Zanzibar

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Why

Zanzibar is an attractive tropical island that combines perfectly with a safari experience in Tanzania. Zanzibar boasts some of Africa's finest swimming beaches, world-class scuba-diving sites, luxurious beachfront resorts, the finest spices in the world, and a wide range of water sports. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing on a tropical beach, explore the cultural attractions of Stone Town, or indulge in several adventure activities, this island affords you the gift of choice and an unforgettable getaway.

When

Zanzibar has a tropical climate allowing you to plan your seaside vacation in this part of Eastern Africa at any time of the year without any extreme variability in temperatures. The monsoon breezes blowing in from the Indian Ocean help to maintain its warm temperatures.

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of spring. Another popular time to visit this tropical island is from December to February when it’s hot and dry. The ocean temperatures are perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling expeditions.

There are two best times to scuba dive off the coast of Zanzibar, in July and August and in February and March. Diving off the north coast is particularly good from June to October and off the south coast between November and March.

Zanzibar Island has two wet seasons, the long rains and the short rains. The long rains in Zanzibar begin in the month of March and pick up the tempo in April and May, dusting off by June while the short rains fall in the months of November and December. We don’t recommend visiting Zanzibar during the rainy seasons.

Where

Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the main tropical island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar.

Boasting some of the finest swimming beaches in Africa, as well as world-class scuba-diving sites, we rate Zanzibar as an ideal destination for travelers seeking a blissful, barefoot-luxury holiday. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing on a tropical beach, exploring the cultural attractions of Stone Town, or enjoying the many water sports on offer, this island has something for every traveler.

Zanzibar produces some of the world’s finest spices and is home to the endemic Zanzibar red colobus, the Zanzibar servaline genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar leopard.

Zanzibar is also perfectly combinable with a safari in Tanzania.

Stone Town

Stone Town is the heart and soul of the island and oldest part of Zanzibar City. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, it is known for its rich cultural heritage of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements. An incredible mashup of winding alleys and old Arabic-style buildings, you can temporarily lose yourself in the town’s magic. Soak up the local culture by sipping a cup of coffee from a local vendor or wander through the streets, discovering unique little spots at every turn.

Palace Museum

Commonly known as the Sultan’s Palace, The Palace Museum is perhaps the most historic building in Stone Town and is a must-see for any traveler. The Palace Museum is located in the waterfront, overlooking the ocean, and was built in the 19th century as a home for the Sultan and his family. After the 1964 revolution, the site was used as a Government building and was renamed as The People’s Palace. Today it serves as a museum that showcases relics of the past Sultan family.

House of Wonders

The House of Wonders is a hugely important and visually stunning historic building in Stone Town. The House of Wonders rises in impressive tiers of slender steel pillars and balconies overlooking the waterfront. Its enormous carved doors are said to be the largest in East Africa, fronted by two bronze cannon with Portuguese inscriptions dating them to the 16th century. It boasts a highly interesting exhibition that offers a brilliant insight into Zanzibari and Swahili culture. The House of Wonders is the grandest and tallest building in all of Stone Town and is found in a prominent location in front of the Forodhani Gardens on the old town’s seafront.

The Old Fort

The oldest building in Stone Town, the Old Fort is located on the seafront, right in front of the famous Forodhani Gardens. Originally built in the 17th century with the purpose of defending the island from attacks from the Portuguese, nowadays the Old Fort is one of Stone Town’s main sights. Visitors can admire the remains of the former fort and amble around the courtyard in the center, where sellers have local produce for sale. An old amphitheater still hosts events and functions in the fort.

Prison Island

A half-hour boat trip from Zanzibar, Prison Island provides a fascinating glimpse into the island’s slightly dark past – this land was once used as a place where slaves were detained and, when slavery was abolished, it functioned as a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Fortunately enough, that is all in the past and today the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison.

