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ZANZIBAR
 
The name Zanzibar conjures exotic images of spices, ivory, ancient buildings and a balmy island steeped in history. For 1,200 years Zanzibar’s location made it a centre of trade linking Arabia, Africa, Europe and the East. Arabs, then Persians settled here over 1,000 years ago and for many years the island was a centre for trade in slaves, cloves and ivory. Slaves came from Africa carrying huge elephant tusks until the trade was abolished in the 19th century.
Today, you can see evidence of its past, especially in the Old Stone Town, a World Heritage site of beautiful old buildings with characteristic oak carved and with brass fittings. The fusion of African and Arab cultures, spice plantations, long sandy beaches and tropical climate make Zanzibar an alluring place for relaxation and adventure. Most people come here to enjoy the beaches and water sports, snorkelling and diving on the magnificent reefs.

Delightful boutique hotels like Kasha and Kono Kono make exquisite hideaways where you can enjoy privacy, delicious cuisine and quiet beaches with just a handful of fellow guests. For an extra touch of class Baraza is like a Zanzibari dream come true with superb service and cuisine and gorgeous one or two-bedroom villas with Moorish arches, mosaic and exotic décor. For a few days in the Old Stone Town our clients love Seyidda, an elegant 17 room boutique hotel next to the old Royal Palace. Zanzibar is fringed by a number of beautiful smaller islands, including Mnemba where you find the ultimate barefoot in the sand resort and some of the finest shallow and wall diving in the Indian Ocean.

For nature lovers, Chumbe Island has outstanding birdlife, canoe trips through mangroves and exceptional coral gardens making it the best location for snorkelling. The unusual bungalows have high vaulted thatched roofs, and each is a few steps from the shore, the perfect place for an early morning dip admiring iridescent fish darting among the colourful corals. Zanzibar is the ideal place to conclude a Tanzania safari or a safari in Kenya, being just an hour away by air.
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CALENDAR: JANUARY TO MARCH
 
Escape the winter weather at home by taking a safari in Tanzania or Kenya, followed by a laidback beach stay in Zanzibar. At the start of the year the islands enjoy constant temperatures in the mid-20s to low 30s, with an occasional balmy sea breeze. Fertile Pemba is a little greener than the other islands thanks to its hills and more plentiful rainfall.
CALENDAR: APRIL AND MAY
 
In April and May Zanzibar receives its highest levels of rainfall but fear not, the islands still have an average of eight hours of sunshine each day! As it is warm and humid, focus your stay on the coast. Clear waters of the Indian Ocean are irresistible, whether you plan to swim and snorkel, fish, or take a sunset cruise. Expect to see large pods of dolphin swimming just off the beaches.
CALENDAR: JUNE TO SEPTEMBER
 
The weather in Zanzibar is mainly dry, with comfortable temperatures in the mid-20s. If you are interested in the islands’ eclectic arts scene, schedule your visit to coincide with the Zanzibar International Film Festival in July. Every evening sees a musical gala, and parties continue into the early hours. Stay in historic Stone Town to appreciate Zanzibar’s rich history as well.
CALENDAR: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER
 
The weather is warm and dry, with as much as 10 hours of sunshine daily. Be sure to take a spice plantations tour, to learn about (and taste) the black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla on which the islands’ fortunes were made. Combine these visits with sightseeing in Stone Town and a visit to Jozani Forest, a must-see for bird and butterfly lovers, and it’s home to red colobus monkeys.
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