Romantic holiday in Zanzibar

If you’re looking for romance, then look no further – Zanzibar is a thrilling destination for couples. With a fascinating history and stunning natural beauty, its exotic blend of experiences makes Zanzibar unique. Here you’ll find not only secluded beaches and elegant modern villas, but also sundowner dhow cruises and Arabian-styled boutique hotels. And whereas in the past many couples would head straight to the beach, there’s now a growing number of intimate hotels and restaurants in Stone Town that are establishing the enigmatic old quarter as a romantic destination in its own right.

wedding in zanzibar honeymoon holiday

Although the gorgeous coastline is a must, any romantic holiday to Zanzibar should include some time in Stone Town. The old town’s maze of narrow streets and alleys have attracted adventurous couples for years, and new cosy restaurants and intimate hotels have only added to the quarter’s charm. The twisting passageways are also home to an increasing number of specialty shops and boutiques, stocking high-quality, made-in-Zanzibar jewellery, clothing and accessories. High above the streets, rooftop restaurants serve intriguing cocktails and delicious seafood, with glorious sunset views across the palm trees and over the bay.

Outside of Stone Town the Michamvi Peninsula has arguably the best selection of smaller, quieter hotels, with plenty of choice for an unforgettable romantic break. Kendwa and Matemwe also have some good couples’ resorts and there are other similar lodges dotted along the east coast.

For the ultimate in privacy and exclusivity, however, head to Pemba or Mafia, or one of the smaller private islands scattered throughout the archipelago. There are some truly magical experiences to be had, from spectacular private tree houses to a houseboat’s underwater bedroom.

Highlights

  • The experiences you have in Zanzibar will stay in your heart forever, whether you’re on honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary, or just taking some romantic R&R. Swim with dolphins off Ras Kizimkazi, or enrol in a scuba diving course together. Enjoy a sumptuous candlelit meal in the dreamlike ruins of Mtoni Palace, or board a sunset dhow cruise and sip G&Ts with your toes in the sea.

Matemwe have a good choice of resorts for couples to enjoy

  • A boat trip of some sort is essential on Zanzibar and there are few things more romantic than your own dhow for the day. Visit remote tidal sandbars and snorkel pristine coral bays. The more upmarket lodges will often have their own dhows for guests to use.

A quiet beach, a sunset deck, a moonlit dinner on the sand. Zanzibar offers classic romance in spades. The hardest part will be to choose.

Travel tips

  • Across the islands, the smaller, upmarket boutiques tend to fill up quickest and should always be secured well ahead of time. These are usually the best hotels for couples, and some have a couples-only policy or don’t allow young kids.

  • There’s no need to hire a car on Zanzibar unless you want to explore every corner of the island. All the larger hotels and resorts will be happy to arrange transfers and in any case the most travel you’ll likely do is a long evening walk along the beach.

  • Be aware that homosexuality is illegal in Zanzibar, but most hotels and resorts have no problem with same sex couples. Outside of the resorts public affection is frowned upon and it’s considered polite for even same sex couples to be discreet. Bikinis and shorts are absolutely fine on the beach, but both sexes should cover shoulders and legs when walking around town.


Our Recommended Itinerary

The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 1

Nairobi, your arrival
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 2

Early flight into Amboseli
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 3

Amboseli elephant and views of Kilimanjaro
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 4

Into the Masai Mara
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 5

The Mara confluence and paradise plains
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 6

Find the migration

Jun

Jul

Western corridor and Grumeti River

Jul

Oct

Kogatende and the Mara River


day 7

and stay with them

Jun

Jul

Western corridor and Grumeti River

Jul

Oct

Kogatende and the Mara River


day 8

Dunia's big cats
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 9

Make sure you find leopard
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 10

Hot air ballooning and your flight to Rwanda
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 11

Genocide memorial and onwards to Volcanoes
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 12

Your time with the Gorillas
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)
  • The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

day 13

Fly home

View Full Itinerary

Popular Zanzibar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Sea view | Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

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...

 | Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

This blockbuster Tanzania safari will show you the best of the country's outstanding wildlife and the beach paradise of Zanzibar...

 | Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Your dream beach holiday awaits. Explore the coastline of Zanzibar's famed Kendwa beach paradise on this ultra-luxe tour...

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...



You might also like

Family holiday in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is simply fantastic for families. It’s safe, laid back and there’s plenty for kids to do. Once you arrive the transfers are quick and easy – just a few minutes to your hotel in Stone Town or at most an hour and a half to the furthest beach resort. There are hotels and resorts all over the archipelago that cater specifically for families with kids. You’ll find…

Stone Town

Stone Town is Zanzibar’s historic heart, a bewildering maze of streets and alleyways that form the westernmost tip of Zanzibar Town. These days the island’s bustling capital is home to some quarter of a million people, but lost in the tangle of Stone Town’s narrow streets it’s easy to imagine yourself floating back in time. Twisting passages unfurl beneath delicate balconies as…

Zanzibar in November

November is the month of the ‘short rains’ in Zanzibar, a brief period of sporadic storms that may begin as early as mid-October and ease off during December. These short rains rains are generally much lighter than the main wet season (from March to May), but consecutive days can be cloudy, and good beach tanning time is not guaranteed. That said, November mornings are still quite…

Mafia Island

150 km south of Zanzibar Island lies the third largest isle in the archipelago, Mafia. In fact, Mafia Island is so far removed and has so many smaller satellites of its own, that it’s really a miniature archipelago in its own right. Rarely visited, and much quieter even than Pemba, Mafia and its surrounding islands are a diver’s paradise. Huge groupers, rays, turtles and whale…

Bwejuu, Paje & Jambiani

The 10km beach between Bwejuu and Jambiani Village starts relaxed and low key north of Bwejuu, swells with backpackers and kite surfers in Paje, then tapers off gradually into equally understated Jambiani. There’s plenty of excellent midrange and budget accommodation available, though only a handful of resorts that would qualify as exclusive. This stretch of coastline attracts…

Solo holiday in Zanzibar

Travelling on your own presents some special challenges. Will you be safe? Will you get lonely? Will you be able to make the most of the activities on offer? Then there are all those varying priorities – a comfortable hammock and a good book for a week, or immersion in the local culture, great food, perhaps the chance to meet like minded people? Zanzibar caters to all kinds of solo…

Zanzibar in September

If August is a great time to be on Zanzibar, then September just gets better. It’s one of the sunniest, driest months across the islands, with average daytime temperatures gradually climbing over 30°C (86°F). The southern ‘kusi’ wind has blown steadily since May, but now eases back to a cooling breeze. In Paje some kitesurfing is still possible until October, but the season is…

Matemwe

Matemwe, and neighbouring Kigomani, are the northern-most villages on Zanzibar’s east coast. A quiet fishing community under gently swaying palms, Matemwe village lies half concealed behind a modest line of beachfront resorts, which range from simple cottages to plush private villas. An excellent beach spills into a narrow, sheltered lagoon where dhows and outriggers rest on the tide.…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2