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Tanzania

Zanzibar

ZANZIBAR TRIP? NO TROUBLE.

The picturesque archipelago of Zanzibar lies around 20 miles off-shore from mainland Tanzania. It’s made up of dozens of islands and tiny islets, but the most famous is Unguja – which is now commonly referred to as ‘Zanzibar’. Serving up sugary sands, crystalline waters, lush forests and time-stamped towns, Zanzibar holidays offer a real tropical escape. And, if you want to see more of Tanzania, hopping over to the mainland couldn’t be easier.

Measuring just 24 miles wide and 52 miles long, the island of Zanzibar isn’t big – but it certainly packs a punch. The rich interior features indigenous forests, filled with chirping birds and cheeky monkeys. Spice farms are bursting with all sorts of plants, such as vanilla, nutmeg and black pepper. Coastal mangroves are ideal for kayaking adventures. And UNESCO-listed Stone Town is home to soaring cathedrals, grand mosques, vibrant markets and maze-like laneways.

But the island’s stunning beaches are the main draw of a holiday to Zanzibar. Powdery white sands are brushed by the bath-warm Indian Ocean, while the bright coral reefs are teeming with marine life. You can snorkel with colourful fish, seahorses and turtles, go on dolphin-watching trips, and try your hand at kite-surfing. Or you could simply relax on a sun-soaked beach, with a good book and an ice-cold beer.

And your Zanzibar trip doesn’t have to end there. Why not book a multi-centre holiday, to explore Tanzania further? You could go on an epic safari in the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater. Or, if you like a challenge, you could even climb Mount Kilimanjaro – then enjoy some well-earned downtime on Zanzibar’s sandy shores. Whatever you’re planning, our Travel Specialists will help you create the perfect itinerary for your Zanzibar holiday.

Things to do

Beaches

Stone Town

Best time to go

Things to do in Zanzibar

You’ll find plenty of exciting things to do during your Zanzibar holiday. Wildlife-lovers can search for monkeys in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, or join a dolphin-watching tour. Go on a daytrip to Changuu Island to see giant tortoises, or kayak through tangled mangroves in search of exotic birdlife.

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Show Less

For an authentic taste of Zanzibar, why not take a tour of ‘The Spice Island’? You can visit a spice farm to learn all about the flavoursome tasty plants, or simply enjoy a guided walk around Stone Town’s spice-laden markets. You can inhale the sweet scent of cardamon and vanilla, and try colourful chilies and turmeric. 


For a different foodie experience, make a reservation at The Rock – an iconic restaurant on the Michamvi peninsula, on Zanzibar’s east coast. With just 12 tables, this exclusive spot serves up net-fresh seafood and gorgeous beach views.

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Show Less

Zanzibar beaches

Zanzibar is famous for its idyllic shoreline. Whether you’re eager to enjoy a lazy day on a powdery beach, or you’re looking for thrilling water activities, this place has it covered.

Show More
Show Less

In the island’s northwest corner, Nungwi Beach is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. You can expect to find postcard-worthy views and rich coral reefs. Don a snorkel and swim with tropical fish and turtles – and, if you go in November or December, you might even see majestic whale sharks. Or you could head to tranquil Kendwa Beach, further south. Entirely unspoiled, this quiet stretch is has crystal-clear waters, where you’ll be able to see pretty starfish.

On the east coast, meanwhile, Nakupenda Beach has sugar-white sands and bright blue waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Pongwe Beach is another popular snorkelling spot. If you’re an experienced diver, though, you should make tracks for Matemwe Beach in the northeast, where you can discover the vibrant underwater world of the Mnemba Atoll.

Show More
Show Less

Stone Town

If you fancy a spot of sightseeing during your trip to Zanzibar, make sure you spend a day in Stone Town. On the island’s west coast, this UNESCO-listed area showcases a range of influences from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. And there are a number of fascinating landmarks.

Show More
Show Less

You can visit the 17th-century Old Fort and stroll along the waterfront to see the Palace Museum, which was once the residence of the Sultan and his family. You should also check out Malindi Mosque, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, and Christ Church Anglican Cathedral. The latter is particularly significant, as it was built on the site of East Africa’s last permanent slave market.


