Powdery white sands and crystal clear waters
Backpacking in Zanzibar
A backpacking holiday in Zanzibar is a great adventure and a low cost way of exploring the Island’s unspoilt beauty. Zanzibar is also an ideal starting point for backpackers to visit surrounding islands including turtle Island, and Pemba Island. There are a number of inexpensive options when it comes to accommodation for those backpacking in Zanzibar, including three youth hostels, Rates run from €16.00 Euro per night, per person. to €37.00 per night, per person. You will find in Zanzibar, Backpacking holiday accommodation options located on every side of the Island in notable towns and villages.
Beach in Zanzibar
Taking a beach holiday in Zanzibar guarantees white sand paradises, each providing a perfect spot to just relax, soak up the sun and take a break from some busy sightseeing. Between the beaches are a number of picturesque fishing villages, where the people of Zanzibar live a simple way of life, unchanged over the years.
There are more than 25 great beaches to take a beach holiday in Zanzibar, and some are so remote and peaceful that the only noise breaking the silence will be the waves washing up the white sand shore. At the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, Another perfect location for a beach holiday on Zanzibar Island, approached by a road lined by banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees. Nungwi village is also the dhow building capital of Zanzibar Island, so it is a good place to see traditional craftsmen at work.
On the west coast of Zanzibar, Mangapwani beach is worth a visit, and to the east are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani, all with stretches of beautiful and uncrowded sands seemingly designed only to ensure that your beach holiday on Zanzibar Island is unforgettable.
Camping in Zanzibar
Camping on Zanzibar Island in general is not encouraged as tenting is not allowed commercially on the Island. However, there are “pre-fabricated” campsites in Zanzibar called Bandas (fully-furnished) available for those travelers still wishing to go for a Camping holiday in Zanzibar. The bandas are built from coconut palm fronds and provide simple furniture, mosquito nets and a private seating area. There are as well a number of smaller establishments offering Structured Camping sites in Zanzibar with Bandas (fully-furnished), and again, being constructed from top to bottom using "makutis", the coconut palm fronds. Shared shower and washroom facilities are available.
City Breaks in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an ideal destination if you are looking for a city break on the East African Coast. Your City break to Zanzibar will definitely have to include a visit to the Zanzibar Central Market. The Central Market, also called the Darajani Market, is the liveliest in the morning. In the long tin-roofed main building along the Creek Street, which opened in 1904 as the Seyyidieh Market, you can find the meat and fish sections whose pungency may well be a sensual shock for those only used to buying pre-packaged meat and fish from the supermarket.
At the market you can find a wide variety of goods, mostly due to Zanzibar’s unique historical location as the stopping point for both Indian and Arabian trading ships between India, Arabia & East Africa. Available are seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, shoes, clothing, radios, TV's, mobile telephones and much more. The market’s open stalls emanate rich aromas and entice shoppers with their purposeful layout of interesting goods. 500 Metres from the central market begin the numerous alleyways of downtown, lined with local side shops.
The atmosphere is different in these side shops, reminiscent of a gauntlet about to be run. Geared towards selling souvenirs, the bartering has a distinctive boisterous Arab flair to it. Raising one’s voice and disagreeing immediately to an initial price is not only expected, it is taken as a complement, also indicating to the seller, in a practical manner, that the buyer chooses to rise to the bartering challenge. Zanzibar town also known as Stone Town, with its population of 800000 is relatively small, therefore one city break in Zanzibar ought to cover the majority of the activities offered.
Cruises in Zanzibar
Zanzibar Island is one port-of-call for Princess Cruises. There are also a number of different types of cruises originating from Zanzibar Island from short day trip cruises up to several weeklong cruises. Sunset Dhow cruises offer a seaborne sanctuary leaving behind the hustle and bustle of busy people in Stone Town to grow faint in the distance until they seem only a memory. Lilting lyrical Swahili Music takes over on the Dhow, the butler serves canapés and keeps your glass topped up with your choice of beers, wine, cocktails or sodas, encouraging you to sink back into the cushions and enjoy the romance of Africa while watching the scenery drift by.
