From Beach to Safari: Combining Zanzibar's Coastal Beauty with Tanzania's Wildlife

The Perfect Holiday: From Bush To Beach

Africa is a continent of contrasts, and Tanzania is no exception. It boasts some of the most spectacular beaches with crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and palm-fringed sand, combined with some of the wildest game reserves in East Africa – including the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and more.  

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Zanzibar, Tanzania's archipelago, is a perfect example of this contrast. It captivates travellers with its pristine beaches, exotic spices, and thriving local culture, while Northern Tanzania's vast plains present unparalleled opportunities to go on a wildlife safari adventure. In this blog post, we will explore how you can combine these two contrasting yet complementary experiences to build the ultimate Tanzania itinerary – a true bucket-list experience. 

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Discover the Reserves of Tanzania 

To explore Tanzania's game reserves, you will likely be based in the nearby town of Arusha. From there, you can drive to Tarangire National Park, known for its diverse landscape and impressive elephant and baobab tree population. It's also an excellent location to go on walking safaris. After a day or two exploring Tarangire, hit the road towards the world-renowned Serengeti National Park. En route, make a pitstop at the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world's largest unflooded caldera. Safari enthusiasts can track down the Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhino. Birders will also find the crater floor an incredible experience, with huge flocks of flamingos and pelicans congregating in the lakes. 

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Travel to the Spice Island of Zanzibar 

After your time exploring the vast Serengeti savannah, it's time to hop a flight (or ferry) to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar. Spend your days lying on the beach or exploring the island's historic Stone Town, a maze of narrow streets and ancient architecture. If snorkelling or diving is your thing, head over to the Mnemba Atoll, which offers some of the world's best coral gardens, a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, and a possible sighting of dolphins or turtles. There's no shortage of places to unwind in Zanzibar, but it doesn't mean you can't experience the island's rich cultural heritage. 

But the island has more to it than just the beach. Take a step back into the past by exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town, one of the oldest Swahili settlements in East Africa. The town is a crisscross of winding alleyways, bustling bazaars, Arab-inspired architecture, and rich history. Take a spice tour to understand the island's history as a hub for the spice trade and visit the Jozani Forest, a natural reserve that is home to the endangered red colobus monkey. 

For those interested in East African culture, Zanzibar served as an essential hub for the slave trade, with a complex tale told through the island's buildings, museums, and monuments. In the Zanzibar Monuments Conservation Project, visitors can explore the restored ruins of the Omani Sultan's palace, the Old Customs House, and the Old Dispensary, which is now an art gallery. Another alternative is to spend a night in Stone Town, exploring the lively night markets or enjoying fresh seafood dinners. 

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Combine a Safari with the Best Beach Break 

Tanzania is a country that has everything – from the sparkling beaches of Zanzibar to the captivating wildlife in Serengeti's savannah plains. Combine these contrasting and complementary experiences to create an unforgettable travel itinerary that brings a new definition of luxury to your holiday. We invite you to explore the best of Tanzania with us. 

Browse all our Zanzibar packages now, or find out what lies in store with a Tanzania safari. 

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