Tailor-made Luxury Holidays
Our Zanzibar Expert
My recent trip in Zanzibar
Why we love Zanzibar
The latest insight from our time spent exploring Zanzibar.
When you step off the boat or plane onto Zanzibar, youâ€™re transported through time and place. Zanzibar is often referred to as a single island, whereas in fact, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago of islands located 15 miles off the mainland coast of Tanzania. The mountainous and thickly-forested Pemba Island sits to the north, whilst the low-lying sandy spit of Mafia Island is to the South. Unguja Island is generally what people consider to be Zanzibar. Unguja Island has the sleepy but atmospheric World Heritage Site of Stone Town as its capital, powder white-sand beaches stretching the length of both the East and North coast. Visitors will enjoy clear, turquoise-blue water, shallow sandbars perfect for wading, rich marine life and islands that truly embody the â€œHakuna Matataâ€ way of life. Visitors also have the chance to truly escape and explore many small and nearly deserted islands within the archipelago, as well as the tiny fishing villages dotted along the coast for a real cultural immersion. Zanzibar is one of the worldâ€™s great cultural crossroads, where Africa meets Arabia meets the Indian Ocean, and visitors get to enjoy it all.
Zanzibar has long attracted tourists to its beautiful beaches, but with world-class diving, deep-sea fishing, luxury boutique resorts, culture and history, there are many reasons to consider Zanzibar for your next luxury getaway. The ancient streets of Zanzibar Town, the quaint fishing villages and the countryside farmers tending fields of rice or clove plantations to give Zanzibar its â€œSpice Islandâ€ moniker, shows how diverse this group of islands are. Beyond the little-changed traditions, visitors see a very different landscape with idyllic beaches dotted with hotels, and the ocean acting as a playground for diving, snorkelling and kite-surfing. With its tropical tableau and unique culture, plus an active beach-party scene for those that want it, the Zanzibar Archipelago offers a diverse, fascinating and highly enjoyable East African Indian Ocean experience.
By air is the only feasible way to access Zanzibar from outside of East Africa, although there are few direct flights, it is super easy to hop over from Dar es Salam in Tanzania. There are daily flights from Dar es Salam to Zanzibar, with a flight time of approximately 25 minutes, flights to Zanzibar are both quick and frequent. There are also many boat options to Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania (Dar es Salam), it is advised to opt for one of the faster, more modern ferries for comfort and peace of mind while travelling. There are daily ferries and the trip duration on a more modern ferry is approximately 90 minutes, and boat is generally considered the most convenient mode of transport for accessing Zanzibar.
Sunshine, soft white sand, calm tropical Indian Ocean and the smell of spices on the trade winds, there is something mysterious and evocative in the name Zanzibar. It is somewhere featured on most bucket-lists and for many visitors is considered a stand-alone destination. However, due to ease of access, Zanzibar also works beautifully alongside an East African safari in mainland Africa, eg. Tanzania or Kenya. With direct, light aircraft flights and convenient connection times, you can get from breakfast in the bush, to dinner on the beach with complete ease.
Whatever experience you are looking for, our experts are ready to help…
If Zanzibar Town is the archipelago's heart, Stone Town is its soul. It's magical jumble of cobbled alleyways make it easy to spend days wandering around and getting lost - although you can't get lost for long because, sooner or later, you'll end up on either the seafront or Creek Rd. Nevertheless, each twist and turn of the narrow streets brings something new - be it a school full of children chanting verses from the Quran, a beautiful old mansion with overhanging verandas, or a coffee vendor with his long-spouted pot fastened over coals. Along the way, watch the island's rich cultural melange come to life: Arabic-style houses with their recessed inner courtyards rub shoulders with Indian-influenced buildings boasting ornate balconies and latticework, and bustling oriental bazaars alternate with street-side vending stalls.
Zanzibar (Unguja Island)
Unguja is the largest and most populated island of the Zanzibar archipelago. It is highly popular destination for diving and snorkelling, ringed by some the best coral beaches in Africa. It is a unique and authentic beach destination; more intimate and personal than other popular coastal destinations, as it leaves the crowds behind. The lodges work in harmony with the natural environment, blending in with the pure white sands and clear turquoise seas. If you like exploring on land you will find a thriving local culture. And if you just prefer to relax by the pool, you will be amazed at the beautiful surroundings.
Pemba Island, known as "The Green Island" in Arabic, is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying within the Swahili Coast in the Indian Ocean. The Island is characterised by its stunning shades of blue waters and shifting sands. Interestingly, Pemba is very different to Zanzibar itself, as it remains large undiscovered, with long stretches of sands and untouched uninhabitable islands. It is home to idyllic pristine beaches and turquoise water, as well as healthy coral reefs providing some of the best diving in East Africa. Inland, the island is rich and fertile, lush with fruit and spice trees. Those who make the trip to this beautiful island are seldom left disappointed.
If you looking to explore somewhere new for a little rest and relaxation, we think Mafia Island is the perfect destination for some barefoot luxury. Whether is nature trails to enjoy the native trees, animals and birdlife, cultural visits to villages to understand local village life and watch skilled craftsmen at work, or sailing in traditional dhows over crystal blue waters, Mafia Island is the ideal place to find your feet again. If diving is your thing, Mafia Island and its reefs are renowned as a world-class diving destination, with some of the richest reefs in the world, and an unparalleled diversity of tropical fish. This unsung treasure is wonderfully calming and tranquil, far from the crowds of more familiar beach destinations.
Where To Stay in Zanzibar
Explore some of our highly recommended lodges within our Zanzibar Collection.