The East African coastal sun sets, changing the sky from shades of pinks and blues to magnificent golden colours as you sail back towards the glimmering lights of Stone Town in the distance, safe in the knowledge that the crew onboard are all qualified and experienced their safety is their top priority at all times. Ensure you choose a Vessel covered by full public liability insurance and fitted with life jackets and marine safety equipment. Special sunrise cruises, offer great sailing and snorkelling excursions for the time limited traveler or the early riser. The silence of the morning sea makes the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful sunrise cruise.
Three and Four night cruises form the perfect introduction to the pleasures of life at sea and give a fascinating glimpse into the treasures of the Indian Ocean. Discover Arab influenced Zanzibar, with its fragrant clove plantations, and spend a day on tiny Mesali where fabulous beaches invite total relaxation. Staying at an African Safari Club Hotel, you've plenty of time to experience the stunning beaches and tropical splendour of this glorious part of the world.
Culture and Arts in Zanzibar
Zanzibar's name alone is evocative of spice, colourful fabrics and exotic beaches fringed by coral reefs. Located off the west coast of Tanzania, this African paradise has a rich history, tropical climate, and vibrant multi-cultural people, enough to make a cultural and arts holiday on Zanzibar island holidays unforgettable.
Zanzibar is rich in culture and art, inflected by Arab, Persian, South Asian and African traditions. Stone Town's many cobbled streets are perfect for strolling along on a culture and Arts holiday on Zanzibar Island and offer a variety of cultural and historical discoveries. In addition to the chilled island atmosphere and Stone Town's bustle, other attractions lie beneath the water. Galleries in Stone Town offer examples of early 17th century Kiswahili literature, traditional dance, folk-paintings in the tinga-tinga and shetani (devils) styles originated by Eduardo Tinga-Tinga and George Lilanga, and of the Swahili carved art. Zanzibar is an incredibly photogenic place, and is rich in all sorts of art. Art lovers will also find a selection of paintings by several Zanzibar artists, including the popular Tinga-tinga painting style, and contemporary views of Stone Town.
Family Holiday in Zanzibar
Zanzibar Island is ideal as a family holiday. Your family can relax on the cotton-white sandy beaches of the east coast and in the clear blue Indian Ocean. Then step back in time on your family holiday in Zanzibar to explore Stone Town, rich in cultural heritage with its maze of winding alleys, whitewashed old buildings, bustling bazaars, mosques, fascinating architecture and influences of different cultures; a place overflowing with exotic spices. Please note a family holiday on Zanzibar Island will typically mean that the child price is only applicable for children under 12 sharing a room with 2 adults.
Hen Destination in Zanzibar
Though most of the main hotels list hen and stag parties as the type of guests they are capable of catering for, it is doubtful that Zanzibar Island would ever really figure as number one in a list of destinations when most folks are planning their stag or hen party. A Hen or Stag weekend in Zanzibar would probably work well if it was certain that the guests were all comfortable with the exotic, tropical, and remote nature of Zanzibar Island. At the same time Zanzibar remains one of the most romantic places in the world to get married or to have a honeymoon. Perhaps then, it’s just as well kept that way and that the stag or hen party be planned for another location.
Honeymoon in Zanzibar
For many couples Zanzibar is an ideal honeymoon destination. Many vacation lodges offer a privacy. What could be more adventurously loving than to celebrate your recent marriage on a sandy beach on mythical Zanzibar? A spellbinding view of the Ocean under heavenly blue skies with burnt-orange sunsets and a virgin untouched beach, is what a honeymoon holiday on Zanzibar Island is all about.
The weather between June and October (which is when most couples seem to get married!) is hot, dry and low in humidity. It represents very good value for money and its wide range of differently priced lodges means that there is something for everyone. A honeymoon holiday in Zanzibar offers an ideal retreat for honeymooners, with special surprises during your stay. Plentiful beautiful hotels and has a romantic charm & offers a number of memorable venues just perfect for two.
