Zanzibar has been an important trading base for more than 2,000 years. The Portuguese, British and Omani Arabs have all left their mark on the so-called Spice Island over the years and as a result Zanzibar is a wonderfully colourful and captivating place.
Arabic dhows sail the Zanzibar Channel and the sound of the muezzin's call to prayer rings across the rooftops of Stone Town. Also known as Zanzibar Town, Stone Town is a delightful maze of shops, mosques, alleyways and local landmarks such as the House of Wonders, Forodhani Gardens and the 236 Hurumzi hotel - or Emerson & Green as many still know it. Among the alleys, you'll also find imposing houses with large, brass-studded front doors, built during the 19th century slave trade as a demonstration of their owner's wealth and status.
Nungwi, a fishing village and dhow-building centre at the northernmost tip of the island is another Zanzibar highlight. Here are some of the island's best beaches, as well as a choice of luxury resorts overlooking the ocean. The east coast, too, is just as divine - with clear white sand and swaying palms extending in both directions from Chwaka Bay. Wherever you choose to relax, it's well worth fitting in a tour of the spice plantations during your Zanzibar holiday.
Top itineraries in Zanzibar
Staying in luxury safari lodges, enjoying expert-led game drives and indulging with full-board gourmet dining throughout, this small-group safari takes in the best of Tanzania’s national-park treasures, from Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti. It’s all capped with some beach relaxation in Zanzinbar.
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Top places to stay in Zanzibar
Essque Zalu, perfectly situated amongst the aromatic spice plantations and white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, stands as one of the finest resorts on this beautiful part of the African continent.
Blending a spectacular beachfront setting with direct access to Stone Town’s UNESCO-listed treasures, this luxury hotel is an enticing option, the traditional aesthetic of its rooms matched by the local flavours of its terrace restaurant.
Kilindi is a 15 pavilion resort spread over 52 acres of lush gardens and lovely beaches along a picturesque-perfect stretch of Northern Zanzibar. Standing watch over the time-honoured Dhow Routes, along a crescent of coral-bright sand, each of the fifteen pavilions embrace cascading rain-water...
A delightful, superior hotel situated on a long white beach on the east coast of the island of Zanzibar. Emphasis is very much on personal service in a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere. The 70 air-conditioned rooms are grouped in villas set among palms just a stones throw away from the sea and Bwejuu B…
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