“It is the most beautiful place on the earth.” David Livingstone
Just off the east coast of Tanzania lies Zanzibar, the African archipelago surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The Spice Island, as it’s also known, has a turbulent yet interesting past with Persian and Arabian influences alongside its more obvious native ones.
Wander the maze of narrow streets in Stone Town to fully immerse yourself in Zanzibar’s culture and history. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a mix of old and new, where African traditions met European influences. It’s a place to absorb all kinds of sights, sounds and aromas. Traditional hospitality can be enjoyed on one of the many rooftop restaurants and souvenirs purchased from persistent street vendors. Pavement galleries are set up as impromptu art exhibitions if you want to take home some local paintings.
Pose by one of the traditional wooden carved Zanzibar doors, stop by Freddie Mercury’s house and the House of Wonder before sampling some local street food at the night market. Away from Stone Town, the island offers stretches of coconut palm lined coast with picture postcard white sandy beaches and crystal-clear ocean.
Explore deserted islands and mangrove lagoons by traditional wooden dhow where you can enjoy some snorkelling and spot some dolphins. Zanzibar is a favoured diving location and also offers visitors kayaking, fly-fishing and wind-surfing too.Other highlights include Mnemba Island and its must-see natural coral reef, Jozani forest where the endangered Red Colobus monkeys live and Prison Island to see the giant land tortoises. Visit a local spice farm and experience why Zanzibar is referred to as the ‘Spice Island’, wander through the plantations of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom, tropical fruits and medicinal plants. Here’s a first look at our trip in pictures.