For many, Zanzibar (UngujaIsland) is about magnificent beaches, boating of various sorts and getting under the waves to explore the coral reefs. For others, the place appeals for its spicy mix of Afro-Arabic history and culture subjected to European influence in recent centuries. And there are somevisitors who seldom stray from their hotel, relaxing big time, content to enjoy the hospitality and cuisine of the locals.
On this island some 30km off the East African coastline of Tanzania, the accommodation ranges from basic traditional to over-the-top modern, from relatively affordable establishments where they don’t take credit cards to decadent indulgences where each house has a butler standing by. Zanzibar is a place where the options are many and where the recommendations of specialist tour operator African Encounters are invaluable in helping you to choose what’ll suit you best on the basis of their personal experiences.
The 5 Star resort Diamond Dreams of Zanzibar is a palace of sorts, right on the beach, equipped with numerous sports facilities plus an African Rain Spa, and a good location from which to go on a tour of the island’s clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper plantings.
Also situated on a beach, the Azanzi Beach Hotel features multi-tiered decks ideal for taking in the view of the ocean, white beaches and palm trees – luxury accommodation in boutique villas, with the activities offered includingsundowner cruises on a dhow.
One of the most impressive buildings on the island is that of the Gemma Del Est resort with its beautiful beach, huge swimming pool and sunken cocktail bar, plus an entertainment area built on a jetty that juts out some 100 metres over the sea.
The Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort is one of the most opulent on the island. Four restaurants and two bars. And to stay in: superior rooms, large suites and four lavishly appointed villas, eachwith a private pool, Jacuzzi, deck and butler service.
The approach to the decadent Sea Cliff Resort & Spa includes a 4km road through a coconut plantation, withthe resort featuring a jetty bar, dhow sailing trips and sporting activities galore.
And Swahili Beach lodge is of authentic Zanzibar quality – right down to the design and furnishings. It’s in Kizimkazi, famous as a place where people go to swim with dolphins.