| Zanzibar and these mainland destinations offer white beaches, palm trees and pleasant
water temperatures all year round, and good opportunities for snorkelling, diving and
good big game fishing. A long history of Arab, Portuguese and British rule has left
its marks in culture, livelihood and architecture, so there is much to see, too.
|Beach in Pangani on the mainland coast.
The fabled island of Zanzibar, former seat of the sultan of Oman and once the centre
of the East African slave trade, is today a tropical destination for leisurely beach
holidays, combinable with active water sports and fishing, and with touring the island's
Afro-Arabian culture that was moulded by history. Most visitors come to stay along the
east coast and the north, where the beaches are generally the best.
Hotels ranging from budget to luxury, and from small and personal to comfortable resorts,
are scattered along the coast, some in clusters for more service and activity, others
more secluded. Diving, snorkelling and fishing is widely available, to some extent in
the Indian Ocean right outside the hotels, and by boat to the best reefs and other prime
areas. Other boat tours bring you to see or swim with dolphins, or to smaller islands
|The fortress in Stone Town.
On land, the most popular tour may be the one to Stone Town. Stone Town is the old Arabic
centre of Zanzibar Town, the largest town on the island, and is known for its Afro-Arabian
architecture, its inlaid doors, and its narrow winding alleys. The hotels found here
are established in genuine Zanzibari old-style buildings, featuring corresponding interiors
and atmosphere. In the evenings, the seafront area Forodhani fills with strollers and
food stalls serving grilled meat, fish and local specialities.
Other tours visit the spice farms that once brought wealth to the island, the old Jozani
Forest, and cultural sites such as mosques and ruins.
Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ/HTZA) has scheduled connections with Dar es Salaam
(a 20-minute flight), Arusha and Kilimanjaro (1 hour), and Nairobi in Kenya (2 hours),
allowing for smooth combinations of safaris and beach holidays. It's a 1.5-hour drive
from the airport to the most distant hotels on the northern tip of the island.
More about Zanzibar
|Mnemba dive site off Zanzibar Island.