Zanzibar has an unique, far-flung status, however this island archipelago off the coast of Tanzania is under no circumstances unreachable. In latest years, this group of islands has develop into a preferred vacation spot for these searching for another seashore getaway. Miles of white sand, prime snorkeling and diving spots alongside its atolls and coral reefs, in addition to a burgeoning kite-surfing scene, have steadily drawn increasingly more guests to this heart of Swahili tradition.
Based primarily across the giant island of Unguja, Zanzibar life is concentrated across the philosophy of pole-pole – this implies ‘slowly.’ You are definitely going to discover a relaxed tempo of life right here, making it the proper place for a beach-clad getaway. There are turquoise seas, palm bushes, and loads of alternatives to sit back and loosen up.
Map of Zanzibar
This primarily Muslim area has lengthy been a middle of commerce, and has been by way of quite a lot of completely different house owners, from Arabs to Europeans. This is mirrored in the centuries-old hodge-podge of buildings in Stone Town, the oldest a part of Zanzibar City, which is the capital of the islands. There are, after all, loads of historic sights in this a part of Zanzibar – and lots of locations to keep, too. Historic buildings and fashionable inns make up a variety of the choices in this city.
However, throughout the island – which you may get round through minivans, rental scooters, and taxis – one can find luxurious beachside lodgings and resorts, in addition to price range seashore shacks from the backpacking heyday, ensuring there’s something for nearly anyone. This is a really laid-back paradise for nearly any caliber of traveler to delve into – so get your swimming costume prepared and ensure to pack your snorkel – Zanzibar awaits!
Stone Town is the aptly named historic a part of Zanzibar. Also generally known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for ‘Old Town’), this storied city is a warren of labyrinthine alleyways, outdated mosques, bazaars, colonial buildings, and extra historic structure in addition to. Its historical past as a buying and selling put up means there are Swahili, Indian, Arabic, and European influences right here.
There’s the towering St Joseph’s Cathedral – constructed in the late nineteenth century by French missionaries – the cool Nineteen Thirties Art Deco fashion of the Cine Afrique, and the Palace of Wonders; initially constructed for a Zanzibari sultan in 1883, that is now a museum on the historical past of Zanzibar. The oldest constructing in Stone Town is the spectacular Old Fort, constructed in 1699.
Hotels in Stone Town vary from price range stays to extra stylish, outdated world affairs in historic landmark buildings. Getting in and out of Stone Town is comparatively simple, with the ferry port to Dar el Salaam on the mainland positioned right here.
Where to Stay close to Stone Town
- Park Hyatt Zanzibar – You don’t get way more luxurious than the Park Hyatt Zanzibar with its 5-star high quality visitor rooms and enviable beachfront location. Spread throughout two white and red-roofed buildings, certainly one of which is a heritage constructing courting again to the Seventeenth-century and the opposite extra fashionable, the resort is the perfect mixture of the outdated and new. With entry to a sandy seashore, an outside pool, and an expensive spa, leisure is the order of the day. When the solar goes down, eating right here is an absolute dream – you’ll be tended to by world-class cooks and sommeliers.
- Tembo House Hotel – Located in a grand outdated constructing, the Arabian-style Tembo House Hotel as soon as served because the American Consulate. Inside, the visitor rooms are really particular, with genuine wooden carved furnishings, a Swahili-style four-poster mattress, and a rest room with a pampering hammam bathtub. When you aren’t enjoyable by yourself personal balcony overlooking the pool or ocean, you’ll be tucking into scrumptious dishes on the on-site restaurant – take your decide of typical Zanzibari delicacies or old-time worldwide favorites.
- Mizingani Seafront Hotel – Set inside a historic constructing that’s residence to one of the vital retro elevators on the island, the 4-star Mizingani Seafront Hotel was initially constructed as a trip residence for royal honeymooners. Today, the resort nonetheless boasts an air of romance, with Swahili-style four-poster beds, a crystal-clear pool excellent for lounging, and an on-site seafood restaurant the place visitors can admire the distinctive sunsets the archipelago is so identified for. Each room comes with its personal entrance, a mosquito web, and a balcony overlooking the ocean or the pool.
