Zanzibar

The main island of the Zanzibar archipelago is called Unguja, but is usually referred to simply as Zanzibar!

Zanzibar

Zanzibar – the name alone evokes an exotic allure. Picture the archetypal tropical island with sandy beaches set in an azure ocean and lush forested hinterland, and you see Zanzibar. In reality, it is all these things and more. From Stone Town, the buzzing capital and busy port, to small lodges on quiet beaches, from sleepy fishing villages to contemporary all-inclusive resorts, you can find them all here. It’s not hard to see why Zanzibar is the ideal beach component to a safari and beach holiday in Tanzania.

Things to do in Zanzibar

  • Relax – let’s face it, that’s why you’re really here! After and exciting, full-on safari you’re ready for some well-deserved R&R, and lying on a powder-fine beach lapped by the Indian Ocean is just the ticket.
  • Watersports – that water is just too enticing to be ignored. Snorkelling and diving are widely available, with larger hotels and resorts also offering a range of watersports such windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, water skiing and sailing. Sea swimming is tide dependent but most beach properties have a pool so you won’t miss out.
  • Eat – Zanizbari cuisine epitomises the cultural mix of the island with Arab, Portuguese, Indian and British influences all play their part in Swahili fare. Seafood is plentiful and fresh, spices are grown locally and add an extra frisson, and there’s lots of fruit used fresh, in desserts and drinks. It will set you taste buds into overdrive!
  • Explore – Zanzibar is the perfect size for exploring. Wherever you stay you can reach other parts of the island: walk in Jozani Forest spotting colobus monkeys, tour aromatic spice plantations, visit a turtle sanctuary, take a dolphin watching cruise or visit the local village for a taste of island life.
  • Stone Town – the capital has historic buildings, museums, palaces, cathedrals, mosques, narrow streets lined with shops, and plenty of cafes and restaurants. The waterfont Forodhani Gardens is the stage for the evening food market, popular with locals and tourists alike.
  • Chumbe & Mnemba Islands – these small islands are both just a few kilometres off the Zanzibar coast and are ideal beach getaways for those preferring rustic island living to high-end luxury accommodation. Activities include nature walks and snorkelling by coral reefs among shoals of tropical fish.
  • Sunset cruise – it may sound corny, but it has to be done! Step aboard your dhow, a traditional wooden sailing vessel, and cruise along the coast, glass of something chilled in your hand, as you watch the sun slipping down towards the horizon with the sky presenting a dramatic and colourful backdrop. It’s quite a way to round off a day, and, indeed, a holiday.

 

When to visit Zanzibar

In short, any time, though the months of April and May are the wettest and many hotels and lodges opt to close at this time. The temperature varies little, with days usually in the 30s.

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JUNE TO OCTOBER

  • This is the long dry season and the most popular months with long hours of sunshine and not too hot
  • The weather is good for sunbathing and sightseeing
  • This is peak season and beaches can be busy
  • Properties tend to book up in advance

NOVEMBER TO MAY

  • Days in January and February are hot and dry
  • In January and February the sea is clearest and excellent for diving and snorkelling
  • The short rains in November have less impact than the long rains and are interspersed with sunny spells
  • The months of April and May are very wet
  • Some properties on Zanzibar close in the main rains

Zanzibar beach holidays

Below you will find some Arusha itineraries that we’ve put together as recommended suggestions. You might find one of these is perfect for your needs as we’ve put a lot of thought into including some wonderful experiences in each of these safaris, and we really love what they offer. However, if none of these quite fit the bill for you, do call us and let us know what you’d like. We ready to help you plan your perfect Tanzania safari holiday..

Safari, Sand & Spice

Prices from £2,665 pp for 10 days
(exc. intl flights)

Quintessential safari and beach with the thrills of wildlife encounters and the lazy charms of Zanzibar. See a mighty bull elephant up close…

Selous Wilderness & Zanzibar

Prices from £2,280 pp for 10 days
(exc. intl flights)

Spend spell-binding days on safari combining game drives, nature walks and boat rides…

Tanzania Family Safari & Beach

Prices from £2,670 pp for 10 days
(exc. intl flights)

Animals and beaches are the two main ingredients of this holiday, both holding an appeal that crosses generations.

Serengeti, Ruaha & Zanzibar in Style

Prices from £7,445 pp for 13 days
(exc. intl flights)

A stunning north and south Tanzanian wildlife safari combined with Zanzibar beach relaxation…

Chimps, Serengeti and Spice

Prices from £6,550 pp for 11 days
(exc. intl flights)

Experience two days of chimp trekking, Serengeti safari and four wonderfully relaxing nights in Zanzibar…

Best Zanzibar Beach Holidays

Prices from £565 pp for 6 days
(exc. intl flights)

The well-known tropical island getaway in the Indian Ocean.

Mara, Crater & Zanzibar

Prices from £4,940 pp for 13 days
(exc. intl flights)

Spectacular wildlife viewing in a private Kenyan conservancy bordering the Masai Mara, in the Masai Mara reserve itself and in Tanzania’s Tarangire and Ngorongoro.

Where to stay in Zanzibar

Take your pick! There are small, family-run lodges, chic retreats, rustic hideaways, family-friendly hotels, glitzy resorts and historic mansions. With such a range of styles, sizes and levels, Zanzibar caters for all visitors.

Anna of Zanzibar

Anna of Zanzibar

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Baraza

Baraza

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa

Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Breezes Beach Club

Breezes Beach Club

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Dhow Palace

Dhow Palace

Modest, Zanzibar

DoubleTree Hilton Nungwi

DoubleTree Hilton Nungwi

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Essque Zalu

Essque Zalu

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Fumba Beach Lodge

Fumba Beach Lodge

Mid-Range, Zanzibar

Gold Beach House & Spa

Gold Beach House & Spa

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Jafferji House and Spa

Jafferji House and Spa

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar

Deluxe Zanzibar

Kisiwa on the Beach

Kisiwa on the Beach

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Konokono Beach Resort

Konokono Beach Resort

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Matemwe Lodge

Matemwe Lodge

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Matemwe Retreat

Matemwe Retreat

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Melia Zanzibar

Melia Zanzibar

Deluxe, Zanzibar

The Palms

The Palms

Ultimate, Zanzibar

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Qambani

Qambani

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Sea Cliff Resort and Spa

Sea Cliff Resort and Spa

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Shooting Star Lodge

Shooting Star Lodge

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Sultan Sands Island Resort

Sultan Sands Island Resort

Mid-range, Zanzibar

The Residence

The Residence

Ultimate, Zanzibar

The Zanzibari

The Zanzibari

Mid-range, Zanzibar

The Seyyida Hotel

The Seyyida Hotel

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Tulia Zanzibar

Tulia Zanzibar

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

Mid-range, Zanzibar

White Sand Villas & Spa

White Sand Villas & Spa

Ultimate, Zanzibar

Xanadu Villas

Xanadu Villas

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Z Hotel

Z Hotel

Mid-range, Zanzibar

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Zawadi Hotel

Zawadi Hotel

Deluxe, Zanzibar

Zuri Zanzibar

Zuri Zanzibar

Deluxe, Zanzibar