All men are created equal. All Islands are not.
The best kept secrets are the ones we keep to ourselves and Zanzibar is no different. Located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar Island is where white sandy beaches and protected coral reefs are indistinguishable, pleasant “Karibu’s” (welcome in Swahili) and gentle smiles are interchangeable, and the delicious local spices are undeniable. It’s relatively easy to fall in love with Zanzibar at first sight.
Location: Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa
International Airport: ZNZ
Time Zone: East Africa Time Zone UTC+03:00
Currency: Tanzanian Shillings (TZS)
Language: Swahili and English
Visa: Visa Required
Vaccinations: Yellow Fever vaccination mandatory. Refer to the CDC website for additional vaccines required.
Weather: Generally, the rainy months (with longer periods of rain) are March to May with afternoon downpours. The dry season lasts from June to October. During November to December, Zanzibar experiences a “short” rain season with lighter rainfall. But of course, the weather everywhere is unpredictable. The accompanying photos were taken during the month of March… the rainy month!
Preferred Accommodation: Zanzi Resort
The secrets of Zanzibar are made possible by Easy Travel & Tours, who effortlessly provides unique adventures and experiences throughout Zanzibar and the surrounding islands. With a lifetime of experience around East Africa, Easy Travel loves what they do and are extremely passionate about sharing their knowledge and love for Zanzibar with all visitors. With a plethora of activities to choose from, Easy Travel gives you the best of both worlds – Zanzibar’s main highlights as well as an opportunity to explore the off the beaten path. My tour guide, Zamir Khamis, flawlessly allowed me to take home the best memories of Zanzibar. Follow the journey below and, as the locals say, Karibu!
Prison Island is one of Zanzibar’s most popular bucket list items and allows you the chance to escape for some piece and quiet. After earning its name as the former prison for slaves, Prison Island is now dedicated to endangered (giant) Aldabra Tortoises, aging up to 180 years old. The day begins with a 20 minute Dhow cruise from Stone Town. Once on Prison Island, you’ll tour the historic grounds and spend time petting and feeding the tortoises. After exploring the grounds of the prison, you then have the option to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of Zanzibar or go for a swim and relax on the white sand beach surrounding the island.
Tracing the steps of the past is one of the many highlights while discovering Stone Town. With many buildings and ports that reflects the urban flair of East Africa, Stone Town is a melting pot of various elements from the African, Arabic, Indian and European cultures and truly symbolizes the heart of Zanzibar. Winding alleys, bustling bazaars, and children playing in rain puddles, while mothers gossip and fathers laugh over board games, is living proof that Stone Town is not just a destination, but a real community where people live, work, and play.
Stone Town comes to life at night at the Forodhani Night Food Market where both locals and travelers alike come together to sample some authentic Zanzibar delicacies by local chefs.
SUNSET DHOW CRUISE
One of the best ways to take in Zanzibar’s amazing sunsets is from the top of a Dhow cruise. The Sunset Dhow Cruise departs from Stone Town during the late afternoon and cruises along the coast, gently sailing to the rhythm of the rippling turquoise water. You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of local eats with a generous pour of wine, beer, and soda. The changing colors of the sky and shiny lights of Stone Town in the backdrop is the perfect way to start the night.
THE ROCK RESTAURANT
Probably one of the most iconic landmarks in Zanzibar, The Rock Restaurant is a classic example of simplified beauty. Its unique location, position on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean, creates an experience not to be missed. The Rock offers a combination of Italian, seafood, and local dishes with a view of Michanwi Pingwe beach in the backdrop. Seating is limited – be sure to book in advance.
Safari Blue is guaranteed to be one of your best days out in Zanzibar, period! Sail, snorkel, swim, feast, play and meet new friends are all a part of this full day adventure. The day begins with a scenic Dhow cruise along Menai Bay where you’ll enjoy the beautiful, rugged scenery, snorkel and leisurely wonder along isolated sandbanks with easy access to Zanzibar’s turquoise water. Once on Kwale Island, enjoy a seafood feast and ample time to sunbathe under Zanzibar’s bright skies.
Zanzibar is sure to arouse all senses and activate many emotions. These new memories will bring about that knowing grin and sparkle in your eyes. Experience Zanzibar!
For more tours courtesy of Easy Travel & Tours, click here.