- Al-Minar Hotel – Located inside a chic Arabian-style constructing with handcrafted woodwork and a rooftop terrace, the Al-Minar Hotel has an genuine really feel to it. Less than 5 minutes from the seashore, every room is furnished in an African fashion, with darkish wooden furnishings and beds draped in mosquito nets. One of the perks of the resort is its glorious location inside strolling distance of the Old Fort of Zanzibar and the Peace Memorial Museum. Guests staying at this 3-star resort may also take pleasure in a complimentary breakfast each day of their keep.
Situated on the principle island of Zanzibar, Unguja, Jambiani is an outdated fishing village on the southeast coast. For a calming place to keep, there’s a definitively gradual tempo of life right here; nearly all of locals are both fisherman or seaweed farmers. And regardless that there may be beginning to be a gentle stream of vacationers to Jambiani, this portion of Zanzibar retains an genuine environment. In phrases of lodging, you possibly can anticipate family-run lodges and guesthouses.
Of course, there’s a seashore for guests to loosen up on right here. This is dotted with eating places serving up contemporary seafood. At seven kilometers lengthy and lined with palm bushes, the powdery white sand of Jambiani is like paradise. There can be a ravishing coral reef only a few kilometers from the shore, to which snorkeling excursions will be simply organized. Between the reef and the shore is a surprising turquoise lagoon; protected by the reef, it’s a great spot for windsurfing.
Where to Stay in Jambiani
- Blue Moon Resort – Set on a personal white-sand seashore dotted with palm bushes on the sting of the Indian Ocean, the thatched Blue Moon Resort is a tropical paradise. Nestled inside a cluster of thatched buildings and bungalows surrounded by lush gardens, the resort boasts a swimming pool with a solarium, a restaurant, and a bar. Each unit contains air-conditioning, tea and occasional amenities, and a personal patio with a backyard view, or you possibly can splash out on one with a sea view and personal pool!
- Ifa Beach Resort – Boasting a chief location proper on the beachfront, the leafy Ifa Beach Resort is a tranquil oasis. Spread throughout a contemporary constructing and a collection of thatched bungalows, the resort incorporates a jungle pool, a spa and wellness heart, and an excellent ocean-facing restaurant. At the tip of a day of sunbathing, retreat to your room or bungalow. Decorated in the Zanzibari fashion, they provide personal loos with rain showers, free Wi-FI, and your personal balcony or terrace overlooking the gardens or the Indian Ocean.
A big village on the northernmost tip of Unguja, Nungwi is right now a bustling vacationer resort. There is, nonetheless, motive for that: the seashore at Nungwi is spectacular. It’s been voted as probably the greatest seashores in the world.
Because of this, Nungwi has in latest years reworked from a fishing village to a small backpacking enclave, and now sees a gentle inflow of worldwide vacationers. To hold guests entertained, there are a selection of facilities in addition to the seashore itself. For occasion, Baraka Aquarium is an attention-grabbing place to go to, particularly for households. You can go kite-surfing on the Ras Nungwi Beach, and there are alternatives to go scuba diving and discover the depths off-shore.
With sundown cruises excessive on the checklist of issues you ought to be doing in Nungwi (the sundown is unimaginable), there are a number of lodging choices – from Hilton resorts to seashore bungalows proper on the sand. It is generally high-end, with just a few price range remnants of its backpacking previous to be discovered as effectively.
Where to Stay in Nungwi
- Z Hotel – Located alongside the powder-white sands of Nungwi Beach, Z Hotel is surrounded by lush tropical greenery and spectacular Indian Ocean views. Dubbed one of many ‘trendiest hotels in Africa’ by Tripadvisor, this 4-star boutique resort boasts a contemporary London-style design with an infinity pool, an expensive spa, a sea-facing restaurant serving African-European fusion delicacies, and a glamorous champagne and cocktail bar. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, iPod docking station, minibar, and personal toilet; some even have their very own balcony.
