The islands of Pemba and Mafia just off the coast of Tanzania are less well-known than Zanzibar but offer some fantastic unspoilt reefs for diving and snorkelling - although their beaches are arguably not as good as Zanzibar's. Much more remote and less visited than the experience you get from Zanzibar holidays, these are real tropical islands with thick undergrowth and great reefs and sand spits making these islands ideal for diving and snorkelling away from the crowds.
Avoiding Zanzibar - Which islands off Tanzania to visit
Beyond the main island of Zanzibar main island, Pemba Island is just a 30-minute flight north, and Mafia Island is 45 minutes south. Both primarily diving locations, their beaches do not compare to Zanzibar's, but these are fine options for keen divers who wish to avoid the crowds and enjoy thriving coral reefs.
One particular gem deserves a mention here: just 15 minutes south of Dar, Ras Kutani never fails to impress. With just 15 rooms including 4 beautiful suites, Ras Kutani sits on a beautiful beach, with an idyllic beach-shack-chic vibe. Anywhere similar on Zanzibar would cost at least twice as much! This is a wonderful place to kick back and relax for a few days at the start or end of your Tanzania holiday, and is completely perfect for Tanzania honeymoons. Not ideal however for those who like to be on the go with activities from dawn till dusk...
Also Fanjove is the new star - a private island for the cost of a normal Zanzibar lodge.
We don't just know Zanzibar and Tanzania!
For more information on Tanzania, the best thing to do is to give us a ring for an impartial chat. Although we love Tanzania, we also love the rest of Africa too and have experts in all the main safari countries. If you are undecided as to where to visit, please do just drop us an email or give us a call!