After a busy day of exploring, why not grab a bite to eat at Forodhani Market? Every evening, the Forodhani Gardens transform into a bustling street food market, where you can feast on local specialities and fresh seafood as you watch the sunset.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Zanzibar

Zanzibar has a tropical climate, so it’s always warm. But June to September is the best time to go, when you can enjoy sunny days with an average temperature of 29°C. This is also a fantastic time to go on safari in Tanzania – so why not add on a few days in the Serengeti, while you’re there? Alternatively, if you’re a keen diver, plan your Zanzibar holiday for January or February, when the water is at its clearest.  

Show More
Show Less

There are two rainy seasons. The ‘long rains’ run from mid-March until May, when heavy downpours make this a difficult time to go. Meanwhile, November and December see regular, fleeting showers, known as the ‘short rains’. It’s still very hot during these months, though – so if you want to avoid the crowds, you could consider planning your Zanzibar holiday for the end of the year.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Zanzibar

You’ll find plenty of exciting things to do during your Zanzibar holiday. Wildlife-lovers can search for monkeys in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, or join a dolphin-watching tour. Go on a daytrip to Changuu Island to see giant tortoises, or kayak through tangled mangroves in search of exotic birdlife.

Show More
Show Less

For an authentic taste of Zanzibar, why not take a tour of ‘The Spice Island’? You can visit a spice farm to learn all about the flavoursome tasty plants, or simply enjoy a guided walk around Stone Town’s spice-laden markets. You can inhale the sweet scent of cardamon and vanilla, and try colourful chilies and turmeric. 


For a different foodie experience, make a reservation at The Rock – an iconic restaurant on the Michamvi peninsula, on Zanzibar’s east coast. With just 12 tables, this exclusive spot serves up net-fresh seafood and gorgeous beach views.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

Zanzibar beaches

Zanzibar is famous for its idyllic shoreline. Whether you’re eager to enjoy a lazy day on a powdery beach, or you’re looking for thrilling water activities, this place has it covered.

Show More
Show Less

In the island’s northwest corner, Nungwi Beach is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. You can expect to find postcard-worthy views and rich coral reefs. Don a snorkel and swim with tropical fish and turtles – and, if you go in November or December, you might even see majestic whale sharks. Or you could head to tranquil Kendwa Beach, further south. Entirely unspoiled, this quiet stretch is has crystal-clear waters, where you’ll be able to see pretty starfish.

On the east coast, meanwhile, Nakupenda Beach has sugar-white sands and bright blue waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Pongwe Beach is another popular snorkelling spot. If you’re an experienced diver, though, you should make tracks for Matemwe Beach in the northeast, where you can discover the vibrant underwater world of the Mnemba Atoll.

Show More
Show Less

Stone Town

Stone Town

If you fancy a spot of sightseeing during your trip to Zanzibar, make sure you spend a day in Stone Town. On the island’s west coast, this UNESCO-listed area showcases a range of influences from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. And there are a number of fascinating landmarks.

Show More
Show Less

You can visit the 17th-century Old Fort and stroll along the waterfront to see the Palace Museum, which was once the residence of the Sultan and his family. You should also check out Malindi Mosque, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, and Christ Church Anglican Cathedral. The latter is particularly significant, as it was built on the site of East Africa’s last permanent slave market.


After a busy day of exploring, why not grab a bite to eat at Forodhani Market? Every evening, the Forodhani Gardens transform into a bustling street food market, where you can feast on local specialities and fresh seafood as you watch the sunset.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Zanzibar

Zanzibar has a tropical climate, so it’s always warm. But June to September is the best time to go, when you can enjoy sunny days with an average temperature of 29°C. This is also a fantastic time to go on safari in Tanzania – so why not add on a few days in the Serengeti, while you’re there? Alternatively, if you’re a keen diver, plan your Zanzibar holiday for January or February, when the water is at its clearest.  

Show More
Show Less

There are two rainy seasons. The ‘long rains’ run from mid-March until May, when heavy downpours make this a difficult time to go. Meanwhile, November and December see regular, fleeting showers, known as the ‘short rains’. It’s still very hot during these months, though – so if you want to avoid the crowds, you could consider planning your Zanzibar holiday for the end of the year.

Show More
Show Less
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