Zanzibar Travel Guide

There's something so exotic about the name Zanzibar that the uninitiated might conclude it is not a real place at all, but simply a name from a fairytale of the east, or the thousand and one nights.

But Zanzibar is indeed a real place - Or rather places. For Zanzibar is actually the name given to a cluster of islands that nestle in the waters of the Indian Ocean just off the coast of mainland Tanzania, East Africa.

The two principal islands in the group are Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island (just to confuse you further) and Pemba. Smaller islands are scattered around these, which range from mere sandbanks to those with their own ethnic grouping and a fierce sense of identity.

It's a travel agent's cliché, but Zanzibar really does have something for everyone. If your idea of heaven is to lie on the most perfect of perfect beaches, undisturbed by anything more than the occasional hermit crab, you'll find tiny, abandoned coves where you can forget the rest of the world exists, and stir only to flop into the bath-warm sea.

But if lying immobile on the beach fills you with horror and your burning desire is for colourful local traditions, crumbling picturesque ruins and dim, fascinating markets, Zanzibar has all this in spades, too. 

And if, like most of us, you'd prefer a bit of both, the small size of the islands and proliferation of places to stay in all price ranges makes Zanzibar the ideal destination for touring. For water sports enthusiasts, the coral reefs and open sea between Zanzibar and Pemba are justly famous for the quality of their snorkelling, diving and big game fishing.

Read more about travelling to Zanizbar in our Zanzibar Travel Guide articles.

Islands of Zanzibar

Zanzibar has many offshore islands, many of which provide a stunning location for a day trip or a longer stay. Boats to any of the islands off Zanzibar or Pemba can be hired easily from local fishermen...more

Getting Around in Zanzibar

There are transfer services to get you from one point to the next around Zanzibar. If you would like to explore the island on your own, you can hire a scooter or a bicycle and tour around. Please note that car hire is limited....more

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Zanzibar

Why visit Zanzibar ? Let us tell you the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Zanzibar. This exotic East African island destination off the coast of Tanzania has many attractions to lure visitors....more

Zanzibar FAQ

What is the Capital City of Zanzibar. The capital of Zanzibar is Stone Town. What is the climate and weather like in Zanzibar. Read more Frequently Asked Questions and answers....more

Stone Town Architecture

Walking around Zanzibar's famous Stone Town is an architecture buff's delight – the variety of building styles on view provides a whistle-stop tour of the island...more

Spice Up Your Life in Zanzibar

Even those people who've only dreamed of visiting Zanzibar have usually heard its nickname 'The Spice Island'. Just the word conjures up heady, exotic aromas...more

Eating and Drinking in Tanzania and Zanzibar

How would you like your meal, sir. Reclining on a cushion and gazing over the rooftops of the ancient Stone Town....more

Zanzibar Lifestyle and Attractions

Most lodges, hotels and restaurants in Zanzibar offer delicious Pan-African and European cuisine with the main focus on seafood, fresh vegetables and African flavours....more

Ultimate Guide to Zanzibar

There's something so exotic about the name Zanzibar that the uninitiated might conclude it is not a real place at all, but simply a name from a fairytale of the east...more

Pleasure Island

Most travellers to Tanzania come to conquer Kilimanjaro or watch wildlife in famous Serengeti National Park. But afterwards everyone heads off to relax on Zanzibar....more

Chumbe Island Coral Park Castaway Conservation

Chumbe Island is now recognised as one of the world's most forward-looking and successful eco-tourism projects....more

Zanzibar History

When most of the Western world was still sunk in the darkness of the Middle Ages, Zanzibar was already a meeting place for traders from the great Oriental cultures...more

Shetani The Other Side of Zanzibar

The conversation turns to shetani - the spirits who inhabit almost every part of Zanzibar, and whose existence here no islander doubts. Today, by all accounts, the cult of the shetani is still going strong...more

The Moon and the Music

The new moon, if it puts in an appearance tonight, will mean the end of a long hard month of fasting for Zanzibar's predominantly Muslim population....more

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