Zanzibar & The Coast
What better way to round off a safari adventure through Tanzania than to spend some time relaxing on one of its beautiful white sand beaches. Zanzibar is traditionally the destination that most people go for, but the Tanzanian mainland has an increasing number of superb beach options that are much smaller and quieter than the large resorts found on the "Spice Island". The emphasis when at the beach is very much on relaxation, enjoying the fantastic food (especially seafood) and sunbathing, however, there are plenty of activities to enjoy as well, especially on Zanzibar where many hotels boast their own dive and watersports schools.
Zanzibar tends to be home to the larger resorts often numbering 100 rooms or more, however, these are well spread out so you don't get the feeling of being overrun by other guests. Somewhere such as The Hideaway of Nungwi is a great option on the North of the Island and offers plenty do outside of the resort with a number of villages located close by. If you are looking for more villa style properties, White Sand Villas is an excellent option, as is Esque Zalu if you are looking for somewhere really opulent. On the mainland Ras Kutani is within a 2 hour drive of Dar-es-Salaam so is perfect for rounding off a trip before heading home and it offers a really tranquil place to relax. If you are looking for somewhere with more activities on the mainland Saadani River Lodge or Saadani Safari Lodge are excellent options.
Although the emphasis is on relaxation, Zanzibar in particular offers plenty to do for those looking to be more active. Diving schools cater for beginners looking to learn the basics right the way through to the experts and there are some fantastic dive spots to enjoy. For a more sedate way to enjoy the ocean, snorkelling is offered as are activities such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and walks along the beach. Kitesurfing is growing in popularity and there are an increasing number of places to learn this exhilarating sport.
Spending time on the beach is a great way to end a busy safari trip and will allow you to relax and unwind before heading home. Connecting flights mean you can enjoy the whole day on Zanzibar before flying home. Do consider the mainland coast if you don't like big resort style hotels but there are a number of small, boutique options where you will really feel at home.
Marine life is rich with many corals, fish, turtles, dolphins and whales can be spotted seasonally. Jozani Forest is home to the endangered Red Colobus Monkey which can be viewed in its natural habitat here
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- Surrounded by the ocean, Zanzibar is renowned for its seafood with most hotels offering a fantastic variety of fresh seafood menus.
- Known as the "Spice Island" for good reason, a visit to Stonetown, either for a day or on a 2 night stay will allow you to see the spice markets and enjoy the old Arabic architecture for which it is known.
- Learn to dive at one of the many dive centres the hotels boast - the waters around the island are very clear and host a huge diversity of marine life.
- Jozani Forest is home to Red Colobus Monkeys and makes for a great walk amongst the forest.
- There are many markets, alleyways and superb Arabic architecture to explore while visiting Stone Town - make sure you pack a map so you don't lose your way.
- Many of the superb lodges have a spa facility on site for expert pampering while you relax.
- Take a walk through the local markets for the colourful 'Tinga-Tinga' style paintings which make great souvenirs.
- For a bit of history, pop in to Stone Town's 'House of Wonders' opposite the Forodhani Gardens. The building is the largest and tallest in Stone Town and houses the Museum of History & Culture of Zanzibar & the Swahili Coast
- January to March: Warm and dry, a lovely time of year to visit.
- April and May: The long rainy season means this area is best avoided as the range of activities is severly limited.
- June to October: The dry season is the most popular time of year to be here, excellent for activities.
- November and December: Another good time of year to visit, but you can get some rain in November which limits the activities that you can enjoy.
- Stone Town is well worth spending a night or two in at the start of a stay in Zanzibar rather than visiting for a day which can involve a lot of driving and missing some time at the beach.
- For true oppulence and privacy look at one of the villas at Esque Zalu or The Residence which will give you your own space to relax in away from the busier parts of the hotel.
- The tides can be quite severe in Zanzibar in terms of how far out the sea goes. This depends on location and time of year so please speak to us and we can recommend where to go to avoid this.
- Learn to kitesurf when you are here. There are some excellent schools for beginners and the winds are excellent for learning.
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