ESCAPE TO THE ISLANDS OF ZANZIBAR
The Spice Islands conjure up exotic images of swaying palms and idyllic tropical beaches – as they should. Just 22 miles off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is an archipelago with two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, the former being commonly known as Zanzibar. Each offer travelers respite, a spot to unwind and relax after safari, or to explore winding alleyways and palace ruins to uncover their histories.
With a history full of conquerors, slavers, explorers, and spice traders, Zanzibar is a place to get a taste of the exotic. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Center for its historic importance, Stone Town’s crooked streets and fabled wooden doors fascinate visitors. The island boasts rich historical sites including Sultans’ former palaces, a slave market, and the residences of legendary characters from the age of exploration, such as David Livingstone. While on a walking tour, you will discover the former residence of the Sultans of Zanzibar, the town’s ‘House of Wonders,’ scale the battlements of the Old Arab Fort, and more. Getting lost is half the fun, but your guide will be sure to steer you in the right direction when it’s time to move on.
Once one of the most important coastal trading centers in East Africa, today Zanzibar retains many of its retail roots in the busy markets and galleries found among the winding alleyways of Stone Town. The islands interior is its bread basket and home to its legendary spice farms. On a spice tour, you’ll see how cloves and other spices are grown. It’s also home to small nature reserves such as Jozani Forest, home to the indigenous Zanzibar red colobus monkey.
After exploring the mysteries of Stone Town, most visitors want to visit the Islands’ famed beaches. The coastline is a beach lover’s dream come true, with miles of white sand, palm-fringed beaches, and hidden coves. The warm, Indian Ocean continually invites exploration. Water activities – including SCUBA diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and fishing – along with the chance to truly disconnect and relax.
Accommodations run the gamut from local hotels to ultra-exclusive villas and family-friendly full-service resorts.