Who could resist ten glorious days of relaxation and adventure in the breathtaking Archipelago of Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean? Certainly not me, so I jumped at the chance to join a small group of friends. Together we travelled the island mainly on a budget except splashing out for a few nights here and there. Some of the most memorable places we stayed in were low-priced and simple but exceeded our wildest dreams.
With a huge array of flora, fauna, wildlife and attractions, one can do as much or (if you have just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro) as little and still soak up the beauty of this incredible island.
Staying in one place no more than two nights our trip took us all over the island. This turned out perfectly as you really are ready to get going to the next place and explore. The longest drive from north to south is no more than three hours and it’s great driving through the countryside and towns watching local life go by so moving around in an ad hoc way is painless.
East Coast: Paje, Matemwe and Pongwe: Beautiful, endless beaches with pockets of un-tidal ocean. Fantastic for water-sports including kite surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Worthwhile watching the sunrise and the stars at night are out of this world. Lots of local wildlife to spot and I recommend a trip to Kiwengwa’s bat caves, a spooky never-ending cave with hundreds of sleeping bats.
Kendwar: Recognised for the best beaches on the island. A party town with hotels lining the coast, so fun to dip into for a night, but I would say no more than that!
Kizimkazi: Not known as a ‘go to’ area but it is an absolute must. Here you can swim in the bluest waters, swim with dolphins and scout out Red Colobus Monkeys. Recommended Promised Land Lodge (pictured below)
Chumbe Island: An important nature reserve for the conservation and sustainable management of the forest and the coral reef. There is an Eco lodge to stay, however there are day trips are available too. The island has a population of the allusive coconut crab that you may be luckily enough to see, as well as being home to one of the top five coral parks in the world, so outstanding snorkelling. It only takes a maximum of 14 people a day so book in advance.
Stone Town: Spice tours are one of the main attractions and definitely worth the trip. Discovering new spices and seeing them in situ is a real eye-opener and the fragrances you travel through is glorious. Wandering the bustling streets of Stone Town and stopping for their famous homegrown coffee or visiting the food market is a pure joy. Recommended: Emerson Spice Hotel
Prison island: A day of snorkelling, swimming and visiting large land turtles as well as a following the nature trails, home to a wide varieties of birds.
Why not take a look at our Private Villas in Zanzibar.