Sultry. Sensory. Exotic. The Spice Island archipelago is blissful and meditative.
Sitting just off the coast of Tanzania and licked by warm Kaskazi breezes, the Zanzibar archipelago is a crossroads of cultures, where trade routes between India, Africa, and Arabia have met for centuries. The pace is slow, the sun is high and the loudest noise is the call of the boubou bird or the flapping sail of a passing dhow.
Scuba dive to uncover a wreck; explore coral fields with a manta ray drifting alongside; snorkel with myriad tropical fish; wander the alleys of enchanting Stone Town with its whitewashed, coral-rag houses; haggle in the bazaars; listen to the call to prayer from the local mosques; visit the old Arab ruins and the old Persian baths; embark on a sunset cruise to see bottlenose dolphins dive at the bow; learn about turtle conservation and visit the nesting beaches; set sail in a traditional dhow to visit the giant turtles on Prison Island; explore the old spice plantations with a local expert.
Where to Stay
Omani-style villas on the waterfront; luxurious villas in secluded coves.
When to Go
Just south of the equator and slightly more humid than mainland Tanzania, June to October is the dry season though January and February are pretty reliable. Make this the final stop after an enthralling East African safari.