Zanzibar | Indian Island Romance

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Zanzibar has becoming one of the most popular beach destinations in Africa. Accommodation standards vary considerably from hotel to hotel, in particular in Stone Town. If you are specifically looking for a beach holiday, we recommend that you stay somewhere along the South-east or south coast and possibly only spend one to two nights in Stone Town in order to do the various tours that are available

As a general rule once guests are settled at their coastal hotel they are reluctant to do the journey into town, however the various tours are offered from the hotels and are available should guests want to do them.We have sometimes found that guests have a very romantic view of Zanzibar and don't expect to come across beggars and dirty streets. It may be a suggestion to brief guests subtly on what to expect to avoid disappointment when they arrive. Zanzibar is a living island and has a great deal of charm but it is not immune to littering and poverty.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Climate
The average temperature is around 30°C and humid. The hot season is December to March with temperatures reaching 35°C. June to November is the best season to travel with the average temperature between 26°-28°C. Most of Zanzibar closes down for the annual monsoon season, which occurs in April and May.

Clothing
Zanzibar is primarily an Islamic country and modest clothing for women is recommended when in public. It is considered offensive for females to expose too much flesh. Clothing such as tank tops, bikinis and mini-skirts may be viewed as provocative and it is wise that women in particular dress with care when going out in public.

Lightweight, natural fabrics in neutral colours are the most comfortable and practical for the Zanzibar climate.  Sun block, hats and sunglasses help provide protection from the harsh sun.

Entry requirements
A Yellow Fever Certificate is essential for entry and if a Tanzanian visa is required for a particular nationality, the same requirement applies to Zanzibar. Please ensure that guests have the necessary documentation prior to departure on holiday to avoid unpleasantness and disappointment on arrival.

ACCESS

1. Coastal Air and Precision Air operate direct flights to Zanzibar International airport from Arusha on a daily basis that connects with RAS arriving from the Northern Safari Circuit.
2. Kenya Airways operates a direct flight from Nairobi to Zanzibar International airport.
3. Coastal Air and Precision Air operate daily flights from Dar es Salaam direct into Zanzibar International Airport.Air Tanzania operates flights once a day from Dar to Zanzibar on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  They run flights twice a day on Mondays and Thursdays.The ferry operates 2-3 times a day from the port in Dar es Salaam to the Zanzibar Port Authority.

ACTIVITIES

Historical Stone Town Tour - 3 hours:
Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, this tour starts at the main city market, which was opened in 1904 and is still used by the local people to sell tropical fruits, vegetables, spices and fresh fish.

From here guests are taken to visit the slave chambers, the Anglican Church of Christ built in 1873, the Sultan's Palace Museum (House of Wonders), the old Fort built in 1700, Africa House - formerly an English Club and finally a walk through the narrow, winding streets of Stone Town to experience the exotic bazaars, curio shops, Arabic architecture and the beautiful Zanzibari carved doors.

Spice Tour - 3 hours:
Zanzibar is known as the 'Spice Island' for good reason. Spices such as vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric and nutmeg grow profusely alongside coconuts, pineapples, bananas, litchis and many other exotic fruits. A Spice Tour involves visiting a local spice farm where guests are given the opportunity to smell, touch and taste a wide variety of different spices and tropical fruits.

Prison Island - 3 to 7 hours:
This entails a 30minute boat ride from Zanzibar across to Prison Island. The ruins are from the prison that was built in 1893 and are how the island got its name. Guests can spend either the morning or the whole day exploring the ruins, swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. One of the most fascinating sights is of the Giant tortoises that live on the island, some of which are over 100 years old.

Chumbe Island - 3 to 7 hours:
Chumbe Island is the first Marine and Coral Reserve in Tanzania. The main reason for visiting Chumbe is to snorkel around the spectacular Coral gardens and appreciate the unique vegetation that grows on the island.

Jozani Forest - 2 to 4 hours:
Jozani Forest is home to the rare and very beautiful Red Colobus Monkey. The monkeys have become accustomed to tourists and appear to actually like posing for the cameras. When visiting Jozani Forest guests are taken for a walk along the boardwalk that runs through the ancient Mangrove Forest. A large variety or butterflies and birds also occur in the area.

Dolphin cruises - 4 to 8 hours:
This boat trip out to sea provides guests with an opportunity to get up close with the schools of dolphins that occur off the Zanzibar coast. The dolphins appear to be very comfortable with the tourist boats and as a result guests usually have great sightings of this wonderful creature.

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