A tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar, also referred to as the ‘Island of Spice’, is the ultimate retreat for those who enjoy sugar-white beaches, warm turquoise waters, and cuisine as varied and exotic as the multicultural people who call this World Heritage Site home.
A popular ‘add-on’ destination for travellers who are taking a Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Safari or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar is easily accessible from all airports in Tanzania and Kenya, so it makes perfect sense to combine your adventure holiday with a few days on Zanzibar’s beaches, where you can relax, unwind and indulge.
That said, Zanzibar is a brilliant holiday destination in its own right, and one could easily spend a week or two exploring the many delights on offer, so it’s a great beach holiday option for those who are looking for something a little bit different.
Here’s how I would spend 24-hours in Zanzibar…
6am – If you are an early riser, this is the perfect time of the day to get up, pull on a pair of shorts, and head on down to Kiwengwa Beach for stroll along the pristine sands. Afterwards, you can enjoy a swim in the resort pool before showering for breakfast. If you are not an early riser – go to 9am!
9am – With Zanzibar’s laidback lifestyle, a lie in is almost imperative! Most hotel restaurants serve breakfast until 10am or 11am, so take it easy – you are on holiday after all!
10am – After a delicious breakfast, take a boat trip to Mnemba Atoll for a spot of snorkelling or diving in this popular Scuba site. While only residents of Mnemba Island are allowed to access the beach (they pay around $1500 per person per night for the privilege), you can enjoy the same crystal clear waters and wide variety of corals!
2pm – Wash all that salt water out of your hair and make your way to Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and embark on a city tour before hitting the shops. The cultural heart of Zanzibar, Stone Town is made up of a labyrinth of narrow streets, bustling bazaars, mosques, Arab houses, and cobbled alleyways.
6pm – You are probably starting to feel a little tired by now, so take a refreshing shower and make your way to the nearest beach bar for a sunset cocktail. Gabi Beach at the Meliã Zanzibar and Breezes Beach Club are popular choices.
8pm – There are endless options for dinner in Zanzibar, but if you want to experience something truly unique – book yourself a table at The Rock, a rustic seafood restaurant perching on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It’s a bit touristy and a bit pricey – but you won’t find anything like it anywhere else!
11pm – If your hotel provides entertainment, you might be able to catch the last hour or two, although Zanzibar is pretty quiet after midnight, so a nightcap on your balcony overlooking the ocean could be the perfect way to end your day on this paradise island.
Spend the rest of your 24-hours sleeping, so you are refreshed and ready for another fantastic day on the Island of Spice!