East African Isles – Zanzibar

July 13th 2014  |  Zanzibar and islands  |  by  Richard Smith
Zanzibar white sand beach

The advantage of any safari in East Africa is that you are within easy reach of a wide variety of excellent beach locations for a few nights relaxation pre or post game viewing. You can find beautiful white sandy beaches, excellent snorkelling and dive sites, or wild beaches with great waves where you can enjoy a bit of body boarding.

Zanzibar

Tea House Rooftop Restaurant Emerson Spice Stone Town Zanzibar

Tea House Rooftop Restaurant, Emerson Spice, Stone Town

This exotic spice island oozes character. It has a distinct Arabic influence. As I type these words I am reminded of my time in the capital, Stone Town. I can still recall the battle of the mosques calling the faithful to prayer. In the past it was a vibrant trading post for spices. As well as, a main centre for the buying and selling of slaves to the Middle East. A more recent claim to fame is as the birth place of the legendary Freddie Mercury.

Why visit Zanzibar and what to do:

roof restaurant Hurzumi Stone Town Zanzibar

Rooftop restaurant, Emerson on Hurumzi over Stone Town, Zanzibar

Excellent beaches with crystal clear waters. Cool (it just doesn’t absorb the heat) white, powdery soft sand. Excellent diving and snorkelling. Traditional dhow sailing trips. Dolphin spotting of the north-eastern part of the island. Shopping in the narrow and windy streets of Stone Town. Dine in the 236 Hurumzi’s roof top terrace. Visit a local village. Explore the different spice fields of inland Zanzibar.

Mafia

Chole Mjini Lodge - Dining boat Mafia Island Zanzibar

Chole Mjini Lodge – Dining on the quayside, Mafia Island

The Mafia archipelago comprises five islands, with the largest being Mafia Island, and is Tanzania’s only marine national park. Although you don’t get the same white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters that you find around Zanzibar, you get lovely intimate beach properties which have a safari feel about them. It really does seem to be an undiscovered paradise.

Why visit Mafia and what to do:

pole pole mafia island zanzibar diving

Pole Pole diving, Mafia Island

A quieter island without the hustle and bustle of Zanzibar. Great diving and snorkelling. Picnics on the sand bars. The chance to see whale sharks between November and March. A little bit of bird watching.

Any questions?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

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