Zanzibar is a must see beach holiday destination in East Africa for which we have a variety of holiday packages available. The sandy, white-washed beaches and clear blue water are simply iconic. The region, located in the Indian Ocean, is made up of a far-reaching group of islands, more accurately known as an archipelago. The first Europeans to reach Zanzibar were the Portuguese; they were navigators who were trying to find a trade route to India. The location on the East African coast made Zanzibar the perfect spot on which to establish a trade route.
It became an Arab state at the end of the 17th Century and then a British colony from 1890 to 1963. Finally, in 1964, Zanzibar and newly-independent country of Tanganyika became known as the United Republic of Tanzania. The area is situated south of the equator, which means that the archipelago has a tropical climate. Indian Ocean monsoons dominate the area and so Zanzibar is plagued by heavy rains (known as mwaka). They begin in March and end in late-May; however, they can run into June too. There is very little rainfall from January to March. Therefore, June to October is the perfect period to visit! You can expect an average temperature of 25°C.
Language & Religion
Islam is the most practiced religion, but Christianity and Hinduism are practiced by a small percentage of the population. Swahili was the first language spoken in the mainland of Tanzania and therefore crossed over to Zanzibar, but English is also prominent and understood by the majority of the population.
Zanzibar is located in an area where Malaria is prevalent and so consult your doctor before you travel to ensure that you have been given the correct preventative medicine.
Once again, the region’s strategic location made it a melting pot, resulting in what could be deemed a “multicultural cuisine” nation; the food is a (tasty) reflection of its history. Here are a few dishes that you have to try:
- Biryani: This is a curry dish of Middle-Eastern origins. A type of meat (commonly beef or goat) or fish is paired with spicy rice that is cooked separately and combined afterwards.
- Octopus curry: Octopus is a popular seafood. It’s cut into strips cooked in a blend of fragrant spices such as turmeric and coriander
- Zanzibar pizza: This is unlike any pizza you’ve ever eaten. Think of a calzone with a twist; your taste buds will love it!
- Urojo: These are crispy fritters with a curry gravy.
- Mishkaki: These are very similar to kebabs: huge pieces of meat on a skewer, char-grilled to perfection.
All of these meals are absolutely delicious and these are the types of dishes you can experience when booking a Zanzibar holiday package with Destiny Holidays. There is no doubt they will leave an everlasting impression on your pallet.
Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park – Cost: $9
Zanzibar has a remarkable national park called Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys. There are only 2000 left, making them one of the rarest species of monkey left on the planet. There are currently massive conservation efforts in place to safeguard their existence. Make sure that you also take a walk along the Nature Trail on your holiday. One of the park’s experienced guides will lead you through this unspoiled paradise. There are 100 species of butterfly, sunbirds and if you’re very lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the Zanzibar Leopard – a species that is almost extinct. Not all our Zanzibar holiday packages include trips to the national park so be sure to ask our agents when booking.
Spice Tour – Cost: $55
Zanzibar’s fascinating history has influenced its food. You’re definitely going to want to re-create many of the dishes back home. So, it’s essential that you embark on the Spice Tour. This is a walking tour through an active spice farm. You will be able to see how the spices, herbs and fruits are grown and cultivated. There’s an opportunity to smell and taste the spices, herbs and tropical fruits such as: nutmeg, clove, lemongrass, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla, papaya, chili, black pepper, cardamom and oranges. Once the tour is finished, you’ll be treated to a traditional Swahili lunch at the farm. Finally, you’ll stop at the spice shop where you can purchase these freshly-packed spices.
