by Megon Venter on September 10, 2018
2 min read

Take a detour on your Tanzanian safari to visit Zanzibar, a tropical jewel in the Indian Ocean. A rich historical tapestry is woven by the local communities and, paired with luxury seaside resorts, it creates the ultimate island getaway. Read on to discover the exquisite sites that make the Zanzibar Archipelago so special.

1. Stone Town

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Photo Credit: Andrew Moore

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town is an ancient city that was once a central point for traders passing through Africa. Visit The House of Wonders, the Arab Fort and once opulent palaces that are scattered across the island. A fusion of cultures have co-existed here for centuries and this is apparent not only in the architecture but also the people and cuisine.

2. Jozani Forest

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Photo Credit: Marc Veraart

Trek through the forest to spot the rare red colobus monkey as well as bird and butterfly species endemic to the Zanzibar Archipelago.  A boardwalk that runs through the forest, between the mangrove trees, providing a visual lesson in local flora. Many trails also lead to breathtaking spots – if you have the time to make your way through the foliage.

3. Snorkelling

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Photo Credit: Christine Olson

The archipelago is known for its coral reefs, a beauty which is best explored under the vibrant waters. The reef hosts many species existing together in one place, some of the best spots being the relatively untouched Menai Bay Conservation Area and Mnemba Island, a busier and more popular spot.

4. Aldabra Giant Tortoise

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Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe

A somewhat strange find on Changuu Island is the rare Aldabra giant tortoise. These are endemic to the Seychelles but exist on the island because they were presented to Zanzibar as a gift from a previous prime minister in 1919. The island was used as a quarantine area for yellow-fever in colonial times but has also known as “prison island”, a plan that was never executed by officials.

5. Pristine Beaches

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Photo Credit: Roman Boed

Zanzibar is a world-renowned beach destination with white sands and clear waters. Try out the small Pongwe beach  for a quieter experience, or relish in the classic experience on Nungwi and Kendwa beaches, although they tend to a lot busier.

6. Island Hopping

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Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

There are quite a few private islands around the archipelago that house luxury resorts. These are sophisticated options that provide a steady base from which to explore – but, if you’re looking for islands that are not privately owned, try Pemba and Mafia Islands which are fascinating places offering whale and shark diving adventures.

Are you inspired to immerse yourself in island life? Read a personal traveller account of Zanzibar’s wondrous natural resources and cultural heritage.

Featured Image: Marc Veraart