The name Zanzibar conjures exotic images of spices, ivory, ancient buildings and a balmy island steeped in history. For 1,200 years Zanzibar’s location made it a centre of trade linking Arabia, Africa, Europe and the East. Arabs, then Persians settled here over 1,000 years ago and for many years the island was a centre for trade in slaves, cloves and ivory. Slaves came from deep in the interior of Africa carrying huge elephant tusks until the trade was abolished in the nineteenth century.
Today, you can see evidence of its past, especially in the Old Stone Town, a World Heritage site of beautiful old buildings with characteristic oak carved and with brass fittings. The fusion of African and Arab cultures, spice plantations, long sandy beaches and tropical climate make Zanzibar an alluring place for relaxation and adventure. Most people come here to enjoy the beaches and watersports, snorkeling and diving on the magnificent reefs.
Delightful boutique hotels like Kasha and Kono Kono make exquisite hideaways where you can enjoy privacy, delicious cuisine and quiet beaches with just a handful of fellow guests. For an extra touch of class Baraza is like a Zanzibari dream come true with superb service and cuisine and gorgeous one or two bedroom villas with Moorish arches, mosaic and exotic décor. For a few days in the Old Stone Town our clients love Seyidda, an elegant 17 room boutique hotel next to the old Royal Palace.
Zanzibar is fringed by a number of beautiful smaller islands, including Mnemba where you find the ultimate barefoot in the sand resort and some of the finest shallow and wall diving in the Indian Ocean. For nature lovers, Chumbe Island has outstanding birdlife, canoe trips through mangroves and exceptional coral gardens making it the best location for snorkelling. The unusual bungalows have high vaulted thatched roofs, and each is a few steps from the shore, the perfect place for an early morning dip admiring iridescent fish darting among the colourful corals.
Zanzibar is the ideal place to conclude a Tanzania safari or a safari in Kenya, being just an hour away by air.