In terms of stunning, exotic destinations, Zanzibar certainly features amongst the top in the world. Beaches, art, culture and natural abundance combine to create a unique destination that has proven to be a firm favourite amongst travellers from all over the world.
The beaches certainly stand out as one of the primary attractions. The warm Indian Ocean creates optimal swimming and water sport conditions. SCUBA diving, snorkelling, fishing, surfing, yachting, kayaking and sailing on dhows are just some of the fun activities that keep tourists busy until the warm daylight fades. Zanzibar boasts nearly 30 stunning beaches, each with its own aspect of allure. Pristine blue waters lap the white grains of the shoreline, while visitors and locals relax under the toasty warmth of the African sun. Unlike many other beach destinations in the world, Zanzibar’s
Spice Island, Zanzibarbeaches are quiet and sparsely populated, proving to be true getaways from the city’s hustle and bustle. They include Kiwengwa, Pwani Mchangani, Uroa and Bwejuu.
In addition to these beaches, rural fishing villages along the coastline provide a glimpse into the restful lives of the locals. There are also several islands off the coast of Zanzibar to which tourists can travel as a day trip. This is a great way for the entire family to learn more about some of the cultures and history that have created the modern-day Zanzibar.
Tour operators in Zanzibar usually include an organised trip to Stone Town as it is one of the country’s most popular attractions. This town was at its peak in terms of political and economic power during the 19th Century, when Zanzibar was a major player in the trading world. The attraction of this town is that it seems to have been frozen in the annals of history. Market places, mosques, museums, as well as places like the Arab Fort, Dr Livingstone’s House and the House of Wonders provide visitors with plenty to see and do.
The Jozani Natural Forest Reserve is another ‘must see’. This forest is home to many species of animal, some of them rather rare. Many species of monkey and buck share this densely vegetated home with birds, insects and, according to legend, the Zanzibar leopard. Guided walks and hikes are conducted through Jozani for a true, first-hand African experience.
Nature lovers will delight in seizing the opportunity to swim alongside hundreds of bottle-nosed dolphins off the coast of the Kizimkazi fishing village. This village is the site in which a mosque was built in the 1100’s of our Common Era (CE). This is believed to be the first sign of the Islam religion in East Africa.
Chumbe Coral Park, on the Chumbe islands, is a marine park where visitors can see and learn about the stunning coral reefs off Zanzibar’s coastline, as well as the abundance of marine life under the waters. On the Chumbe islands themselves are lots of nature trails for visitors wanting to see the fauna and flora on land. The endangered Green Turtle can be spotted in the Conservation Zone around Mnemba Island, while the Misali Island provides historical features, a gorgeous coral reef and a stunning forest.
A valid passport and Visa are required for visitors to Zanzibar. There are also certain vaccinations and health precautions that need to be adhered to, and these should be discussed with your nearest travel clinic or an experienced tour operator. This will ensure your safety while you take in all of the beautiful and unrivalled sights and sounds of this awe-inspiring land.
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