The historic part of Zanzibar Town called Stone Town – is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the heart of the island.

It is a melting pot of cultural influences, mazelike alleyways, weathered buildings, unfamiliar spices smells the air from bustling curio stalls – it’s quite frantic. Wander around the old forts and visit the site of the former slave market, as the island is steeped in this history. Then head to one of the many quirky rooftop restaurants for a bite to eat and a view.

More than anything people do come for Zanzibar’s picture-perfect palm-fringed beaches, lapped by the warm ocean waters of the Benguerra current. Perfect ending to a safari, or a beach holiday in its own right - Zanzibar’s beaches offer something for everyone. Amongst the island’s best are beautiful Nungwi at the northern tip, and Bwejuu beach on the south-east coast. Spend your days simply soaking up golden rays, enjoy pampering spa treatments and exotic food at one of the many excellent resorts or smaller boutique properties dotted along the coast. But one cannot stay on land too long - it’s all about the azure sea here - try your hand at a water-sport or snorkel amongst the colourful fish making their home in the pastel corals.

Traditional farms on the island grow cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg and a visit gives a real sensual insight into the spices from far and wide that have such an influence on the local cuisine. The closest national park to Zanzibar is the Selous in Tanzania, approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes flight away. A stay in Zanzibar can also be combined with a Kenyan safari or even a bit further down – South Africa.

Fast facts

  • Population of the island is 1.1 million
  • Religion predominantly Muslim
  • The climate is tropical with rainy season from March to May
  • ‘Jambo’ means Hello
  • Zanzibar consists of over 50 islands
  • Great diving to be found off Mafia Island