Make Memorable Holidays in Zanzibar Islands
Make memorable holidays and gather unforgettable experiences in the Zanzibar archipelago just off the Tanzanian coast.
Also called Spice Islands, these exotic groups of islands feature shady palm fronds, white powdery sandy beaches, azure waters and beautiful coral reef. Collectively they make a great beach holiday after a gruelling safari on the mainland.
The largest island is Unguja with an excellent array of accommodation that ranges from small lodges to classy hotels and expensive resorts. The best spot and the favourite for many travellers is the east coast as it has the best hotels and panoramic views. Towards the south, it gets more tranquil and laid-back.
And if you get enough of the beach life, there a lot more to see and explore.
For centuries the monsoon winds on the Indian Ocean have navigated visitors to these shores and some of the visitors comprised tradespeople who brought in spices from the Arabian Peninsula, Persia and India.
The cultural mix these traders left behind thrive to this day, and it can still be seen in the building architecture, food and other cultural artefacts.
If you visit Stone Town today, you can wander through the exotic narrow streets and notice mosques and palaces that haven’t changed much since the middle ages. Check out the intricately carved doors, which at one time depicted wealth, class and status.
And if you’re interested in the spice trade, take a spice tour in a spice plantation where you’ll learn how cloves are cultivated, harvested and packaged. You will also have a chance to sample some local fruit recipes. You will be taught how spices are grown using locally crafted agricultural methods and you will get a chance to taste, smell and eat up to 50 different mixes of plants, spices, fruits depending on the season.
The highlight of the tour is a cooking session where you get a chance to prepare your own sauces and cook the tasty local dish, pilau, which is traditional Swahili meal comprising rice, beef and local vegetables.
Pemba and Mafia
Pemba Island lies to the north of Zanzibar and is a 40-minute flight from Dar es Salaam airport. If you prefer to chill out in an unspoilt, secluded paradise, then Pemba is for you. Known as the “Green Island” due to its lush tropical forest and hilly interior, and emitting an air laden with the scent of cloves, it is where the largest clove plantations are to be found.
Pemba is famous for its underwater landscapes and plentiful marine life. You can go snorkelling and diving in its healthy coral reefs, dive vertically into its deep channels and swim in its azure waters.
You can also visit Mafia Island, a little-known, but exotic gem of an island destination with abundant coral reefs and well-organised marine parks. Mafia’s landscape diversity is breathtakingly beautiful and is only waiting to be discovered.
Going for a road trip
There may not be many paved roads on Mafia Island, but there are more adventures on the tracks that pass for roads. Take a bumpy trip through the beautiful landscapes and enjoy a picnic inside the thick forests.
Check out the abundant coconut farms at the Mbizi Ras Plantation on the north of Mafia and also explore the beautiful beaches nearby. Or stroll through the Mlola forest for lunch and picnic on the beach. Mafia Island has plenty to offer people who love nature and quiet.
On their departure, many visitors express the wish that Pemba and Mafia would remain unspoilt by modern civilisation.
Also have a look at Zanzibar – A Luxury Indian Ocean Experience