Off the coast of East Africa, Zanzibar sits peacefully on the waters of the Indian Ocean, inviting tourists to come and experience the numerous exotic wonders of the Tanzanian paradise. I recently had a chance to visit the islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago, and I immediately fell in love with the amazing silky beaches, crystal clear waters, cool sea breezes, scenic natural backdrops, fascinating culture and local cuisine cantered on unique combination of flavours and scents. If you ask me, Zanzibar is truly the closest it gets to the Garden of Eden on Earth, so if you have not been here, I strongly encourage you to do so before long, because Zanzibar has all it takes to make your vacation a thoroughly unforgettable experience.
1. Unique mix of cultures
A melting pot for cultures from all sides of the globe, Zanzibar is characterized by numerous influences of the nations that have played an important role in the island’s history and trade relations. At every corner of this marvellous island, African, Indian, Persian, Arab and European influences are subtly intertwined, and the vibrant combination of different cultural identities is visible in all aspects of everyday life, from the local language and customs to contemporary urban designs and infrastructure.
2. Pristine, unspoilt beaches
Zanzibar’s beaches are a byword for clean, unspoilt beauty still mostly untouched by mass tourism. With soft, warm sands and warm ocean waters, beaches such as Ras Nungwi, Kendwa, Bwejuu and Paje offer an exotic escape from the fast-paced modern life. I loved long, hot summer afternoons spent in the shade of palm trees, disturbed only by soft ocean breezes that bring the much-needed refreshment. Crimson sunsets over Zanzibar’s peaceful lagoons and abundance of leisure activities such as surfing and diving are another reason why I believe everyone should have Zanzibar on their bucket list.
3. Perfect weather and climate conditions
One more thing that makes Zanzibar a perfect holiday destination is its moderate, stable climate with lots of sunshine and low precipitation throughout the year. The island is blessed with 7-8 hours of sunlight a day, and the average temperature in February, as the hottest month, totals 28°C. The sea is warmest in March, with average water temperature at 30°C, so if you plan to visit this stunning island any time soon, make sure you book your accommodation well in advance because affordable lodging is hard to find at the beginning of the peak tourist season.
4. Dhow safaris
If you are visiting Zanzibar, do not miss the chance to go on a dhow safari. You can rent a hand-made dhow (traditional Swahili boat) operated by experienced crew at a relatively affordable price. The cruise around the island and boat-bound exploration of the island’s vantage points and fascinating tropical scenery will truly prove an invaluable experience.
5. Dala Dala rides
The most popular transport option in Zanzibar is a DalaDala minibus. Though not precisely my dream vision of comfy public transport (the buses are actually trucks fitted with benches), these primitive buses are definitely one of the most memorable aspects of a true Zanzibar holiday.
I loved every minute I spent in Zanzibar’s exotic paradise, and I intend to go back to this enchanting island in March or April. Zanzibar is truly a dream come true for all lovers of quiet beaches, lush tropical flora and water sports – if I were you, I would start looking for accommodation right now. Before setting off, make sure to read news on local sites and blogs like the Kupatana blog in order to gain valuable information that could help you prepare for your trip.
Trust me – a trip to Zanzibar is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.
About the author
Oliver Hyde is an experienced business consultant from the UK. His job allows him to travel, which also happens to be one of his greatest passions. Find out more about his travels on Twitter.