Jozani Forest

A vast and scenic spread of green, Jozani is the last indigenous forest left on Zanzibar. Located inland from Chwaka Bay the area often floods, which luckily nurtures a unique swamp forest of many amazing looking trees and ferns. This forest is one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world of the red Colobus monkey and is also a great place to encounter many indigenous varieties of flora and fauna.The forest is best reached via bus (309 or 310), by chartered taxi, or as part of an organized tour.

Nungwi Beach

Nungwi is a village found on Zanzibar’s North West tip. This is a popular place yet it’s not overrun by tourists, and it’s one of Zanzibar's top beaches as the tide doesn’t head out too far. The aquarium on the north coast of Nungwi near the lighthouse, rears small turtles found on the beach until they are large enough and then released to survive in the sea. The aquarium is a natural pond with seawater that seeps through the cliff at high tide. This is a great destination for those looking to just soak up some sun and dip their toes in the sea but don’t need the luxury of a fancy hotel.

Spice Tour

Zanzibar is known for its spice trade, so what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than learning about its wealthiest and most profitable industry? Travelers can choose from a variety of tours and explore the winding streets with expert tour guides who will inform you of the origins of the industry, as well as teaching guests about the wide variety of spices that Zanzibar produces and trades in.

Why

Zanzibar is an attractive tropical island that combines perfectly with a safari experience in Tanzania. Zanzibar boasts some of Africa's finest swimming beaches, world-class scuba-diving sites, luxurious beachfront resorts, the finest spices in the world, and a wide range of water sports. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing on a tropical beach, explore the cultural attractions of Stone Town, or indulge in several adventure activities, this island affords you the gift of choice and an unforgettable getaway.

When

Zanzibar has a tropical climate allowing you to plan your seaside vacation in this part of Eastern Africa at any time of the year without any extreme variability in temperatures. The monsoon breezes blowing in from the Indian Ocean help to maintain its warm temperatures.

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of spring. Another popular time to visit this tropical island is from December to February when it’s hot and dry. The ocean temperatures are perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling expeditions.

There are two best times to scuba dive off the coast of Zanzibar, in July and August and in February and March. Diving off the north coast is particularly good from June to October and off the south coast between November and March.

Zanzibar Island has two wet seasons, the long rains and the short rains. The long rains in Zanzibar begin in the month of March and pick up the tempo in April and May, dusting off by June while the short rains fall in the months of November and December. We don’t recommend visiting Zanzibar during the rainy seasons.

Where

Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the main tropical island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar.

Boasting some of the finest swimming beaches in Africa, as well as world-class scuba-diving sites, we rate Zanzibar as an ideal destination for travelers seeking a blissful, barefoot-luxury holiday. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing on a tropical beach, exploring the cultural attractions of Stone Town, or enjoying the many water sports on offer, this island has something for every traveler.

Zanzibar produces some of the world’s finest spices and is home to the endemic Zanzibar red colobus, the Zanzibar servaline genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar leopard.

Zanzibar is also perfectly combinable with a safari in Tanzania.

Stone Town

Stone Town is the heart and soul of the island and oldest part of Zanzibar City. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, it is known for its rich cultural heritage of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements. An incredible mashup of winding alleys and old Arabic-style buildings, you can temporarily lose yourself in the town’s magic. Soak up the local culture by sipping a cup of coffee from a local vendor or wander through the streets, discovering unique little spots at every turn.

Palace Museum

Commonly known as the Sultan’s Palace, The Palace Museum is perhaps the most historic building in Stone Town and is a must-see for any traveler. The Palace Museum is located in the waterfront, overlooking the ocean, and was built in the 19th century as a home for the Sultan and his family. After the 1964 revolution, the site was used as a Government building and was renamed as The People’s Palace. Today it serves as a museum that showcases relics of the past Sultan family.

House of Wonders

The House of Wonders is a hugely important and visually stunning historic building in Stone Town. The House of Wonders rises in impressive tiers of slender steel pillars and balconies overlooking the waterfront. Its enormous carved doors are said to be the largest in East Africa, fronted by two bronze cannon with Portuguese inscriptions dating them to the 16th century. It boasts a highly interesting exhibition that offers a brilliant insight into Zanzibari and Swahili culture. The House of Wonders is the grandest and tallest building in all of Stone Town and is found in a prominent location in front of the Forodhani Gardens on the old town’s seafront.