Stone Town – Cost: $60
Stone Town is the main city and a bastion of the history of Zanzibar. You will be taken on sensory, whirlwind journey that will show you exactly why this island nation is incomparable to any other country. It’s recommended that you hire a tour guide during your package vacation here; you can wander around the streets if you wish, but there is a good chance that you will get lost. Make sure that you take in the eye-catching architecture: the majority of the buildings date back to the 19th Century and although some are a bit dilapidated, they’re still a sight to be admired. After that, you need to go and experience the Darajani Market, which has a large variety of products. In the late-afternoon, you’ll see the seafront, which is near the market, come to life – it’s magnificent. A trip to this town is not complete without a visit to the Forodhani Gardens. It’s a public space that is in perfect proximity to many of the major sites. It’s overlooked by the historic House of Wonders (aka Beit-Al-Ajaib) – definitely put this on your sight-seeing list. Why not take a break, relax, and enjoy the sensational views and characteristic ambience. Are you hungry? Well, Forodhani Gardens has seafood galore (and that’s an understatement!) You’ll find all sorts on the menu such as squid, octopus, barracuda, shrimps, lobsters, prawns and crabs. If some of the items seem completely foreign to you, don’t worry; the vendors will explain everything to you. If you’re not a fan of seafood, there are many other delicacies available such as Zanzibar pizza (a must-have), Urojo, pilau, kebabs, grilled sweet potatoes…the list is endless. Oh, and the prices are very reasonable, so go wild. Forodhani Gardens exudes an atmosphere that needs to be experienced. Once you’ve had some food, put your feet up and are feeling replenished, it’s time for the next activity!
Prison Island and Changuu Island – Cost: $70
Changuu Island, better known as Prison Island, is only a 30-minute boat ride from Stone Town. Fascinating fact: it was never used to house prisoners; it was used a quarantine area! What for? Well, you’ll have to hop on the boat and go find out. Oh, and while you’re there, watch out for giant tortoises!
Sunset Dhow cruises – Cost: $110
How does relaxing on a boat in the middle of the ocean, while watching the iconic African Sunset grab you? Yes? Then a holiday package which includes a late-afternoon Dhow boat cruises are a must. The hustle-and-bustle of busy people in Stone Town grow faint until they are only an afterthought, When the dhow sets sail you will be served drinks and light snacks, simply sit back and sink into pure bliss. Your breath will be taken away by the spectacle of the hot-orange sun setting beyond the horizon. As you head back for Stone Town the wind gently blows into the sail which is mesmeric.
- Other activities available include:
- Deep sea fishing
- Exploring the Kiwengwa Caves – Cost
- Petting giant tortoises
- Swimming with dolphins
- Beit El-Sahel (Palace Museum)
- Old Arab Ruins
- Visiting the Old Fort
The last thing that you want is to run out of money during your holiday in Zanzibar. Most often all costs are included in our Zanzibar holiday packages but just in case here is a list of the approximate price of food, drink and certain services. Please remember that prices may be more expensive depending on where you go. After basking in the wonder of the Red Colobus Monkeys and being guided along the Nature Trail, you’re definitely going to need one of these beverages. It’s essential to have water in order to stay hydrated; coffee will give you that much-needed boost in the morning and an ice-cold soft drink is always refreshing.
A one litre bottle of water – $4
A soft drink e.g. Coca-Cola/Pepsi – $4
A cup of coffee $5
Whether you’re having a sit-down dinner or are enjoying the local ambience at a club or bar, treat yourself to a drink – you’re on vacation.
A local beer – $5
An alcoholic cocktail – $10
Wine by the glass – $6
A bottle of house wine – $30
Spirits (pouring brand) – $10
With the plethora of activities available in Zanzibar, a light lunch and or snack will always be in demand. It doesn’t matter what option you choose; all of the food is an adventure for your taste buds. HINT: make sure that you try the legendary Zanzibar pizza – you’ll be coming back for seconds!
Light lunch such as a sandwich or pizza – $9 – $15
A 3-course dinner – $35 – $60
A burger – $15
Adventure and relaxation don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Why not go for an thrilling dive and then indulge in a blissful massage at your resort.
A standard spa massage – $80
Dive for a qualified diver – $110
Babysitting – $20 per hour
The magic of Zanzibar is waiting for you…what are you waiting for? Why not book a holiday package today!
Zanzibar Holiday Packages
Available Year Round
Book Your Island Holiday With Us Today!
We offer customised packages to perfectly suit your requirements, from flights to hotels and airport transfers. Contact us and let one of our experienced travel agents compile your dream island escape today.
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