Couples Holiday in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a top-drawer choice of an island for couple’s holiday, one with coconut palms and powder-soft coral sands washed by cobalt clear sea. The northern peninsula of Zanzibar is truly stunning, and for a couple with a passion for beaches a couple’s holiday in Zanzibar has all the elements of paradise. Here, on the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island, the air feels fresh from its wide sea crossing and is so sensitive to the slightest change as the sun goes up and down. The sand shores up against the land in fine, blond drifts, and the beach shimmies its way around the bay.
The East Coast of Zanzibar has miles of white sand. The Ocean around the island is quite shallow and gently sloping. When the tide is out, you can walk long distances through shallow pools left warming in the sand. Crabs scuttle among the odd bits of shells and shaped coral, and women in coloured Kangas sing and chatter in Swahili as they gather around their wide fishing nets,. More than one private island with unquestionably the best beaches in Africa beckon those on a couples holiday in Zanzibar and certainly worthy of any 5-star rating. Islands surrounding yield Zanzibar’s best diving and have exceeded the expectations of thousands of Zanzibar holiday couples already many of them rating their stay as nothing less than exceptional.
Sailing Activity Holiday in Zanzibar
If your passion is sailing, you will love Zanzibar. The experience of sailing your catamaran on a sailing holiday in Zanzibar, between islands and shorelines edged by white sandy beaches in the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean will be unlikely to be matched anywhere else. Schedule your Sailing holiday in Zanzibar in September to coincide with the Tanzacat regatta. This year is the eleventh anniversary of TANZACAT, due to be held on the 12-20 September 2009, Tanzacat - All Africa Hobie Championships is a great opportunity for sailing enthusiasts to take to the waters and show everyone what they can do! TANZACAT is 10 days long and is held in Msasani Bay, Dar es Salaam.
It consists of 10 Olympic Course races and of course a sail to the exotic island of Zanzibar! What began as a small annual event is now the largest open class catamaran event in Africa with 52 catamarans manned by over 100 sailors competing in 2008. TANZACAT presents a unique opportunity to combine a sailing holiday in Zanzibar with an exciting special event.
Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Zanzibar
Holiday Scuba Diving in Zanzibar isn't just for beginners. Veteran divers can also enjoy night dives drift dives and wall dives,. Zanzibar has some of the best value-for-money diving in the world. There is loads of marine life in the coral reef structures that surround Unguja and Pemba Island. You’ll have good visibility (21 - 61 meters) and a year-round average water temperature of 26°c. With all that value you are bound to enjoy your Zanzibar scuba diving holiday experience. It also presents an opportunity for simply learning to dive or upgrading your diving qualification.
There are several dive centers on the island, running courses under the international Professional Association of Dive Instructors’ (PADI) system of diver education. The certification you get from PADI in Zanzibar can be used for diving anywhere in the world. In deeper waters, lush coral gardens often stretch as far as the eye can see, and large pelagic game fish (barracuda, kingfish, tuna and Wahoo) hunt together with large Napoleonic wrasse, graceful manta rays and sharks. Shallower waters are the playground of tropical fish, including a huge variety of Indo-Pacific marine fauna. Ensure that the dive centre you use: is staffed by professional divers and well equipped boats.
Important things to check for while onboard include; medical oxygen, first-aid facilities, radio communications, sufficient life jackets for the number on board, back-up engine/s and is a member of a reputable training organization such as the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI). PADI lists all trade members online at: www.padi.com. You can explore the many scuba sites using local dive site maps. Should you choose to go on a scuba diving holiday in Zanzibar, all experience levels can be catered for, with a large variety of dive sites from which to choose.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Zanzibar
A cycling holiday on Zanzibar Island is a very nice way to explore the island. Historical Stone town tours by bicycle, cultural Night tours by bicycle, and Spice tours can all be done by bike or special Zanzibar cycling tours can be arranged to your wishes while you are on your Zanzibar biking holiday. The bike tours of stone town will have winding your way through the old alleyways of the town typically with a bicycle guide.