The Old Fort

The oldest building in Stone Town, the Old Fort is located on the seafront, right in front of the famous Forodhani Gardens. Originally built in the 17th century with the purpose of defending the island from attacks from the Portuguese, nowadays the Old Fort is one of Stone Town’s main sights. Visitors can admire the remains of the former fort and amble around the courtyard in the center, where sellers have local produce for sale. An old amphitheater still hosts events and functions in the fort.

Prison Island

A half-hour boat trip from Zanzibar, Prison Island provides a fascinating glimpse into the island’s slightly dark past – this land was once used as a place where slaves were detained and, when slavery was abolished, it functioned as a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Fortunately enough, that is all in the past and today the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison.

Jozani Forest

A vast and scenic spread of green, Jozani is the last indigenous forest left on Zanzibar. Located inland from Chwaka Bay the area often floods, which luckily nurtures a unique swamp forest of many amazing looking trees and ferns. This forest is one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world of the red Colobus monkey and is also a great place to encounter many indigenous varieties of flora and fauna.The forest is best reached via bus (309 or 310), by chartered taxi, or as part of an organized tour.

Nungwi Beach

Nungwi is a village found on Zanzibar’s North West tip. This is a popular place yet it’s not overrun by tourists, and it’s one of Zanzibar's top beaches as the tide doesn’t head out too far. The aquarium on the north coast of Nungwi near the lighthouse, rears small turtles found on the beach until they are large enough and then released to survive in the sea. The aquarium is a natural pond with seawater that seeps through the cliff at high tide. This is a great destination for those looking to just soak up some sun and dip their toes in the sea but don’t need the luxury of a fancy hotel.

Spice Tour

Zanzibar is known for its spice trade, so what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than learning about its wealthiest and most profitable industry? Travelers can choose from a variety of tours and explore the winding streets with expert tour guides who will inform you of the origins of the industry, as well as teaching guests about the wide variety of spices that Zanzibar produces and trades in.

