• Beach

Zanzibar Holidays

The archipelago of Zanzibar offers a fresh and unique twist to any African safari experience with its culture, history and idyllic beaches. This group of historic Indian Ocean islands offer the perfect holiday spot for wildlife lovers, couples or families looking to combine their safari adventure with a luxurious, relaxing beach break.

Zanzibar holidays offer a cultural intermix where Africa meets Arabia and India, boasting Portuguese influences amongst its culture and architecture due to its history of settlers. Inhale the heady mix coming from the spice stalls as you wander through Stone Town. Here you’ll discover many interesting sights at this UNESCO World Heritage site, such as stunning catholic cathedrals, colonial-style houses, authentic Hamamni Persian baths and the opulent Sultan’s palace. Spice farming used to be the largest industry on the islands and so Zanzibar has been nicknamed ‘The Spice Islands’, a place where foodies can sample the many unique flavours that enhance the country’s best dishes.

From bush to beach

For those who love to explore the great outdoors, head inland to the Kichwele Forest Reserve or settle back on one of the finest beaches along the east coast of the island. With an archipelago known for its hundreds of species of fish, divers and snorkelers will put this Tanzanian island at the top of their list to explore. Keen wildlife enthusiasts can meet giant tortoises on Changuu or time your trip right and you can help to release turtles in Nungwi.

We recommend tying a Zanzibar holiday into one of our multi-centre trips, as a pre or post safari treat. With Tanzania, being just a 45-minute flight away, it is exceptionally well placed to bookend the safari experience of a lifetime. For more information, give our Destination Specialists a call today and they will help you to organise an unforgettable tailor-made Zanzibar holiday.

Destination Highlights
  • Unwind on Zanzibar’s picture-perfect beaches or spend the day on a relaxing dhow cruise
  • Visit Zanzibar’s Old Fort and spend the day wandering through the stalls of Darajani Market
  • See the rare colobus monkeys at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
  • Explore the private marine reserves of Pemba and Thanda Island

Our favourite hotels

From luxury resorts to quaint boutique getaways and self-catering apartments, Zanzibar has it all. We know everyone is different, so if you can’t see something you like, we'd be more than happy to help you find what you’re looking for.

Swimming pool

Baraza Resort & Spa

Zanzibar

H&J Rating
Baraza Resort & Spa
The Residence Zanzibar

The Residence Zanzibar

Zanzibar

H&J Rating
The Residence Zanzibar
Swimming pool

Diamonds Mapenzi Beach Club

Zanzibar

H&J Rating
Average: 3.5 (1 vote)
Diamonds Mapenzi Beach Club
Swimming pool

The Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

Zanzibar

H&J Rating
The Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

Time Zone

GMT +3

Flight Time

Approx.12–13-hours; indirect flights are available from UK Airports.

Currency

Tanzanian shilling (TZS)

Visa Information

British citizens will be required to purchase a visa for travel to Zanzibar on arrival.

Language

English is widely spoken.

Health Information

Special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Zanzibar.

Things to do in Zanzibar

Few people who have visited Tanzania fail to mention the beauty of Zanzibar. The blindingly white beaches and cerulean waters you’re going to see here are a sight to behold. Once a key port during East Africa’s Spice Trade, you’ll find a fascinating mix of Arabic, Portuguese, African and European cultures and it provides the perfect add-on to an African safari. With jungle tours and mesmerising sunsets, you’re going to love every inch of The Spice Island.

  • Stone Town

    Situated on Zanzibar’s seafront, Stone Town is the heartbeat of this little island perched just off Tanzania’s coast.

  • Dhow Zanzibar

    Dhow cruises

    Those teal-blue waters will tempt you at every turn, as will the softly-billowing sails of the dhow boats drifting across the reef.

  • a plate of food

    Seafood and spices

    Beautiful Zanzibar is the perfect backdrop to a meal, and its fine seafood restaurants more than live up to their surroundings.

Zanzibar

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of spring. Another popular time to visit this tropical island is from December to March when it's hot and dry.

 

Select month

Average weather in January

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
27ºC
89mm

Average weather in February

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
28ºC
56mm

Average weather in March

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
26ºC
153mm

Average weather in April

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
26ºC
401mm

Average weather in May

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
26ºC
255mm

Average weather in June

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
25ºC
68mm

Average weather in July

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
24ºC
48mm

Average weather in August

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
24ºC
47mm

Average weather in September

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
25ºC
50mm

Average weather in October

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
25ºC
97mm

Average weather in November

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
26ºC
226mm

Average weather in December

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Zanzibar
27ºC
194mm
  • Barbara, Destination Specialist

    Barbara

    Destination Specialist

    “Spend a night at Chumbe Island (eco-resort) and encounter the giant Coconut crabs in the coral rag forest!”

  • Nick, Senior Destination Manager

    Nick

    Senior Destination Manager

    “Check out Stone Town’s Forodhani Garden at night and explore lots of delicious traditional Zanzibar food and drink at the open-air food markets such as fresh sugar cane juice, spicy grilled octopus, mtori and freshly grilled rock lobster.”

     

Zanzibar cuisine reflects a mixture of various culinary traditions, including Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British and even Chinese cuisine. With a huge range of home grown spices creating a melting pot of flavours within many traditional and staple Zanzibar dishes, there is no doubt the food in Zanzibar will be a major highlight of your holiday in Zanzibar.

  • Coconut Bean Soup

    Coconut Bean Soup is prepared from coconut milk and shredded coconut, blended with tomatoes and kidney beans, and then seasoned with pepper, spices and salt. The dish is rich in nutrients and a great choice for vegetarians.

     

  • Mchuzi wa pweza (Octopus Curry)

    Delicious fresh-off-the-boat octopus prepared in a combination of spices like coriander, turmeric, and then simmered in thick creamy coconut gravy.

  • Zanzibar pizza

    Unlike a typical Italian pizza, this is a traditional island favourite prepared with a mix of egg, mayo, meat, and veggies, wrapped in the dough before frying. You’ll find the pizza at the Forodhani night market or on the street in Stone Town.

Types of Zanzibar holidays

The Beach at The Residence Zanzibar

Zanzibar Multi Centre Holidays

Multi Centre Holidays
a large elephant standing next to a body of water

Zanzibar Safaris

Zanzibar Safaris

Frequently Asked Questions

Beaches in Zanzibar boast soft white sand and azure Indian Ocean waters. Many are fringed by coconut palms and spectacular cliffs. At low tide, the water becomes extremely shallow. Nungwi, Bwejuu, Dongwe and Pongwe are some of the best beaches here. while beaches in the far south are popular for diving. 

Zanzibar is not a safari destination; however, it offers an idyllic beach getaway that’s perfect for adding onto a safari trip in Tanzania or Kenya. For wildlife experiences, consider The Jozani Forest tour. You’ll see Red Colobus Monkeys, Bushbabies and exotic butterflies and birds.

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