Zanzibar

Once called the “finest place” in all of Africa by Sir David Livingstone, the ‘Spice Islands’ of Zanzibar – or Unguja to the locals – are a haven of endless, unspoilt beaches with azure waters and incredible snorkeling. Although just 25 miles off the mainland of Tanzania, the islands have a look and feel that is completely unique to their continental motherland.

First gaining prominence as a hub in the slave trade between Arabia and Africa, the islands of Zanzibar have thankfully shrugged off their past and are now known as welcoming islands full of smiles. The aptly named Stone Town is a charming island capital with intriguing cobbled alleyways filled with the aromatic scent of spices, and a remarkably endearing old harbor from where the spices came and went.

Life there is slow and easy, and it’s hard not to get lost in the carefree attitudes of its friendly inhabitants while enjoying a bike ride or an afternoon stroll through the Spice and Curio Markets. For those who love the beach and the water, Zanzibar is the perfect destination. Whether your idea of the perfect beach moment involves sipping cocktails from the beach or being surrounded by tropical fish in the warm Indian Ocean, this island paradise has it all. Acclaimed as one of the best snorkeling spots in Africa, the warm tropical weather and crystal clear water present the perfect conditions to observe the brilliantly colored fish and coral reefs.

From the Jozini Forest to Pemba Island, Zanzibar has a fantastic selection of resorts to choose from. With a warm climate all year round, perfectly blue water, proximity to incredible safaris and a relaxed atmosphere, there really is no reason not to include Zanzibar in your visit to East Africa. You’ll be glad you did!

 

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Mnemba Island Lodge

andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge

Barefoot luxury on an idyllic private island just off Zanzibar’s coast, andBeyond’s beautiful Mnemba Island is the perfect place to relax and unwind after the thrills of an African safari. Pristine white sandy beaches encircle a shady tropical forest and coral reefs provide some of Africa’s best dive sites. Guests can snorkel to their heart’s content, sometimes among dolphins, and there is kayaking, windsurfing and deep sea fishing for the active, while the appeal of simply doing nothing but relax in this tropical paradise is enough for some. Wonderful personal service and delicious fresh meals in romantic locations add to the simple pleasures of island living.

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Breezes Beach Club and Spa

Breezes Beach Club and Spa

A quiet and relaxing beach retreat on the south east coast of Zanzibar, Breezes Beach Club enjoys a beautiful setting on stunning Bwejuu beach, rated among the Top 30 island beaches in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, with turquoise waters stretching out to a pristine coral reef. Family-owned and run, the resort has plenty of personality with warm and friendly staff, elegant decor and hand-crafted furniture. An on-site PADI dive school offers scuba diving courses, there are snorkelling and other watersports, and relaxing by the pool, walking for miles along the deserted beach or exploring the reef fills days of tropical island living.

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Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar

A unique and enchanting coupling of Arabic opulence and Scandinavian minimalism, Kilindi is one of Zanzibar’s most luxurious boutique hotels. Set in 35 acres of abundant tropical gardens, Kilindi comprises a number of glistening white-domed pavilion guest rooms, originally designed for Benny Andersson of ABBA fame. The resort is a celebration of Eden-esque nature, and provides the perfect retreat for anyone looking for a truly five-star experience in a tasteful and intimate environment.

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Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

Turquoise waters, pristine sandy beaches and beautiful tropical gardens are the backdrop to Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel on Zanzibar’s northern coast. A self-contained resort with its own PADI dive school, the hotel is a 15 minute walk along the beach to the fishing village of Nungwi and its long stretch of beach and the waters leading out to the coral reef are unspoilt and peaceful. Snorkelling, kayaking and sunset dhow cruises give plenty of opportunity to explore the warm tropical waters, or book a spa treatment for further relaxation and pampering before lying back in a hammock on the beach or by the swimming pool.

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The Palms

The Palms

Zanzibar conjures up an enchanting ideal of island life on immaculate palm-fringed beaches, and swimming in azure seas a short trip from the colorful center of Stone Town – a melting pot of Arabic, African and European cultures. The Palms is the perfect embodiment of this idyll, offering guests a truly exclusive and intimate getaway among a luxurious setting of lush tropical gardens and deserted stretches of pristine beaches. Situated on the unspoilt southeastern coast of Zanzibar, The Palms enjoys total tranquility, with just six intimate and exclusive villas open to guests.

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Zanzibar Serena Inn Hotel

Zanzibar Serena Inn Hotel

Zanzibar is known for its pristine, unspoilt beaches and laid-back African lifestyle. On an idyllic stretch of seafront in Stone Town, the Zanzibar Serena Hotel offers breathtaking sunsets over the Indian Ocean.  Focused on enjoying the magnificent outdoors, chairs and hammocks on the balconies of en-suite rooms are geared to relaxing and reclining. Ethnically chic, the inn is surrounded by historic Portuguese forts, bustling bazaars, sultan’s palaces and dhow harbours. A mix of opulent Arabic influence and Swahili grace, the building is reminiscent of a bygone era. Guests are greeted with the broad smiles of staff that wish to please.

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Azanzi Beach Hotel

Azanzi Beach Hotel

The intimate Azanzi Beach Hotel in Zanzibar stands, quite literally, on the beach in Matemwe. Surrounded by tall palms, its thatched roof and wooden decks discreetly blend in with the magnificent natural surroundings. Lush gardens and walkways spill onto the beach – the pristine, aquamarine ocean only a stone’s throw away from the hotel. A large swimming pool winds its way through the hotel – partially under cover and partially exposed to the sun. Known as “The Spice Island”, Zanzibar boasts some of the best spice crops in the world. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper are the must-takeaways for visitors.

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Meliá Zanzibar

Melia Zanzibar

For a quintessential tropical island getaway, Meliá Zanzibar is just the ticket. Situated in the northeast, famous for its iridescent turquoise sea and dazzlingly white beaches, Meliá is an exclusive all-inclusive resort offering total luxury among 40 acres of privately owned land. Complete with its own exclusive stretch of beach paradise and encircled by a beautiful natural coral reef, Meliá provides first-class barefoot luxury.

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Matemwe Retreat

Matemwe Retreat

For anyone looking for a wonderfully intimate and personalized stay in Zanzibar, with barefoot luxury and understated elegance, Matemwe Beach Village is the ideal destination. Located close to the Mnemba Atoll on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe Village enjoys endless pristine, palm-fringed beaches and glistening aquamarine seas. Guests can enjoy total seclusion and relax among true East African hospitality in an informal yet luxurious setting.

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