There are so many draws to the island of Zanzibar from the culture, food and history but I’d say the biggest reason to visit is the incredible landscape. The huge island is full of gorgeous green forests but the eye catching views of Zanzibar come from the beaches. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the northern tip or the east coast, all of the beaches are home to brilliant white sand and turquoise blue sea. If this doesn’t make you want to visit Zanzibar then hopefully the relaxed island vibe will.
Since returning from this trip I have not stopped talking and thinking about Zanzibar. Today I thought I’d share some of my favourite images to show you just how beautiful this place is and explain why Zanzibar should be on your bucket list. If you’re looking for a little help planning a trip here then check out my guide.
Architecture of Stonetown
The architecture of Stonetown was gorgeous and completely different to buildings around the rest of the island. During our short time in the capital we saw so many old, elegant doors many of which were painted in bright colors. Most of these buildings were found in the alleys of the old town which is worth an explore just to get a feel for the local way of life.
It didn’t matter where we were on the island the beaches were gorgeous everywhere. The sand was a brilliant white colour and the sea a milky turquoise colour. In Paje the beach was framed by thick lines of palm trees and colorful kitesurfers. In Nungwi the tide backed right up to many of the stilted restaurants and hotels along the shore line while the beach was full of locals playing football.
Life in Zanzibar is very relaxed, there’s no pressure to rush through anything and meals are taken at a relaxed speed. The island doesn’t tend to wake up very early while everyone seems to come out at sunset to enjoy the sundown and cool off in the ocean. While in Zanzibar it’s easy to just switch off, lay on a sun lounger and get lost in a good book especially in the summer months when the weather is hot.
Wherever we went we found the people to be so friendly and welcoming especially at our accommodation around the island. People were happy to help in any way they could and wanted to make sure you had the best holiday while on the island. Nothing seemed too much trouble and they were always impressed if you could use a word or two in Swahili in return.
We didn’t have a single bad meal on the island from our seven course Christmas dinner at Z hotel to our seafood kebabs in Stonetown, it was all amazing. For nearly all lunch and dinner meals we ate fresh and delicious seafood in all forms: kebabs, curry, salad and bbq. Each meal was full of typical Zanzibar spices and most portion were huge too. Of course the most picturesque restaurant on the island was the famous Rock Restaurant on the east coast.
Zanzibar is also known for its amazing snorkeling from both the north tip of the island as well as Stonetown. There are plenty of boat trips you can take out to the reefs to enjoy the coral and fish. We decided to head out to the Mnemba Reef from Nungwi and there was so much to see along the reef. The water was fairly warm that during our time in the water I didn’t feel chilly and it was so clear.