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177 reviews
Nov 26, 2022
We had an amazing first safari…
We had an amazing first safari experience with Safari.com! 💯Thanks to Dolan for the well planning and ensure our itinerary goes smoothly and safely!
CSY
,
ZA
Oct 21, 2022
Superior service, knowledgeable, transparent, amazing can-do attitude
These guys get 10/10. I have booked with them a few times. To Kruger National Park, including both public and private(concession) camps, flights and car hire. Their senior agent, Dolan is exceptional. Nothing is too much trouble. Attention to detail, transparency, and 'can-do' attitude are out of the ordinary. I recently came into contact with Tanya at safari.com as well. It looks like all their agents are similarly well trained. Thank you. I cannot recommend Dolan and his team highly enough.
customer
,
AU
Nov 18, 2022
Cape Town miracle
I was in Cape Town, South Africa recently for an athletic competition and had allowed myself a week of personal time to relax and properly conclude the trip, but had not bothered to plan a safari to occupy the time. I was skeptical of the cost and whether I would enjoy the experience, however a couple days into that final week it occurred to me, in a bit of a panic attack, what a waste it would be not to take advantage of this opportunity. I hopped online and started looking at flights to Johannesburg (almost all the safaris in SA start there with an early morning pick up), but it was basically impossible to get a flight early enough and/or to coordinate with the multiple safaris operating in or just outside of Kruger. With no apparent options available to turn my remaining 4 1/2 days into even a 3 day safari I stumbled on the most obvious website one could imagine, Safari.com. I'd completely given up negotiating all the variables on my own but here was a safari travel agent that might be able to help me .. and they were based right out of Cape Town, literally a stones throw from my lodgings. Serendipity, or so i hoped. I immediately sent out an email and crossed my fingers .. for roughly an hour and a half, at which point Dolan from Safari.com responded to me requesting I give him a call so that we could expedite potential arrangements. My in country phone plan wasn't able to make calls, but we arranged for him to call me and not 3 hours after being in the grip of despair Dolan got through to me and far from notifying me of how absurd it was to hold out hope for a literally, last minute safari adventure with barely 4 days available to me, he had already worked out all the details I'd sent and created a preliminary safari trip that would bypass Johannesburg airport for a flight the next morning to a closer, much, much smaller airport where I would be picked up taken, not to a 3 day safari, but a full 4 day safari, then back to the tiny, tiny airport for a return flight to Cape Town with 2 hours to spare for my return leg all the way home. It almost feels like an afterthought, after the minor miracle Dolan was able to conjure up, but the safari itself at Simbavati Lodge was just an absolutely stunning experience. The single "tent" he booked me was as luxurious as any 4 star hotel I've stayed in, the game drives, one every morning, one every evening were more amazing than I could have ever imagined, and the food, 3 meals a day with snacks and an open bar was sublime. I could go on about the wonderful staff, or the wonderful other safari goers you can meet and grab a drink with, or the different animals walking through the open lodge facilities daily .. but I've gone on long enough. I'll simply conclude by saying .. safari, absolutely, yes, do it, it is amazing. And when you do decide, Safari.com will do you right and if you have the pleasure of working with Dolan, do give him my thanks .. the entire experience was the best part of my trip :)
Damian Glennon
,
CA
Nov 12, 2022
A great company
What to say! We planned a South African Safari for 2020 with Safari.com. We researched companies and took a chance on one we had never heard of before. Henry Franklin was our agent, we gave him our budget and wish list. He came up with a wonderful looking trip and we made our choices! Then came Covid, preventing us from going. We couldn’t have been in better hands. Henry rebooked everything for the next year. He kept us updated on how things looked there. When in 2021, we decided it still looked iffy, he rebooked us a second time for 2022. We couldn’t have been happier with the service we had in a rough time for all. We had a wonderful experience on our trip when we finally got to go!! Henry had everything so well organized and gave us a detailed list of what transfer companies would be meeting us and when. When Airlink bumped us and put us on standby returning from Victoria Falls, we called the concierge number Henry had given us and Catherine worked hard on this and got us back on our flight. The Safari.com team had our back and we have no regrets. Would definitely use them again. Our lodging was wonderful, saw the big 5 within first 2 drives. Henry definitely knew the territory and did a great job matching what we wanted with where he suggested we go and stay. Thanks Safari.com, Henry and Catherine!
Heather Carlson
,
US
Sep 5, 2022
For a second time I booked a safari in…
For a second time I booked a safari in South Africa by Safari.com and had the great pleasure to be assisted and followed by Dolan Sequera. I have to say I really appreciate his way to communicate with me by phone and/or WhatsApp/mail, I always got a very quick answer to my questions with solutions and or suggestions which solved the doubts/problems I had. A really very very knowledged and professional person I will surely suggest to friends of my or who ever is plannig to visit South Africa! Thank you very much Dolan
antonio caccia
,
IT
Sep 5, 2022
Trip of a life time
Well where to starter, África always been my number one dream vacation, I found safari.com didn’t know anything about, but pascal made me feel very confident.pascal put my whole trip together (everything I wanted) a trip of a life time. Had the best time in Africa, was everything that I except and a little more. Pascal is the best and I will go back to Africa and will go through safari.com that I recommend and is 💯 legit.thank you for everything pascal, you rock!!!
Tricia moyses
,
US
Aug 31, 2022
I've recently interacted with Dolan and…
I've recently interacted with Dolan and hands down he's been the best travel agent that I've every worked with. He was a wealth of experience and knowledge which shows volumes. He took into consideration my budget and my individual needs to tailor make a package with recommendations for my preference,he knows Kruger and Greater Kruger like the back of his hands and I will wholeheartedly recommended his services. He is truly an asset to his institution.
prinolin
,
ZA
Apr 21, 2022
The best company
I have booked several trips with Safari.com and they are the best. They are personal and professional and always pay attention to the details to make your trip special. Casper is the best agent I have worked with. We are looking forward to booking another trip!!
Steven Hopson
,
US
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