a large resort but only 28 rooms, Nungwi consistently delivers great service and fantastic value for money. It also has the best dive center on the island!
Zanzibar Holidays: Where to Stay – Bottom End
The most economical hotels that we use for a Zanzibar holiday are Shooting Star, Sunshine Hotel and Echo Beach. All are well established, good value small hotels that have good beaches and personal service.