This Zanzibar tour package offers five days on this exotic island and an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and delight in the history, aromas and idyllic beach life found here.
Begin with a romantic sunset cruise on a dhow highlighting the pastel shades of the buildings as the sun goes down. Explore Stonetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site imbued with cultural influences from Africa, India, Arabia and Europe. Find your senses reeling with the aromas experienced on a spice tour and end this fascinating experience with a Menemba Island Ocean safari, some snorkelling around Mnemba Atoll and a seafood barbecue on Muyuni Beach.
Take advantage of this fantastic Zanzibar holiday adventure and spend five days in paradise.
Your budget-friendly Zanzibar Holiday Package kicks off in Zanzibar City. Arriving at the international airport your driver is there to welcome you to the island. From the airport, you are transferred to your seaside hotel in Stone Town.
After settling into your comfy room and freshening up, dive into the first adventure of the tour. This Zanzibar holiday gets off to a romantic start with a sunset cruise on a traditional Arabian dhow. The dhow sails around the fringes of Zanzibar Island which gives guests a preview of the stone-constructed, historical buildings in the aptly named Stone Town. As the sun sinks to the horizon Zanzibar City is bathed in glorious colors.
Midway through the dhow boat cruise sundowners and snacks are served. During the cruise the crew keeps you entertained with old Swahili tales about Zanzibar and its captivating history.
Back at the beachfront hotel, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as you please. Go on a culinary adventure at the Forodhani Market in the nearby Forodhani Gardens. The bustling night market is a great place to sample Zanzibari food, from seafood and crepes to coconut bread and oversized falafels. Alternatively, you can dine in the hotel restaurant which serves both local and international dishes, or eat out at a local restaurant.
Day two starts with breakfast at the beachfront hotel. Then your guide collects you for a walking tour of Stone Town, the historic old quarter of Zanzibar City.
Walking through the winding lanes of Stone Town you’ll see the different architectural styles of Zanzibar’s diverse cultures and interesting history. From mosques and cathedrals to ornately carved doors. The city’s history is unraveled on a visit to the slave market, where the East African slave trade flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries until being shut down by the British. The old slave market is the site today of the Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ, a building that houses many tributes to the city’s cruel past. One tribute is an altar built over the spot where the whipping post stood. All newly captured African slaves were tied to the tree here and whipped to test their strength.
Other highlights include the Sultan’s Palace, now a museum. It was built in the 19th century for the sultan and his family, becoming a government building after the 1964 revolution. We also visit the Arab Fort, the oldest building on Zanzibar Island. The fort was built after the Portuguese were expelled from the island in 1699. The building has had a variety of uses from a garrison and a prison to a railway terminal. These days it is the headquarters of the Zanzibar international film festival.
You can enjoy some retail therapy on the walking tour too. A visit to the bustling market and gift shops gives you a chance to browse the unique crafts and curios of the island. Your knowledgeable local guide shares tales of Stone Town in bygone days and can give you insight into life in Zanzibar.
After an absorbing day exploring Stone Town, it’s time to return to the hotel and freshen up before dinner. You can dine at the hotel, eat at Forodhani Market or one of the many local restaurants.
Day three of our affordable Zanzibar Adventure Tour begins with a tasty breakfast at the seaside hotel. Your tour guide then collects you and transfers you to your beach resort on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar.
Along the way, you stop to take a spice tour of the plantations. Spice is an important industry in Zanzibar. Introduced by the Omani Arabs in the 19th century at a time when spices were a valuable commodity worldwide, spices became Zanzibar’s primary income source after the demise of the slave trade. They play an important role in the lives of the Zanzibaris for their use in their cuisine, as a cure for many ailments, and for the dyes and henna that are used for decoration at festivals and weddings. When you see spices such as cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and turmeric root growing in the plantations, it’s easy to see why Zanzibar is known as ‘The Spice Island’.
Taste some of the unusual fruits that are grown here too, such as jack fruit, custard apple, rambutan, and carambola. Henna bush, lipstick tree, and lemongrass are some of the plants grown here too. Uplifted by the aromas of the spice plantation, it’s time to continue to your accommodation at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar) in the north of Zanzibar Island.
