Are you a keen traveller and explorer? Have you dreamt about a trip to the Caribbeans, but you’re not able to afford it? Would you like to visit one of Africa’s hidden gems instead, for a fraction of the price? Zanzibar might be the place for you!
Located around 20 miles from mainland Tanzania, this paradisiacal island is home to several indigenous ethnic groups, such as the Hadimu, Tumbatu and even to some Maasai people. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the island was occupied by the Omans, which greatly influenced the island’s culture, is quite different from mainland Tanzania.
As soon as the small aircraft touches the ground, you will be able to notice its distinct tropical vegetation, multiple forests, and see the wild animals roaming around! Zanzibar offers an array of different types of accommodation, scenery, privacy and price. Stone Town is home to century-old buildings with a distinct Arabic influence and is the capital of the island. You’re almost obliged to visit it, but most probably you will be able to see everything in one day!
Zanzibar’s paradisiacal places are mostly found on the other side of the island, near towns such as Pwani Mchangani, Paje or Jambinai. By the year, this island is getting to be known by more and more European tourists, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, you’ll be happier staying in a small resort or hotel right by the beach.
Besides enjoying the island’s white sand beaches and turquoise sea, you can make the most out of it and go on different adventures! The friendly inhabitants of Zanzibar will strike a conversation with you and will try to sell you different experiences, just keep in mind that you have the upper hand while negotiating and you can lower the prices drastically. You can go snorkelling near Nungwi and see the coral reefs, visit Jozani or Muyuni Forest (home to Africa’s rarest primates), swim with dolphins, visit Prison Island, discover the turtle sanctuary or simply rent a scooter and explore the island! Don’t forget not to pay for anything in advance, even though the chances of being scammed are extremely low.
Before considering visiting this stunning island, keep in mind that, even though the prices are quite low, in some cases these can be extremely high for African standards! Costs can be significantly higher in restaurants and when booking a taxi, as locals rarely use these services. But as always, you can try to negotiate every time! If you are coming from Europe, you might need to get vaccines against rabies, cholera or to take medication for malaria, don’t forget to check with your GP. You should also look at this checklist to make sure you are ready to go on your adventure.
In order to get to Zanzibar, the easiest way is to take an Emirates flight from London to Dubai International Airport and then to Dar Es Salaam. From Dar Es Salaam, you only need to catch a 20 min flight to the island. If this article has aroused your interest and you are starting to look up accommodation and flights check out some reviews for Expedia, and see what’s the best time for you to visit!