Located 35 kilometers off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is one of the exotic getaway destinations in Africa. The picturesque island has rightly earned its name as one of the best islands in East Africa due to its prime location in the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar consists of several small islands, two large islands, and an archipelago. It is a semi-autonomous region with a bustling populace and a thriving economy. It is well known for its spices and cloves.
The abundance of spice is not the only spicy thing about this holiday paradise, Zanzibar boasts a variety of wildlife species including the rare ‘Zanzibar red colobus’, ‘Zanzibar Servaline genet’ and the’ Zanzibar leopard’. Its rich fauna is reflective of the region’s connection to the ice age. With clear turquoise-blue water, shallow sandbars, and exotic white beaches Zanzibar is a fantastic tropical holiday destination with a difference.
The Island is known for its relaxing atmosphere and laidback way of life and it reflects the cultural mix of ethnicities that came from eras of trade relations with several countries. Arab, European, Persian and African influences are rooted in numerous chapters of the island’s history. Explore some of its historic sites and towns including Nungwi, the popular resort town best known for its golden sand beach; and Paje, known for excellent kiteboarding conditions, great diving and superb restaurants. If you’re looking to get an inside glimpse of local life, you should explore Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Being the center of trade for Arabs, Persians, and Europeans for many centuries, Zanzibar is the home of some delightful architectural features including The Livingstone house, The Guliani Bridge, The Hamamni Persian Baths, Ngome Kongwe – The Old Fort of Zanzibar and The Old Dispensary of Zanzibar.
Serving over 1.5 million passengers annually, Zanzibar International Airport (which is also named Abeid Amani Karume International Airport) is the main airport of Zanzibar. There has been an annual increase in inflow and outflow of passengers and cargo since the airport received major upgrades in 2011.
Zanzibar is served by many international and domestic flights and the numbers keep increasing. The airport is the main hub for As Salaam Air. Arriving at the airport, you’ll find taxis waiting at the exit terminal. Some hotels, however, do offer free shuttle service from the airport, so it pays to plan ahead so as to save on costs.
When To Go
Owing to its close proximity to the equator, Zanzibar is warm all year round meaning: anytime is a good time to visit Zanzibar. With strong influence from the Indian Ocean’s monsoonal wind current, the coasts are cooled by strong breezes which complement the warm temperatures. With bags of sunshine almost year round, a holiday in Zanzibar is not a bad idea.