Dive into crystal clear waters, relax on secluded stretches of beach or explore fragrant spice farms. The exotic archipelago of Zanzibar,nestled in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean,boasts unmatched natural beauty blended with rich history and fascinating culture. So whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, you can find your perfect island getaway here.
When to Go and Weather
Zanzibar’s proximity to the equator coupled with its location in the Indian Ocean mean that the archipelago enjoys warm weather no matter what the season. Enjoy the sunshine and relax on the beach with a good book or explore coral reefs teeming with beautiful fish and sea turtles. During the height of summer, strong sea breezes can roll over the beaches. If you catch a cool day head inland and explore the exotic jungle of the Jozani Forest. With unique indigenous animals ranging from the rare Red Colobus monkey to bush pigs, creatures here have evolved into unusual species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. If you plan to travel over March, April or May, be prepared for a few showers as longer rains are brought in by southwest monsoons.
While the island has over 1,600 km of road, there is no official public transport so visitors must rely on other means toget around. Travellers are able to hire a car if they wish to explore some of the more remote areas of the island away from their resort or make use of a resort transfer. Cruise to Chwaka Bay and spend the afternoon at the largest bay on Unguja, Zanzibar’s main island, or explore the maze of narrow alleys, shops, bazaars and mosques in Zanzibar City’s Stone Town. For those looking to experience more of the archipelago, flights from Unguja to its sister island Pemba run daily and there are a number of boats available taking travellers to the small town of Mkoani on Pemba as well. The island also has numerous taxis called dalladallas which are available for hire. Make a deal with the driver for the day or grab one at your convenience.
Known as Spice Island, Zanzibar’s traditional dishes are infused with subtle flavours and rich fragrances of the harvests of local spice plantations. Using freshly caught seafood, chefs create delicious and healthy dishes sure to captivate even the fussiest of palettes. Travellers to Zanzibar can dine at their resort or venture into the city for a taste of the city’s finest culinary creations. Watch the sunset from the balcony of Terrace Restaurant at the MaruMaru hotel or go to Amore Mio on Shangani Street and enjoy the flavours of Italy. Despite having a significant Muslim population, Zanzibar City has a number of chic nightspots tucked away from the bustle of the city. Enjoy a sundowner at the historic Africa House Hotel. The former English Club for Royal Navy Officers around 1900, a drink at this majestic hotel will take you back in time. If you’d rather keep things more relaxed, there are loads of beach bars serving beer and mixing fresh fruit cocktails.
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was born in Stone Town and lived there until he was 8.
Zanzibar holds the record for the shortest war. It fought Great Britain in 1896 for only 38 seconds.
Zanzibar used to be a former sultanate of the Middle Eastern country of Oman.