Zanzibar Hotels, Tanzania

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Intro to Zanzibar hotels and accommodations

Zanzibar Hotels

Lying off the coast of East Africa in the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is an idyllic archipelago of white sandy beaches lined by coconut trees. Don your snorkel and explore its unspoilt coral reefs, or simply walk among them at low tide. Away from the ocean, tour the farms producing the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper that give Zanzibar its alternative name: the Spice Islands. The jewel in the archipelago’s crown is the narrow winding streets and traditional markets of Stone Town, designated a World Heritage Site for its unique blend of African, Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences.

Things to see

For that tropical island experience, Zanzibar offers white-sanded seclusion for sun-lovers. Snorkel or scuba dive in its coral-rich lagoons and, in the nearby villages, watch women make their way across the shallows at low tide to harvest seaweed. In Stone Town, visit the House of Wonders, the former sultan’s palace now home to the Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture, with breath-taking views over the harbour. The courtyard of the neighbouring Old Fort, built in the 17th century by the Omani, is home to curio shops and an amphitheatre hosting live music and dance. In the evening, at the Forodhani Gardens food market, taste Swahili and Zanzibari delicacies while watching the sun go down over the ocean. For a real insight into what makes Zanzibar tick, take a day trip into the interior on a guided tour of the fragrant spice plantations, where you’ll discover how many of the spices you use every day – such as cinnamon and pepper – are cultivated.

Hotels in Zanzibar

There is a wealth of hotels in Stone Town, with accommodation to suit a range of budgets. Most hotels occupy historical or restored buildings within a short walking distance of the main attractions, and have all the mod cons including air conditioning and WiFi. Many have indoor and/or outdoor pools, and some offer ocean views. Outside of Stone Town, hotels are dotted along the archipelago’s coastline, mostly in the north and east. Many are part of luxury beach resorts offering everything you need to have a serene and indulgent stay, such as spa facilities, swimming pools, seafood restaurants and, of course, spectacular ocean views.

Where to stay

In Stone Town, hotels on Shangani Street and Mizingani Road offer ocean views. Walk along the seafront listening to the lap of the waves and you will arrive at the Forodhani Gardens, its thriving market a feast for the senses, and across the road are the curio shops of the Old Fort and the fascinating Swahili artefacts of the House of Wonders. Outside of Stone Town, hotels are part of beach resorts offering pampered relaxation such as spa treatments, as well as activities for all the family, such as scuba diving and watersports.

How to get to Zanzibar

The archipelago’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (formerly Zanzibar International Airport) is served mainly by flights from Dar es Salaam and other East African or Middle Eastern cities. Seasonally, it receives direct flights from some European cities. The airport is located only 5 kilometres south of Stone Town and many hotels offer an airport shuttle on request. A ferry service also runs between Dar es Salaam and Stone Town. Travel around Zanzibar is by taxi, minibus share taxi (‘dala-dala’), or hire car.

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