Zanzibar

The exotic Zanzibar archipelago lies 25km off the east coast of Tanzania, and comprises of Unguja, Pemba and an array of small, tropical islands.

Arab and Persian traders arrived here during the 8th century and by the 17th century, Zanzibar was an important port on the spice, ivory and slave trading routes. Governed over the centuries by various sultans, the Portuguese and later, the Sultanate of Oman, Zanzibar became a British Protectorate in the late 19th century.

Famous European explorers like Livingstone visited before launching their explorations into the “interior”. The old Stone Town is a UNESCO Heritage listed site and a tour of the town reveals its complex history and dark slaving past, as well as graceful Zanzibari architecture. The maze of narrow streets are lined with elegant coral stone houses – which give the town its name – and feature ornate balconies and intricately carved wooden doors. You can visit the Sultan’s Palace, the Arab Fort, the Old Dispensary and the Livingstone house.

The northern and eastern coasts of the island are home to beautiful, peaceful beaches that boast a number of excellent resorts, which makes Zanzibar a perfect place to conclude an East African safari. The island also boasts white sand beaches, clear, turquoise water, and beach hotels offering barefoot luxury; a relaxing conclusion to any East African safari. The island is easily accessible and there are direct flights from Nairobi and the United Arab Emirates.

Location

Why should I visit Zanzibar?

  • An exotic archipelago ideal for a post-safari beach break
  • Sensational beach resorts
  • Idyllic palm-fringed coastlines
  • Clear waters and coral reefs perfect for scuba diving or snorkelling
  • Dhow cruises
  • Historic Stone Town
  • Spice plantation tours
  • Rare red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar’s climate is quite similar to that of mainland Tanzania, with the best time to visit being between June and October, when skies are clear and the weather is dry. Underwater visibility is also at its peak during these months. From March to May, you can expect tropical downpours almost daily, while in November and December, there is also some rainfall.

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Tanzania Itineraries

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Our Recommended

Best luxury accommodation in Zanzibar

The following are some of the hotels and resorts that we recommend in the Zanzibar region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Baraza Resort and Spa

Exotic Baraza Resort and Spa combines Arabic, Swahili and Indian design elements, providing unparalleled luxury on the unspoilt southeastern shores of Zanzibar Island.

Dhow Palace Hotel

Dhow Palace Hotel occupies the grand former home of a wealthy merchant in the heart of Stone Town, and is one of the city's most attractive and atmospheric small hotels.

Kisiwa House

Kisiwa House is an exquisite and peaceful boutique hotel set amid the hustle and bustle of ancient Stone Town

Konokono Beach Resort

Konokono Beach Resort boasts one of Zanzibar Island's most secluded and spectacular locations, set on a lush peninsula overlooking a turquoise bay.

Maru Maru Hotel

In the heart of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Stone Town, Maru Maru Hotel is set inside a lovingly restored townhouse steps from all the attractions of this ancient city.

Mnemba Island Lodge

Just off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar is the exclusive and romantic Mnemba Island, less than 1.5 kilometres in circumference.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar

A magnificent internationally renowned luxury hotel with the attractions of World Heritage-listed Stone Town at your doorstep.

Shooting Star Lodge

A small family-run resort, Shooting Star Lodge overlooks a dazzling stretch of white sand on Zanzibar Island's idyllic northeast coast.

The Z Hotel

The Z Hotel is an absolutely stunning boutique resort close to the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island steps from powder white sand and the azure Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

This award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town is within walking distance to all the sights. Expect antiques, Persian rugs, rich silks and beautifully carved

Tanzania FAQ

The perfect spot to relax at the end of an African safari is the exotic island of Zanzibar – just a short flight from Tanzania’s mainland. Surrounded by palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and glittering turquoise waters, the island has a wealth of five-star luxury beach resorts to choose from. Visitors can also learn about the island’s fascinating history in historic Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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