The name Zanzibar evokes images of palm fringed coastlines framing white sandy beaches and the warm crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean. It's no surprise then that the sultans of yesteryear chose this location as their key trading post. Venture through the UNESCO listed Stone Town marvelling at the unique architecture, Arab forts, local markets and discover the spices that made this island famous.
We've travelled to the island many times and love its combination of history and beaches. We like to have a couple of nights exploring Stonetown before heading off to one of our stunning beach resorts for some serious rest and relaxation!
The first step to planning your holiday is to understand the regions and how to get there. From the UK, there are no direct flights to Zanzibar itself but Kenya Airways offers a one stop solution from London via Nairobi and Ethiopian Airlines from London and Manchester via Addis Ababa. Qatar Airways also offers a slightly longer connection to Zanzibar via Doha in the UAE. Our Travel Team are on hand to plan the best route for you.
If you are combining your stay in Zanzibar with a safari, our partner airline offers convenient light aircraft transfers from Arusha and Dar es Salaam into Zanzibar Airport. Alternatively we can fly you directly to Zanzibar from Europe or the United States.
The Airport is located on the south of the island near Stonetown. Transfers to most of the beach resorts are in the region of 45 minutes to one hour.
Stonetown is a must on any Zanzibari itinerary. It is simply so different and so interesting. Little narrow streets with interesting stores cling to the coastline. Many of the hotel resorts are located in the North of the island and Stonetown can be visited on a day tour. We like to have two nights, generally at the start of our itinerary, to explore the town before heading off to one of the beach resorts. Contact our Travel Team to get the ball rolling.
The Portuguese were the first to claim Zanzibar to their growing empire in the early 1500s. In 1698 the Sultan of Oman took Zanzibar for themselves taking advantage of the strategic harbour, easy fresh water supply and the plentiful exotic spices, ivory and people up for exploitation through the slave trade. For the next 200 years they ruled and Zanzibar became one of the wealthiest cities in Africa.
The influence of the Portuguese, Arabs and English has created a true melting pot and you can see this throughout the city in the ornate doorways, mosques, Catholic and Anglican churches. Along with the shops the exquisite doorways throughout the city will catch your eye. It seems every shop front and house has a more ornate door than the next.
The island of Zanzibar itself is generally made up of small, semi-rural communities nestled in tropical forests. Known as the Spice Island, a trip into the plantations is well worth the time to discover the secrets of how the spices are grown and produced.
Most of the resorts offer great watersports facilities as well as diving. Most stays on the island, apart from Stonetown, tend to be resort based and many guests rarely leave the resorts other than partaking in activities.
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