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Zanzibar Beach and Tanzanian Coast holidays
Zanzibar holidays conjure up images of exploration on an exotic island filled with mystery and intrigue. As a result of passing traders that explored this route, Zanzibar has also become known as the ‘Spice Island’ and has a rich cultural history.
The capital, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a fascinating maze of narrow streets, whilst on the East Coast pristine beaches beckon visitors to the reef-protected warm waters as traditional wooden dhows sail by. Zanzibar holidays boast some of the world’s best diving amongst rainbow coral reefs, the quaint customs and cuisine of the Swahili people, and the Indian Ocean’s spotless beaches.
The Zanzibar archipelago consists of more than 50 islands, ranging from tiny outcrops to the larger, more populated islands of Zanzibar (more properly called Unguja) and Pemba. The beaches are often stunning, with powdery white sand, shaded by palm trees. The sea is shallow, but venture further out into the sparkling, turquoise water and you’ll find coral reefs for great snorkelling and diving. The larger islands are lush and highly fertile and everywhere the air is suffused with the aroma of fruit and spices: it’s an intoxicating, exotic atmosphere.
Popular as a post-safari choice, a Zanzibar holiday can also be a great stand-alone escape. The main island offers an exceptional diversity of accommodation, from simple beach lodges and small boutique hotels to all-inclusive beach resorts and luxury hotels.
Zanzibar and Tanzania Coast Beach holiday highlights
Exploring the labyrinth of narrow streets winding through the main Stone Town, and finding many of the traditional spices in tucked-away markets is a must for any Zanzibar holiday. This fascinating town has amazing architecture with its Arabic, African and European influences most notably through the huge, ornately carved wooden doors. The coastal waters attract divers from all over the world whilst the white sand beaches are the place to sit and relax after a safari, another highlight of a Zanzibar holiday with African Savannah Trekkers
Dar es salaam
Dar es Salaam is located on the mainland coast of Tanzania and is the hub for access to Zanzibar – there are regular flights from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar. Although less popular, there is plenty to see in Dar es Salaam, a city tour will introduce you to Mwenge Open Market for Makonde Carvings and other local handicraft items. South of the city, there are also some excellent beaches.
The Jozani Natural Forest Reserve is located in the central east region of Zanzibar island and is home to the rare Red Colobus Monkey (pictured opposite), which is endemic to Zanzibar. These monkeys are full of character, and roam freely. They can also be seen at very close quarters just outside the reserve’s perimeter and are incredibly photogenic. Jozani is home to other species including Syke’s monkey’s, small buck and bushpigs. The elusive Zanzibar leopard (last sited several years ago) is said to feed here at night – perhaps this is why the reserve is only open during the day?! Jozani has an excellent nature trail and the guides are well trained and informative.
Once the site of a gaol for misbehaving slaves, the island lies just off the old stone town. It is fringed with a beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkeling, and has a lovely white beach for sun-bathing. It is also home to a family of giant tortoises, imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century. This island is ideal for a day-trip with refreshments available throughout the day. It also has a small restaurant where you can enjoy freshly caught fish.