The Zanzibar archipelago, just 25kms offshore and north of Dar es Salaam, is made up of a number of islands, the most popular with tourists being Zanzibar and Pemba. Further south is the popular island of Mafia.
Together these islands make up ‘the Spice Islands’, with a rich history of spice and raffia farming, Arab-driven trading of various goods (many of which, such as ivory and slaves, would be illegal today) and, more recently, tourism.
Together these islands offer a refreshing, toes-in-the-sand cocktail-in-hand finale to your safari. And the range of accommodation options, historic and cultural sites, water-based activities, restaurants and night time fun is impressive – covering all tastes and budgets.
Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main historic and cultural attraction on Zanzibar, will have you wandering the endless narrow cobbled streets, between magnificent ancient buildings of African, Arab, Persian, Indian and European architecture, exploring and discovering as you go. The streets are too narrow for cars, and the main forms of transport are bicycles and motorbikes. Of passing interest is that Freddie Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara) was born in Zanzibar.
Because of their location near the equator, the islands are warm all year round, but the heat of summer is often tempered by cool sea breezes. The main rain / monsoon season is March to May.
Additional information (this will open a new browser window):
Travel diary: The Magic of Zanzibar
Photo Gallery: Islands of Tanzania