The ‘bounty island’ Zanzibar is a group of islands just off the coast of mainland Tanzania. It is well worth a visit, especially after a safari or mountain climbing. It consists of the main island of Unguja, often called Zanzibar, and the smaller island of Pemba. In Zanzibar, the main attractions are the Thousand and One Nights Stonetown and its beautiful beaches. Other interesting places are the lush green herb plantations, Prison Island, Jozani Forest with its red Colobus monkeys and Kizimkazi for dolphin watching. Visits to these places can be easily arranged from Stonetown or the beaches.
Stonetown is Zanzibar’s main town and is known for its narrow alleys where you can wander for hours. Due to Arab influences, this city has a Thousand and One Nights atmosphere, especially in the evenings. Be sure to visit the Forodhani Gardens for a skewer of your choice of freshly caught fish. In the city you will find a large number of guesthouses, hotels and restaurants, where you can enjoy the life of the Zanzibari, which is very different from the Tanzanian mainland.
Zanzibar is known for its white beaches with azure blue ocean. In the north you will find the beautiful beaches of Nungwi and Kendwa, in the east Pongwe, in the southeast the quieter beaches Bwejuu, Paje and Jambiani Beach and in the south Kizimkazi. All beaches are stunningly beautiful and have their own atmosphere and all contain accommodation ranging from simple guest houses to five star luxury resorts. Depending on what you are looking for, relaxed versus partying, young versus old crowd, beautiful sunrise versus beautiful sunset, you can choose between these beaches.
Other beaches of Tanzania
Zanzibar is an attractive island, but other places are also becoming increasingly popular. Those places have not yet been visited by tourists much and are therefore quieter and more authentic. On the mainland of Tanzania, the beaches around Pangani are the most beautiful, but south of Dar es Salaam is the beautiful Kidagaa beach. Even further south you will find Kilwa, which is also known for ancient ruins. Other islands are Pemba, north of Zanzibar, and Mafia Island. Mafia is extremely suitable for diving and around October you can see and even swim with the friendly whale sharks. There are also many private islands that have their own lodges, such as Fanjove Island.