A nice option to end a wonderful safari is to spend a few days on Zanzibar. Located in the Indian Ocean, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Tanzanian coast, Zanzibar is an archipelago comprised of over 50 small islands. The largest island is Unguja. It is roughly 85 km (53 miles) long (north-south) and 40 km(25 miles) at its widest (east-west).Unguja is commonly known and referred to as Zanzibar or Zanzibar Island.
The second largest island is Pemba Island. Pemba is roughly 50 km (31 miles) north of Zanzibar Island. Pemba’s topography is more rolling and verdant than that of Zanzibar and it offers visitors some spectacular diving opportunities. Despite many years of isolation from the outside world, Pemba is receiving a small but growing number of visitors. The infrastructure is much less developed than on Unguja, and there are far fewer tourists. Beautiful beaches, natural forests and outstanding diving are just some of the attractions it offers.
The main and largest town of Zanzibar Island is Stone Town. This town was built on the site of a very old fishing village and is named for the coral stone buildings that were built there largely during the 19th century. Stone Town is a busy, chaotic town with some interesting spice markets. It also has some wonderful restaurants that offer a variety of delicious food options from Indian and Middle Eastern, to European and, of course, fresh seafood. The town is predominantly Muslim and the architecture reflects its Arabic influence with its tall, carved wooden doors and thick stone walls. A wander through the narrow, windy roads is highly recommended, as is a trip to one of its many markets. Handmade clove, cinnamon or vanilla soaps are very popular as gifts to take back to friends and family.
Once the hustle and bustle have taken their toll, it’s time to head for one of the many idyllic beaches that Zanzibar offers.
In between picturesque fishing villages, where people live a simple way of life, you’ll find paradise in the form of the beaches of Zanzibar. There are more than 25 wonderful beaches on Zanzibar Island. Some are so peaceful and remote that you are likely to find yourselves alone to bask in their beauty.
At the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, the dhow building capital. Dhows are sailing vessels with distinctive triangular sails that are built by traditional craftsmen. Nearby you will find coral reefs that are ideal for diving and snorkeling. The local villagers have built a turtle sanctuary where injured turtles and other marine animals are nursed back to health before being released back into the Indian Ocean.
Nungwi and nearby Kendwa beaches are ideal for swimming, as the northern part of the island does not have the drastic high and low tides the other areas experience. Of the two, Kendwa is considered the more laid back location.
All of our safari itineraries can be supplemented with a Zanzibar holiday. Please feel free to ask us about lodging options.