Also known as Africa’s Spice Islands, the Zanzibar archipelago comprises Zanzibar Island (Unguja), Pemba, and Mafia. The perfect pairing to a Tanzania safari, a few days of relaxation on their white sand beaches and in their stunning shallows makes the archipelago one of the Indian Ocean’s top beach destinations.
What’s more, the islands are within easy reach of Tanzania’s top national parks thanks to flights to Zanzibar from multiple Tanzanian airports.
Luxurious resorts in Zanzibar provide everything you’ll need to recover from those early morning game drives, while offering the chance to continue the safari under the waves. Snorkeling and scuba diving excursions are simple to arrange. They’ll take you into warm waters inhabited by everything from the tiniest corals to the largest of all fish – the whale shark.
Each of Zanzibar’s three islands have their own personality. Unguja, the largest, sees a steady stream of traditional dhows sail past its historic wonders. Effortlessly green Pemba is home to clove plantations and is arguably best for serious scuba divers, while largely unchanged Mafia Island remains the domain of fishermen tracing their ancestry back hundreds of years.
But beyond their epic coastline, the islands of the Zanzibar archipelago have a unique mix of cultures and were ruled by a sultan until 1964. This is best explored on a guided tour of the archipelago’s capital, Stone Town. The city’s blend of African, Arabian, southeast Asian, and European influences is obvious through its photogenic architecture and aromatic market places. It’s also unique enough to have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only 1,000 worldwide.
Top Tanzania Travel Destinations
Arusha & Arusha National Park / Gombe Stream National Park / Lake Manyara National Park / Mahale Mountains National Park / Mount Kilimanjaro / Ngorongoro Conservation Area / Nyerere National Park / Serengeti National Park / Tarangire National Park