Why Choose Zanzibar for Your 2021 Holiday
With 2021 travel just around the corner, it’s a good idea to start planning your next holiday. With waving palm trees, endless white-sand beaches and beautiful azure seas, our top pick for 2021 has got to be Zanzibar, our favourite African tropical island, lying off the east coast of Tanzania.
A Zanzibar holiday is filled with dreamy moments, cocktails on the sand, music at dusk and dhow cruises out into the bay. Here are a few more reasons why you should choose Zanzibar for your 2021 holiday...
Zanzibar and nearby Pemba island, also known as the Spice Islands, have variously been under the influence of the Portuguese, Omani and the British since as early as 1498 but the Omani influence in food, architecture and religion is the most lasting and still evident today. Zanzibar was also a source of slave labour which was abolished by the British in 1873. Today there are monuments and a museum to ensure we never forget that era in East African history.
Today the island is a mix of Swahili and Arabic. The Spice Islands are named after the popular crops of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. The island also produces fresh produce for locals and the resort hotels. Superb luxury resorts line the beaches of the island with the most popular areas being the north and east coasts. Boutique hotels have sprung up around Stone Town – some in historic palatial former homes.
Many of the resorts have typically Afro-Omani architecture and furnishings of dark wood offset by cool verandas and soft white cotton drapes. Facilities include pools, gyms, lovely green lawns, kiddie play areas and outdoor restaurants. All this under the shade of swaying palm trees with the ocean lapping at the shore just steps away.
Sounding irresistible? It is!
While your chosen resort is a destination on its own there are however a number of things to do in Zanzibar that should not be overlooked.
A visit to old Stone Town is thrilling and it appears as if time has stood still for 500 years. The cobble stone roads are charmingly narrow and winding, in many instances they reduce down to mere alleyways between the ancient buildings. The town is beautifully preserved and daily life continues with locals going about their chores. Many houses still have ancient carved doors with brass studs and huge metal hinges. These often lead to small courtyards which you might be lucky to get a fleeting glimpse of. There are also many restaurants serving simple dishes of the day with more than just a hint of spice which compliments the food rather than overpowering it.
A day out on a dhow is also highly recommended activity in Zanzibar. The fishing dhows are hand built and expertly sailed to a sand bar for swimming, snorkelling and a delicious lunch.
Other excursions include a tour of Prison Island where slaves were held prior to being shipped off to foreign lands. Here you may be lucky enough to spot the giant land tortoises!
Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by a tour to the protected Jozani Forest with sightings of birds and the rare and endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey which curiously lacks a thumb but manages quite well without it.
There are a number of spice farms around the island offering tours to demonstrate the cultivation of their unusual but intensive crops on a small scale – quite unusual from normal farming. Needless to say you will come away with an aromatic selection of useful spices.
Then there is the diving. For seasoned divers the warm Indian Ocean off Zanzibar is regarded as the nirvana of diving. All levels of competency are catered for and this might a good opportunity to dip your toe into the dive scene.
As you can see Zanzibar is buzzing with fun and activities and sun worshippers are equally happy to laze on the pristine beaches, cocktail in hand. Give us a call and you will be surprised at the value-for-money Zanzibar holiday packages available including direct flights, superb accommodation and much more.