The literal turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and rich Swahili culture of the Tanzanian coast put the Islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia among the world’s most intriguing coastal destinations. Sail on traditional dhows to snorkel or dive in colourful coral reefs, bask on quiet beaches, and tour the historically saturated city of Stone Town.
Zanzibar is the archipelago’s giant. In Stone Town, walk through a labyrinth of cobbled streets, learning about the city’s central importance in trade and East African development. Seemingly bound together through Islam, spices, outstanding architecture, and tourism the city feels like a juxtaposition between a bygone era and modern tourism. A short drive outside town delivers guests to sandy white beaches, calm teal waters, and spectacularly fresh seafood. Catch the Indian Ocean sunrise on the eastern shores of Jambiyani before heading to the northern tip for sunsets and sundowners in Nungwi.
North of Zanzibar, separated by 50km of ocean, lays the gentle hills, extensive clove plantations and lush vegetation of Pemba. Significantly quieter and less developed than its southern sister, Pemba is known for dense mangroves, twisting waterways and a deep history of traditional healing and voodoo. With a small tourism industry, a stay on Pemba exudes a sense of tranquility and, a little bit of magic.
Mafia Island, the southernmost point in the archipelago, offers a feeling of total seclusion and remoteness on this laid-back island paradise. Underwater enthusiasts snorkel and dive alongside some of the greatest biodiversity in soft coral and tropical fish in the Indian Ocean. On land, snowy white beaches, dotted with palm trees and small villages, make for easy relaxation and exploration on foot.
Relax amongst the archipelago for as long as possible – a week is ideal. Be sure to compliment the tropical paradise with an adventure into the wilds of the continent in the southern or northern safari circuits!
If you are interested in this region, or any of our other Tanzanian safari locations, contact us by telephone on: +255 762 493 434 or email us here