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From the moment you get close to Zanzibar you will feel a relaxed atmosphere occupying your senses. The turquoise water of the sea and the powdery white sand beaches shaded by palm trees make this island look like a paradise.
The official name of Zanzibar Island is Unguza. It is settled in the Indian Ocean about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast. Unguza is part of the Zanzibar archipelago, which consists of 50 islands including Pemba and several smaller islets.
Stone Town, the heart of Zanzibar, is an example of cultural fusion and harmonization. Allow yourself to get lost in the narrow labyrinth alleys to feel the influence of African, Arab, Indian and European history. The most famous feature of the architecture are the carved wooden doors. Recently, it has been recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The best way to ease into life in the town is to visit the colourful market in the morning and the Forodhani gardens in the evening where the plaza comes alive with vendors serving delicious grilled seafood and the unique zanzibari pizza.
Within easy reach of the town is a fine collection of beaches. Whether you want to relax at the beach or feel more energetic and want to enjoy the water sports and mingle with people at an evening party, in Zanzibar you will find everything.
In the north, surrounded by the turquoise blue water, is Nungwi, the dhow-building centre of the island. It has long been a magnet for visitors for its lively village. At close distance is beautiful Kendwa, a wide sandy beach with a very low tide that allows you to enjoy the sea all day long.
The east coast is lined with long white beaches such as Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Pongwe, Paje Bwejuu and Jambiani, all with beautiful uncrowned sands. The tide is bigger at this side of the island and when it retreats the beach becomes colourful by the local women that collect the seaweeds. Matemwe is the best base for diving and snorkelling around Mnemba, which is one of the best sites on the island for those activities. Heading southward the villages become a little sleepier and more relaxed. Jambiani is a quiet, friendly village that offers you an authentic aspect of the island life.
Southwest is the tranquil Menai bay with Fumba Peninsula to the west and Unguja Ukuu to the east. This bay is home to impressive corals, fish and mangrove forests, a sea turtle breeding area and deserted islets. It is great for sailing, diving and snorkelling. Offshore is the uninhabited Chumbe Island that is runned ? as a Coral park. It can be visited as a day trip or -if you can afford it- there is an excellent award-winning eco-resort for your stay. If you are interested on Chumbe you can find more information about this island on the list on your right.
Zanzibar is also called the "Spice Island" due to its long history of spice plantations. There are numerous farms in the centre of the island. Friendly guides will escort you on a walking tour, giving you information and the chance to touch and taste raw spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and many more.
Another gem of the island is Johani forest. It is one of the last indigenous forests in the island and home to the endemic Red Colombus Monkey. Here you can take a walk through alleys at the lush green forest and under the surveillance of a guide you can come closer and photograph this rare species of monkey. We suggest continuing your tour in the impressive mangrove area and try to walk on the hard roots of the trees. Close to the forest is the Zanzibar butterfly centre, a private effort that works in partnership and helps support local NGOs and communities. In an exotic tropical garden you will see hundreds of colourful butterflies and witness their life cycle from egg to caterpillar and pupa.
Zanzibaris hold a long tradition of a unique and varied musical and cultural diversity. Every year, they organize the famous festivals of Ziff and Sauti Za Busara while the entire island is on a fiesta for many days in a row. Find more information on these festivals in our "Life" section.
Zanzibar is a unique island that has managed to find a balance between being a hive of activity and calmness and relaxation. We are certain that you will enjoy your time in Zanzibar and wish to come back one day.
Being near the Equator, the Zanzibar islands are warm and good for swimming all year round. We suggest avoiding your visit during April & May when the rainy season sets in.
The accommodation proposals are plentiful and vary depending on your budget. Road2Afrika has a big experience on Zanzibar visits. We will arrange everything you need for your stay including domestic flights, suggestions for tours, guides, diving experts or hiring a car if you prefer to be more self-reliant.
For vacations in Zanzibar you can contact us either by filling the booking form or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you prefer call us on +255 784 605 785. We will be happy to hear from you.