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Off the shores of Zanzibar are many little islands making for a more secluded and remote beach experience away from the main attraction of Zanzibar. Some of these island are only accessible at certain times of the day according to tide levels and these smaller sandbanks adn spits are excellent for sailing excursions and picnics. Then there are the permanent little ones like Mnemba and Chumbe,.
For those looking for the very best and most secluded beach stay with flour-like beach sand and no one else around, there is the private island lodge of Mnemba Island. This tiny island is everything you can imagine of a remote windswept paradise and often voted one of the most romantic destinations on the planet. Alternatively there is Chumbe island which is a marine conservation island, with very little beach quality with a coral rock dominating the shoreline. Being so eco conscious the marine life around here and outstanding and the snorkelling is first rate. Chumbe should always be used in conjunction with another location that offers a good quality beach.
Also to the west of Stone town is Prison Island, also known as Chapwani. It is renowned for its lack in a prison. its main attraction are the monstrous tortoises that are well worth seeing. close to Prison island is Bawe island which is lovely, but due to the rather overpriced accommodation and the fact that the view is of the main shipping lane to Stone Town, we don’t really rate it.
Staying in Zanzibar; Planning Your TripZanzibar is an archipelago of historic Indian Ocean islands, awash with atmosphere, intrigue, and idyllic beach experiences. There is masses of choice for accommodation, with rates across the spectrum, and plenty to see, do and discover. As the birthplace of the Swahili, site of Sultans' Palaces and renowned for its spice plantations, the little island republic of Zanzibar features larger than life on the world map and is a must-see for any Tanzania holiday.
Zanzibar's Stone Town
Visitors to Zanzibar tend to arrive and leave via the old Stone Town, the island capital and an historic hub of commerce and culture. This ancient centre was the seat of the Sultans, whose crumbling palaces, bath houses and mosques are a legacy of this opulent and vibrant time at the heart of the gold trade.
The town has a very different commercial attitude today, and one that thrives on the growing tourist market. The labyrinthine streets are lined with traders selling everything from mass-produced art works to ancient wooden doors, from tie dye t-shirts to jewels.
This old town remains a wonderful place to spend a night or two, getting lost among the elegant, ancient buildings, eating fresh fish on the sea front and breathing in the sights, sounds and smells of a truly Swahili centre.
The sights, smells and sounds of Stone Town fill the day and the balmy nights. The muezzins’ call to prayer echoes across the rooftops at the break of day, while cats, goats, dogs, roosters and babies often make themselves heard in between! A stay in Stone Town is always a wonderous assault on the senses, but often a couple of nights is enough, if you value peace and quiet a good sleep!
You can revel in ultimate peace and quiet on some of the island beach hideaways around the main island… there is nothing like zooming across the sea to your own haven, to enjoy the true pampering style that has been perfected here.
There are some fabulous beaches on the islands of Zanzibar, and many choices for an ideal spot to sit back and watch the white dhow sails cruising the startling blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Whether you prefer the blissful privacy of a private island or the amenities of a larger hotel, whether you wish to dive or snorkel, eat or sleep, there are good options for all.
These are the sort of questions that we will be asking you, prior to booking your itinerary. It is quite possible to spend a little time at a couple of island locations, especially if you would like to visit Pemba, or other satellite islands. Certain lodges are better for completing PADI courses, kite-surfing, or fulfilling your gourmet desires! There is now even one hotel with a Kids’ Club… opening up a whole new market.