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The island of Zanzibar, the ornate and mysterious jewel in the Indian Ocean, was once the eastern gateway to Africa, lying some 22 miles off the Tanzanian coast.  Over the centuries traders, adventurers, plunderers and explorers have all been enticed to these shores.  Once the centre of the slave and ivory trade, Zanzibar welcomed into its harbour ships loaded with food from India and the Far East, as well as from Europe and America.  An Indian bazaar still operates in the island today, as well as one of the world's largest clove markets. 

House of WondersThe Omanis who used the monsoon winds to sail from Oman, once ruled the island and left behind white-washed architectural delights, among then the Sultan's Palace, the Arab Fort and Bait el Ajaib (House of Wonders) which is Zanzibar's tallest building.

But it was the Shirazi Persians who came and settled on the coast and let rise to a coastal community known as Swahili (derived from the Arab word Swahil meaning coast).

BeachThe island is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs and abundant marine life offering some of the best diving in the world.  It also has the magic of historical Stone Town, an UNESCO heritage site and the island's capital, a wonderful mix of African and Arabic culture with fascinating markets in narrow winding streets where the aroma of spices fills the air.  The old slave quarters; the spice plantations; the Iozani Forest with its monkeys, bush-pigs, small antelope and, rumour has it, the elusive leopard; together with Prison Island, home to the giant tortoises, are all places to see.

FishZanzibar is reputed to have some of the best diving in the world, and the coral reef structures that surround Unguja and Pemba ensure that the marine life is abundant.  Good visibility (20 - 60 metres) and a year-round average water temperature of 27˚C ensure that you enjoy your Zanzibar diving experience.  Diving here isn't restricted to beginners.  Experienced scuba divers can enjoy exciting wall dives, night dives and drift dives.  In deeper waters, lush coral gardens often stretch as far as the eye can see and large gamefish hunt together with large Napoleonic wrasse, graceful manta rays and sharks.  Shallow waters are the playground of tropical fish, including a wide variety of Indo-Pacific marine fauna.

Prices on request

When to go

Zanzibar experiences pleasant weather most of the year. Average temperatures range from 24°C - 28°C but highs can reach the low 30°C's and lows the low 20°C's. Short showers can happen any time of the year but the highest rainfall is expected between March and May.

Additional Information

Time Difference Local Currency Local Language Average Flying Time
GMT/UTC + 3 Tanzanian Shilling Swahili 6 hours