Zanzibar tours & holiday packagesHoneymoon or beach getaway
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Here the scent of spices and the richness of history combine with white beaches, great diving and snorkelling
The three main islands off the mainland of East Africa are full of energy, each with its own appeal. They're perfect for relaxing after a safari or Kilimanjaro climb, offering a combination of white-sand beaches and activities.
Zanzibar is the biggest and busiest of the three and rich in history. Pemba Island just to the north is less of a mainstream tourist attraction where diving is the main drawcard. The quiet island of Mafia lies to the south of Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, just across from the famous Selous Game Reserve’s Rufiji River mouth. A well-protected marine reserve, it's a peaceful honeymoon, diving and fishing destination.
Popular Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Islands safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
This island getaway to Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar is ideal for honeymoon couples or anyone looking for white beaches and lots of diving, snorkeling and other ocean activities
Price on Request
per person11 days
Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar
Price on Request
per person13 days
The islands off the Tanzanian coast are wonderful destinations, each with its own appeal. I love the diving off Mafia and the abundance of fish, Pemba's coral walls and gaps are wonderful, and Zanzibar's Stone Town is a colourful experience. I love the islands.
More on Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Islands holidays
Zanzibar (Unguja Island)
Zanzibar is the island closest to Tanzania's commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. A fairly good port on the western side of the island has been the main dhow and Arab trading island for hundreds of years. The trade of spices and ivory made for a very busy port during the mid-1900s and the island was the 8th-richest 'country' in the world at the height of the slave trade.
Stone Town is an energetic mix of narrow colourful streets, traders and Zanzibari people. A Unesco World Heritage Site, its historical sites include the old slave market, Arab architecture and buildings like the Old Fort and House of Wonders.Zanzibar is dotted with resorts, hotels and boutique lodges of every standard and price range. The east coast has the biggest selection, from Ras Nungwi and the Mnemba Atholl in the north to Kizimkazi or Dolphin Bay in the south. The east coast has a reef that becomes exposed during low tide and separates you from the ocean. The beaches are fairly busy so if you value your privacy, pick a quiet, smaller boutique hotel or lodge. Bigger resorts offer diving, snorkelling and spice tours.
The low-tide separation isn't an issue on the west coast, but the southern side is dominated by Stone Town and surrounding suburbs. The south-west coast of Fumba is worth visiting, ideal for honeymoon couples and anyone interested in water-based dhow adventures, dolphin encounters, or snorkelling and diving trips to sandbanks and smaller islands of Zanzibar. The north-west coast has the best beaches and Kendwa is renowned for its nightlife and full moon parties. If you're looking for peace and quiet, choose your north-west coast accommodation carefully.
Pemba is a romantic island with good diving, snorkelling and fishing. It offers a more authentic beach, honeymoon or diving destination than Zanzibar, but only two accommodation options have survived here, Fundu Lagoon and Manta Reef. Manta is right on the northern tip of Pemba next to a beautiful forest reserve. Here you'll focus on activities like fishing and diving. Wonderful gaps and walls fall into the Pemba channel and there are many options for the more experienced diver. There are strong currents so you need drifting skills and a good dive instructor to keep you all together. Fundu Lagoon is a luxury experience on Pemba’s west coast, ideal for a honeymoon or beach holiday.
Another honeymoon, diving and fishing destination, Mafia Island is completely different from the other two. An endless supply of food and nutrient-rich water from the Rufiji River makes for spectacular quantities of fish in this marine reserve, although it has been said that underwater visibility can be poor when diving because there are just so many fish, from dugongs to whale sharks and game fish, not to mention turtles.
Lodges and hotels are concentrated on the east coast.
Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Islands Map
Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Islands's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Islands
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