The Spice Islands of Zanzibar feel like the crossroads of the world: a melting pot of far-flung cultures, centuries-old traditions, and colour-saturated nature.

"There are more than 25 virgin-white beaches altogether: fringed by coral reefs and lapped by the warm, sapphire waters of the Indian Ocean – some so peaceful that all you hear is the sea. "

Zanzibar. Like Kathmandu or Shangri-La, the name alone conjures up a destination steeped in mystery and magical allure. A melting pot of far-flung cultures, centuries-old traditions, colour-saturated nature, traditional dhows and vivid tales of spice merchants, sultans and Persian palaces, these exotic 'spice islands' once welcomed travellers from all over the globe, each bringing a little of their own culture and trading all sorts over many centuries. These days the hub of the island is Zanzibar Town, with Stone Town – a labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and extravagant Arab villas – at its heart.

But while Stone Town is the main attraction, Zanzibar’s other big draw is the jaw-dropping, powder-soft, white-sand beaches: the finest in all of East Africa.

What you need to know

  • Capital City

    Stone Town

  • Time Difference

    GMT +2

  • Best Time to Visit


  • Currency

    Tanzanian Shilling



Choose from the cream of Zanzibar’s finest resorts

  • Essque Zalu Zanzibar RAS NUNGWI

    There’s a whole lot of wow at Essque; set in a natural cove in the northeast of the island, the turquoise Indian Ocean to one side, lush green forest to the other and just a hint of spice in the tropical air.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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  • Baraza Resort & Spa BWEJUU BEACH

    Welcome to pure escapism! From the musicians that remind you of a Sultan's court, to the spice-scented spa and the underwater music in the lap pool, it's no wonder Baraza has collected so many awards!

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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  • The Residence Zanzibar KIZIMKAZI

    The epitome of beachfront chic, The Residence incorporates many of the island’s alluring history to create a unique ambiance of exotic indulgence and casual luxury.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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Inside Knowledge

Creating special moments

  1. Street Life

    Street Life

    You could spend hours exploring the web of streets that makes up Stone Town. The winding alleys and passageways are too narrow for vehicles, and travelling on foot gives you a wonderful opportunity to see the fascinating details.

  2. Food with a View

    Food with a View

    Fusion cuisine is the current craze. But it could have been invented in Zanzibar, with African, Arab, Goan, Indian and Chinese cooking all influencing the island’s traditional food – not to mention the spices!

  3. Sail into the Sunset

    Sail into the Sunset

    For a very special end to the day, board a locally-built dhow and cruise the benign waters of the Indian Ocean as the sun sinks slowly beneath the horizon… Could you really imagine sharing anything more memorable?