An island holiday is the perfect way to escape the winter blues and fortunately, living in South Africa, we don’t have to spend a fortune or travel long distances to have a break like this; the breathtaking Spice Islands of Zanzibar are just around the corner; at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There are many reasons why Zanzibar is worth a visit, and in this article we will touch on five of them.
1. Because… the beaches are absolutely stunning
The Zanzibar archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Tanzania. There are many small, often deserted islands boasting beautiful white sandy beaches lined with palm trees. And then there’s that tropical azure-blue sea… You’ll love going from beach to beach between the little villages and enjoy picturesque views of the dhows (carved, wooden fishing boats) that are anchored just offshore. The sea water is around 26°C and offers excellent diving, snorkelling and windsurfing opportunities.
Of course you can stay at one of the island’s chic 5-star resorts but you can also stay at Africa House, for instance; one of Stone Town’s amazing renovated buildings, which is very affordable. There are many different reasonably-priced accommodation options such as B&Bs and Guest Houses. All you have to do is browse the internet to find the best deals.
With Zanzibar being an island nation, there is lots of good seafood and where better to enjoy delicious dinners under the stars than on the fabled Spice Island. Think whole fish grilled on an open fire. Giant garlic prawns. Tuna skewers with chilli sauce. Appetising dishes made with an abundance of local ingredients, aromatic spices, fresh coconut and heavenly, tropical fruit. One of the best places in Stone Town to sample Zanzibari seafood is at the night market close to the old town walls where you’ll find the most delicious grilled and fried fish treats that will make your stomach rejoice.
If Zanzibar Town is the archipelago’s heart, Stone Town is its soul. The vibrant and enchanting capital, blending African, Indian, Moorish and Middle Eastern architecture and traditions, will offer you days of discovery after discovery as you wind your way through the city’s labyrinthine cobbled alleyways, marvelling at the famous Zanzibar doors with their intricate carvings. Stone Town is a World Heritage Site and the perfect place for seeing historic places and visiting cafes to sip on brightly coloured tamarind drinks.
(Did you know that British singer-songwriter, Freddie Mercury, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen was born in Zanzibar and lived there until his teens?)
Zanzibar’s allure is legendary and it’s irresistible. Do you need more reason than that? Even the name has the pull of the exotic. A great way to experience this magical place is by booking a holiday package where your flights and accommodation as well as food and beverages are all included.