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
Great sample itineraries
Here's a selection of popular itineraries to give you some ideas. Almost anything is possible so call us now and we'll create an amazing holiday just for you.
South Africa And Zanzibar Holidays
Doha and Zanzibar Multi Centre
Our favorite 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.
Baraza Resort & Spa
The Residence Zanzibar
Diamonds Mapenzi Beach Club
Zanzibar Island provides the perfect add-on to an African safari, offering utterly beautiful white sand beaches, caressed by the cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean, as well as a unique cultural experience. Once a key port during East Africa’s spice trade era, you’ll find a fascinating mix of Arabic, Portuguese, African and European cultures. With fantastic diving, jungle tours and mesmerising sunsets, you’re going to love every inch of the Spice Island.
Immerse yourself in the culture of Stone Town on the far eastern side of the island. Visit the Old Fort of Zanzibar and wander around the colourful Darajani Market, which spills out from the main building. It began in over a century ago and is steeped in history as well as a flavour of the island’s culture today.
The perfect way to watch the sunset, dhow cruises can be booked and boarded in Stone Town. The perfect romantic end to the day, enjoy a drink with your loved one as the sky changes colour above. It’s possible to combine the cruise with snorkelling too.
Seafood and spices
Beautiful Zanzibar is the perfect backdrop to a special meal, and its fine seafood restaurants more than live up to their surroundings.
A diving paradise for the experienced, clear waters, coral reefs and glorious fish are ready to be discovered. Hundreds of species hide beneath the surface, with green turtles also making plentiful appearances on dive trips.
Head inland to the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, the only place in the world where colobus monkeys reside. Spot more than three dozen species of birds on the Forest Nature Trail and follow the boardwalk to see the mangroves.
Best time to visit 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.
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“Spend a night at Chumbe Island (eco-resort) and encounter the giant Coconut crabs in the coral rag forest!”
“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.”
“We chose to stay at the luxury five-star Residence Zanzibar, after our long trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. If you want something really special, upgrade your room to a Luxury Ocean Front Pool Villa.”
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.
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
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How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.