Zanzibar information and travel guide


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It remains impossible not to be enchanted as you approach from the air, overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters, obscured only by plate reefs and punctuated by the swollen triangular white sails of passing dhows.

Chris and Susie McIntyre, author of Zanzibar: The Bradt Guide

Zanzibar is a magical and evocative African name, like Timbuktu, Casablanca or Kilimanjaro. For many travelers, the name alone is reason enough to come. Yet although expectations are high, awareness of the reality of Zanzibar and its neighboring islands is often rather blurry.

For many, the islands provide the epitome of the Indian Ocean experience: expanses of powdery white, palm-fringed coral sand line the coast for miles, while under the waves, reef fish flutter. among colorful coral gardens, eclipsed only by the occasional pelagics emerging from the blue. From nesting turtles on Juani to whale sharks seen every year off Mafia, there is always something unexpected that awaits the diver and snorkeler. On land too, these islands can captivate. Kirk’s red colobus monkeys can be seen in the forest, Arabian architecture provides an exotic urban backdrop, and village life remains steeped in tradition.

Our message is clear: do not neglect the lesser known areas of Zanzibar, the island of Pemba or the Mafia archipelago. And for some of the best experiences, think outside the box, ideally with knowledgeable residents. Your choices will make a difference not only to your stay, but also to the communities you meet.

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