Now is the time to kick off your shoes and head to the beach. Sit back, relax and sip on sundowners beside the warm Indian Ocean. Enjoy dinner at the beach resort in Pwani Mchangani, and fall asleep to the sounds of the Indian Ocean.
On day four of this Zanzibar holiday package, you embark on a beautiful ocean adventure tour.
You are collected from the beach resort after breakfast and transferred to Nungwi beach where your dhow awaits. From there your ocean safari takes you to the famous Mnemba Atoll. You head out along the spectacular north-eastern coastline of Zanzibar where dolphins are commonly spotted.
At the Mnemba marine reserve, you spend a few hours snorkeling on the reefs. There are two quite different, but both are world-class diving sites. One is a coral garden whereas the other is a steep reef that disappears into an abyss. Expect to find populations of moray eels, lionfish, stingrays, and more, all in clear waters with high visibility.
After exploring the underwater wonders of the Mnemba Atoll your dhow takes you to the idyllic Muyuni Beach where a feast awaits. Tuck into a fresh seafood barbecue in the shade of the rustic beach banda enjoying all you can eat and drink. Then lie back in a hammock amongst the palms. Laze in the sunshine and soak up the tropical paradise of Muyuni Beach with its beautiful views of the private Mnemba island. Watch the locals working in the seaweed fields at low tide. Seaweed farming is an important industry with the algae exported internationally as a food delicacy.
Later in the day board the traditional dhow and sail back to Nungwi where our ocean adventure started. From Nungwi you are transferred back south to the beach resort for an evening of laid-back leisure.
Wake up early and take a last walk on the beach or stroll in the tropical gardens. Enjoy breakfast at the resort and get ready to say goodbye to this tropical paradise.
After breakfast, your driver collects you and transfers you back to the international airport close to Zanzibar City. Upon arrival at the airport we part ways, bringing this fantastic, yet cheap, Zanzibar Holiday Package to an end.
The historic Tembo House Hotel is located on the beachfront in the old Stone Town part of Zanzibar City.
This lovingly-restored hotel is in a prime location close to the historical sites, attractions, and restaurants of Stone Town. The building itself housed the American Consulate for five decades in the early 19th century, before becoming the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners, one of the largest trading companies in the Indian Ocean. Celebrities that have stayed in the building include Mahatma Gandhi and Freddie Mercury.
The hotel’s charming restaurant spills out onto spacious seaside terraces, serving local and international cuisine. Tembo Hotel also has an inviting courtyard featuring a swimming pool with deck chairs and shaded lounge areas. The hotel is decorated in an eclectic style with a distinctive Zanzibari character. The interiors feature ornate antiques and carved wooden furniture with bright splashes of color and influences from diverse cultures.
The rooms are all en-suite and most have a balcony with views of the ocean or pool. Each room has a small lounge area with a TV and is air-conditioned. The en-suite bathrooms have a shower and a traditional hammam bath. The rooms are furnished with interesting antique pieces and ornaments, including Swahili beds (carved wooden four-poster beds).
The Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa is located on the northeastern shores of Zanzibar Island, in Pwani Mchangani. The resort is set in a large, tropical garden with coconut palms, water features, and a large swimming pool. This upmarket beach resort overlooks the turquoise Indian Ocean, close to Mapenzi and Kiwengwa beaches.
With individual, typical African style round chalets and a roof thatched with makuti (coconut palm) your superior room is surprisingly sophisticated. Get lost in a king-size bed under your mosquito net, enjoy the facilities of an en-suite bathroom with shower, stay cool with the ceiling fan or air-conditioning and enjoy other facilities typical of a hotel, such as TV, coffee machine, laundry, and room service. Each room has a terrace, ideal for a sundowner as you watch the world go by.
Stay cool in what is one of the largest swimming pools in Zanzibar and relax with a drink from the pool bar. The resort offers a choice of restaurants that serve international and authentic Zanzibar cuisine and, of course, superb seafood. Indulge in a spa session after a busy day, prepare for the evening with a relaxing massage, facial or try the jacuzzi, steam room, or sauna. For the energetic, there is a fitness center, beach volleyball, billiards, table tennis, and a variety of watersports, including diving, windsurfing kayaking, or take a dolphin tour. (NB some activities are at extra cost).