Along with Pemba Island, Zanzibar lies just off the coast of Tanzania and its beaches are among the most perfect on the planet, particularly those found on the north and east coast. The way the colours of the ocean contrast with the coral reef around Mnemba Island – where there’s plenty of snorkelling and diving to be had – is beautiful.
This heady mix of tropical island life and historic Swahili culture has beckoned travellers for centuries, so once you’ve had your fill of the shoreline head into Capital Stone Town for a spot of exploration. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fascinating maze of cobbled streets with ornately carved doorways, Sultans palaces and vibrant markets.
Although development has been dramatic in Zanzibar in recent years, many beaches are still practically empty of tourists, and traditional coastal village life continues. We only pick small beach lodges known for their local character, charm and atmosphere allowing you to experience the real Zanzibar.
When to go
The best time to visit is during the dry season avoiding the rains of April, May and November.