Another of Zanzibar’s small fishing villages, Paje is ready on the southeast coast of the island. Picture turquoise water, palm bushes swaying in the breeze, and brilliant, white sand. A terrific place to base your self in the event you’re all concerning the seashore, Paje is principally an extended stretch of sand with a village working alongside it.
Accordingly, there’s a alternative of beachfront lodging for you to select from for an easygoing life. There are additionally many eating places right here, the place you possibly can eat along with your toes dug into the sand. The scuba diving in Paje is incredible: turtles, eels, starfish, and a number of different marine life will be seen in the depths right here.
The sea is primed and prepared for kite-surfing, and is one thing of a hotspot for the game. Get lively and be a part of in, or just lay again on the sand and not using a care in the world – aside from which restaurant you’re going to hit up for dinner.
Where to Stay in Paje
- Kisiwa on the Beach – You’ve discovered paradise at Kisiwa on the Beach, a luxurious boutique resort providing an unique keep on the sting of the turquoise ocean. Nestled inside lush tropical gardens in the shade of coconut palms, a group of personal villas await, with a delightful combination of recent décor and distinctly Zanzibari touches. You’ll discover all the things you want proper right here – a library stocked with vacation reads, a lavish spa, and an on-site thatched restaurant. Or you possibly can merely loosen up on the freshwater pool and sip on contemporary coconut water and cocktails! Bliss.
For a slice of solitude, it doesn’t get loads higher than Matemwe. This is a relaxed, low-key place to keep. Set on Unguja’s east coast, Matemwe is blessed with an extended seashore and a scarcity of vacationers – two issues that make this really feel like an actual getaway. The village of Matemwe itself boasts a collection of conventional homestays, in addition to lodges and bungalows on the seashore. It could be very simple to keep in Matemwe on a price range, however there’s a handful of luxurious resorts, too.
Matemwe additionally boasts an attraction simply offshore: Mnemba Island – residence to Mnemba Atoll – could be very shut and famend for its unimaginable undersea panorama. It is straightforward to e book your self onto a tour, hop on a ship, and begin snorkeling across the waters of this gorgeous little islet. But in the event you don’t need to go on a visit, don’t fear. You can wander alongside the seashore, loosen up on the sand, and unwind with a drink in the night.
Where to Stay in Matemwe
- Zanzibar Queen Hotel – Set alongside a beautiful coral sand seashore, the 4-star Zanzibar Queen Hotel is a diver’s and snorkeler’s paradise. Hidden amongst palms and tropical crops in a jungle-like terrain, this cluster of peach-colored buildings provides barefoot luxurious dwelling at its best possible. Everything you want is inside strolling distance of the seashore – an outside pool, an indulgent spa, an on-site restaurant serving worldwide delicacies, and a variety of watersport amenities for the energetic.
Kendwa is positioned in the north of Zanzibar’s Unguja island and is round three kilometers or so away from the way more bustling Nungwi. In truth, when the tide is out, you possibly can stroll alongside the seashore to Nungwi itself. As such, although there are lots of lodging choices – together with resorts and guesthouses – it doesn’t really feel overcrowded in Kendwa; there may be loads of room for everybody.
The space of Kendwa is definitely fairly in style for the Full Moon Party, run by Kendwarocks – a month-to-month seashore get together with loads of enjoyable for backpacking sorts. If that isn’t your factor, then there may be a lot that the pure and cultural world round Kendwa can supply. You can go snorkeling and see what the marine life has to supply, or you can go on a tour of Kendwa village itself. This means absorbing a slice of actual Zanzibar life and even getting to strive some genuine native meals.
Where to Stay in Kendwa
- Zuri Zanzibar – The 5-star luxurious Zuri Zanzibar has a village-like really feel to it with its cluster of thatched bungalows, suites and villas nestled inside a palm-dotted backyard paradise. Zuri – which means ‘beautiful’ in Swahili – is strictly that. Sandy walkways snake their method by way of the tropical greenery across the resort and lead to an outside pool, a bar, a luxurious spa, and a personal seashore. Pick the lodging that fits you greatest – the African-style bungalows, modern Jacuzzi suites, or a household villa with your personal stretch of beachfront.
