When planning a trip to Zanzibar, there are so many islands to choose from. One thing that has to be considered is what you want to do. If you are looking for a perfect beach holiday, you want to think about all of the islands along the coast. You will find that Zanzibar, Mafia, and Pemba are all the perfect location for you to enjoy the beach. Each location though has its own quirks and fun activities that make it unique. Here is what you need to know about each location that will make it the perfect choice when planning your activities.
Zanzibar: An Ancient Gem
Sometimes Zanzibar is referred to as an archipelago and other times an island. It is a location that has history as well as an amazing beach. The location is the home of an old trading port from the spice route. Zanzibar is full of beaches and sparkling water that are perfect for a holiday any tome of the year. The sunsets are legendary and always light up the sky with amazing colors.
Zanzibar is easy to get to and is a very short flight from Dar es Salaam. If you are looking for a quick hop from the city and a lovely beach this is the place to head to. There is so much more to do than to lay on the beach. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town is here and a great place to take in the history with a spice tour. It is also a great location for you to learn how to kite surf or snorkel. There are hotels and accommodations to fit all budgets and configurations of family.
One thing that can be challenging about Zanzibar is that it feels a bit crowded at times. There are many parts of the archipelago that are still far away from all the tourists. Make sure that you do your homework and find the charm and the remoteness you are craving.
Mafia Island: A Diver’s Paradise
This is a location that is a little bit more off the beaten path. Regulars who come here love it. It is known across the world as one of the best spots to dive in Tanzania and also in the Indian Ocean. When coming to the island, visitors spend their days exploring the jungles and swimming in secret bays. This is a place of relaxation as well as recuperation in the beauty of nature.
Mafia is a perfect place for divers, there is an amazing marine park that has beginner and advanced bays. There are also many calendared events that are perfect to make note of with the local marine like. If you are there from October to March, you will be able to take in a dive with whale sharks. If you are on Mafia from June to September, you will experience the turtles hatching on the beach. There are many incredible lodges on the island that have wonderful spas and restaurants.
The diving in Mafia is the thing to do. Some of the beaches are not as storybook as others on the surrounding islands however, there are other locations for you to visit if you are looking for sparkling white sand.
Pemba: A Wilder Alternative
Pemba is less developed than the other islands, some people also think much prettier in its virginity. The island is often forgotten by others who are visiting the region. If you are looking for some serious quiet and relaxation, it is a great place to go. The island is covered with fishing villages and plantations. There are a few lodges there for travelers but they are small and not terribly touristy.
Pemba has amazing diving and you may encounter dolphins of all kinds. There are lovely sea mountains and coral reefs off the west coast of the island. The water is also warm and inviting and perfect for any kind of sea exploration. Pemba is not Zanzibar; it is very simple and quiet. There are not many tourist locations with all the bells and whistles here. However, you will find a professional and warm class of people happy to help you have a wonderful time. The tourism here is still a little undeveloped and wild but it is an excellent location to take in the real East Africa.
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