Zanzibar used to be the business center of East Africa, trading primarily in spices, ivory and slaves. The Zanzibar bike tours through Stone town then typically proceed through the open market and the former Slave market, and on your way your guide will show you many more interesting things there are to see and he/she will try you give you a clear explanation of Zanzibar’s history. The cultural night bicycle tour on Zanzibar island is designed to give you an insightful view of Swahili lifestyle. You leave the city behind you as you cycle through the suburbs following a guide, you will be invited for spice tea and when the sun sets you can climb up on one of the higher buildings to get a nice view of Stone town and its suburbs.
The Zanzibar by bike cultural night tours typically go on to the “Forodhani” to have diner, this is the place where the people meet to eat, drink tea and share the news of the day. Zanzibar is the Spice Island, a very important aspect of the history of Zanzibar. Bicycle Tours of the Zanzibar spice plantations are also available. From your cycle saddle, you will get to, first hand, smell, taste, and see the spices as they grow (and they look a lot different then in your spices cabinet at home).
Shopping Holiday in Zanzibar
A Zanzibar Island Shopping Holiday will yield wooden masks, ebony bowls or animals or Masai statues. Masai paintings are exhibited in wonderful solar colors, or from Masai all kind of bracelets and collars, and pareos. Note: Take extra cash or traveler's checks. Don't rely totally on your bank card. There are lots of Shops in the narrow alleys of Stone Town - always BARGAIN! These shops offer batik, chess sets, local crafts, masks, souvenirs, statues, etc. you may get a better deal buying with Euros over Shillings, since the hawkers are more prone to bargaining when buying with foreign currency. There are better exchange rates for large Euro notes i.e. €50, & €100 than on smaller Euro notes i.e. €20, & €10. Four ATMs stand sentry on Zanzibar island, all in Stone Town.
A store that accepts credit card payment is a rarity. Stone Town is a one-stop-souvenir-shopping experience for someone on shopping holiday on Zanzibar Island. There are beautiful textiles, handmade jewellery, intricate wood or stone carvings, spices, knick-knacks, and the list goes on and on. While on your Zanzibar shopping holiday, find and buy a cookbook and spices. Take the trip home with you! Beware that many of the vendors sell fake saffron.
Well-being and Spa in Zanzibar
Several of the hotels in Zanzibar offer well-being centres as a place for guaranteeing tranquility for your body, mind and soul while on your wellbeing and Spa holiday in Zanzibar. The well being centres Feature treatment rooms, stunning outdoor Thai massage pavilions, and outdoor lap pools with sun decks there are also fitness centres with sauna and steam room. You can indulge in a variety of divine treatments, or enjoy workouts and time in the sauna.
A wide range of treatments is offered featuring body treatments, massages, beauty treatments, facials, and more. The wellness centres also feature quite comprehensive spa menus with a variety of treatments offered including aromatic floral baths, floral foot baths, spice scrubs, and Swedish massage therapy. Typical Spa Rituals can include floral foot baths, white sesame scrubs, aromatic floral baths, Swedish massage, Thai facial and refreshment. a choice of body treatment, aromatherapy massage, ayurvedic massage and an ayurvedic facial. Aromatherapy massage, traditional Thai massage, Oriental foot massage and Ayurvedic head treatment incorporating pressure points. Salon and regular beauty treatments are also available including Hair cuts, Pedicures, Manicures, Cream baths, Hair styling, & French manicure
Winter Sun in Zanzibar
A winter sun holiday on Zanzibar Island is an unbeatable choice. In fact, Shiri beach, Fumba, Zanzibar has been rated by the “Times Online” as the top location in the world for a winter sun holiday. That’s pretty impressive when you consider the competition in the marketplace of locations for winter sun holidays. The mangrove-fringed beaches of Zanzibar’s southwest coast are less popular than those on the north and east, but if you’re gong for a winter sun holiday on Zanzibar Island between December and February, when the northeast monsoon is blowing, this is where you want to be. The water is the same ludicrous shade of blue, the sand slightly more golden and, as Shiri beach faces west, it offers awesome sunsets. Short-trippers and other tourists are rare, making Shiri beach all yours. The signposts to Shiri beach built from driftwood are seemingly purposely difficult to find! You may find yourself having to ask the proprietor to show you the way!