- Kendwa Rocks Hotel – The beautiful Kendwa Rocks Hotel is a seashore lover’s paradise with an extended stretch of sugar-soft white sands fringed by coco palms and thatched lapas. Spread throughout a collection of red-roofed and thatched buildings, the resort provides a central swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, and a cocktail bar. Where you keep is up to you – there’s a alternative of picket bungalows with Jacuzzis, spacious suites, and household rooms. Don’t miss the resort’s dwell music nights and month-to-month full moon events.
Set on the northeastern coast of Ugunja, the city of Kiwengwa incorporates a notably lovely stretch of white sand seashore. The inns in this space are, for essentially the most half, upscale and all-inclusive, main to a really unique environment in this a part of Zanzibar. Interestingly, lots of them are Italian-owned, which has led to the nickname of ‘Little Italy.’ Kiwengwa is the perfect place in case you are in search of a really peaceable spot to benefit from the solar, sea, and sand of this a part of the world.
There are native points of interest exterior of the resorts in Kiwengwa, nonetheless. Visit the Kiwengwa Caves, an untouristed pure gem full with an attention-grabbing historical past in addition to crystals embedded in the partitions! There can be a kite-surfing college proper on the beachfront, so you can have a go at this exhilarating sport. Otherwise, that is the proper place to spend time on the seashore bars and sit back on the sand.
Where to Stay in Kiwengwa
- Melia Zanzibar – It’s indulgent dwelling at its best possible on the 5-star Melia Zanzibar; its personal villas and infinity swimming pools overlook the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Set on a 300-meter personal seashore, the All-Inclusive luxurious resort caters to each want – and extra. There’s no scarcity of eating choices, with 5 eating places and bars serving native and worldwide delicacies. Unwind on the lavish spa, play a sport of tennis, or cool off with a swim in the bougainvillea-fringed infinity pool. The alternative is yours!
- Marafiki Bungalows – With a number of thatched bungalows on the sting of the ocean, Marafiki Bungalows is an escape from the on a regular basis. Stay in conventional huts or a honeymoon suite and spend your days enjoyable beside the pool or on the seashore, practising yoga, biking across the resort (there are free bikes), taking on a cooking class, or indulging in ocean view massages. Ideal for foodies, you possibly can tuck into native delicacies on the Sunday Swahili Dinner or dine along with your toes in the sand on the Wednesday evening seashore BBQ evening.
You will discover Michamvi in the southeast nook of Ugunja island. This peninsula is well-known for its gleaming white seashores, scatterings of palm bushes, in addition to a stretch of the unimaginable barrier reef to discover. The tide goes out for a whole bunch of meters right here, and it’s an excellent place for snorkeling or splashing round in the shallows.
A comparatively rural and untouched a part of this island, the backpackers who used to frequent this ten-kilometer peninsula have been changed by luxurious holidaymakers staying at seashore retreats. However, there may be nonetheless loads of room – growth hasn’t utterly overrun this a part of the island. On the east aspect of the peninsula, there are many dive colleges; these are nice locations to be taught to dive since they’re not overcrowded. The Oba-Oba Lagoon is right here, the place diving and snorkeling are the order of the day. Kite-surfing and crusing should not out of the query, both.
Where to Stay in Michamvi
- Pearl Beach Resort – With at least two personal seashores, the 4-star Pearl Beach Resort is an Indian Ocean oasis with pink rooftops peeking by way of the luxurious tropical jungle. Set inside a secluded property, the resort options an infinity pool carved into the rockface, a tempting pool bar, a sky-high yoga pavilion and spa, and a clifftop restaurant with infinite views of the ocean. For these in search of greater than a fly and flop vacation, the resort provides limitless leisure with dwell music nights, themed dinners, seashore events, and its personal dhow excursions.