The Spice Island of Zanzibar is situated in the Indian Ocean a twenty-minute flight from the mainland Tanzania. Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, composed of two main islands and many other Islands and Islets. The main Islands are Unguja, commonly known as Zanzibar and Pemba.

Zanzibar (Unguja) is a slightly hilly Island which is about 85 km long and between 20-30 km wide at its widest points. The Island was the famed centre of the Arab spice trade and continues to be a major producer of spice, particularly clove. Zanzibar is a culmination of Persian, Oriental, African, European and Arabian influences resulting in colourful cultures and exotic foods combined with the best unspoiled beaches and coral. Old Stone Town is the main quarter of Zanzibar (Unguja) and has not changed for two centuries. It contains a mixture of distinctive Swahili and Arab architecture, narrow winding alleys, Arabian style stone houses and vibrant bazaars. Many of Zanzibar's historic buildings are situated in Stone Town making it a popular tourist attraction. Zanzibar has long fine white sandy beaches, blood red sunsets and warm aquamarine waters a setting for superdiving and snorkeling.

On leaving the town, you encounters fertile land, vast forest of mangroves and shrubs like the Jozan forest where a variety of wildlife and exotic plants notably the red colobus monkey can be found.

Whilst on holiday in Zanzibar day tours and excursions are available to visit various places of interest such as the Spice Tour and Stone Town Tour. See the links below for more details. Zanzibar can be taken as a relaxing island holiday in itself or as an extension to Tanzanian wildlife safari or mountain climbing before returning home.

Best Time to Visit

Unguja Island is accessible all year round.

How to Get There 

There are many international flights that fly to Zanzibar. These are Ethiopian Airline, Gulf Air, Kenya Airways and Air Tanzania. For connections from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar there are frequent flights (domestic and internal flights) typically every hour or two and flights take about 20 minutes. The first flight leaves Dar es Salam about 7:30 am and the last leaves at 5:45 pm in the evening. The transfer time from Zanzibar airport to Stone town is approximately 20 minutes drive and it takes approximately 1 hour drive to transfer from the Airport to a beach resort. To get to Zanzibar by sea there are hourly Hydrofoil boats from Dar es Salaam harbour and these take about one and a half hours.



Some of the accommodation in Zanzibar are listed below and include hotels such as the Emerson & Green, now known as the Hurumzi Hotel. However, there are many hotels in town as well as beach resort accommodation ranging from luxurious, standard to budget.

Zanzibar Bluebay Beach Resort

The resort is situated on the finest wide, white sandy beach on the east coast island of the Island. It is set in 25 acres of lovely gardens with over 1000 palm trees, in an area known as Kiwengwa.  Bluebay Beach offers a wide range of facilities in addition to the magic Indian Ocean "Spice island" itself.  It takes about 45 minutes to reach from Stone Town along a recently built tarmac road.

The resort offers 88 air-conditioned rooms grouped in two-storey thatched bungalows. The hotel offers 74 superior rooms, 6 garden rooms, 6 deluxe rooms and 2 sultan rooms. All the rooms are equipped with traditional four-poster beds, as well as modern conveniences like satellite TV and mini-bars. Each has a verandah with sea view, a separate dressing room and en-suite bathroom. There are also some interconnecting rooms for families. The six deluxe rooms have a sunken bath, outside double shower and a lounge area. Two rooms are equipped with a ramp and shower shelf for guests with disabilities. The Sultan Suites have direct access to a hotel Activities private beach and butler service.

Serena In Zanzibar

The hotel is situated in Stone Town, in the ‘Old Town' of Zanzibar City and lies on the western side of the island. The hotel is a member of the "Small Luxury Hotel of the World" group and is well managed with friendly staff. It is flanked by a striking mix of sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts, ancient dhow harbours and bright bazaars. The resort is a place of tranquillity and richness; and one of Africa’s most ancient and most enchanting towns. 

The hotel is set in two historic sea-front buildings and has a wide selection of rooms and suites which include 51 en-suite rooms, 42 standard rooms, 6 prime rooms and 4 suites. The en-suite rooms are air-conditioned, and have mini bars, satelite TV, a balcony, a safe box and telephone. Most of the standard rooms have a sea view.

Each one of the rooms and suites at Zanzibar Serena Inn is designed in traditional Swahili style with high ceilings, arched niches, shuttered windows and cool, white walls. Antique plates and lamps combined with carved wooden furniture with basket weave and ceramic inlay. All rooms have romantic four-poster beds and a spacious balcony with a large free-standing hammock.

Other Hotels in Zanzibar

  • Hurumzi Hotel
  • Dhow Palace
  • Sultan Place
  • Tembo Hotel