Zanzibar is surely one of Africa's most evocative place names, up there with Timbuktu in Mali and Casablanca in Morocco. Its sultry tropical climate, Islamic influences and multitude of dreamy white sand beaches make it a hugely popular holiday destination - whether as part of a tailor made tour combined with a safari on the Tanzania mainland, or as a stand-alone beach holiday.
The state of Zanzibar comprises two islands, Unjuga - Zanzibar Island - and Pemba, to the north. Both have palm-lined beaches fringed by coral reefs, and their idyllic coastlines feature some of Tanzania's most luxurious beach resorts. Dhows are a familiar sight off the coast, transporting vanilla, cloves and other spices, or trawling for fish. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities, while a tour of the spice plantations and a visit to Stone Town on Zanzibar are also highly recommended.