Zanzibar, the legendary spice island bath in an equatorial sun, a repository of a thousand years of African, Indian and Arab influence. Stone town – the ancient capital with its magnificent architecture set on the shores of a vibrant sea. Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on what side of the island you’re on. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun.
The port city of Stone Town dominates the west coast, and although the beaches of Mangapwani, where slave caves are visible at low tide and nearby Bububu are less than half an hour’s drive away, a night or two spent on the east or north cost is well worth the extra hour it takes to drive there. That said, the Chole Island Marine Park just off Stone Town – and nearby Prison, Grave, and Snake Islands make for a refreshing day-trip and a good break from exploring the winding passageways of the old city.
Getting there: Either Ferry or air transfer.
What to do: Beach walk plus relaxation, snorkeling, boat cruise, honeymoon, cultural tourism, Historical site visits, fishing, water sports.