Zanzibar, in Tanzania, is made up of around 50 idyllic tropical islands. The two larger islands are Zanibar Island, commonly known as Unguja and Pemba.
Why Honeymoon Here
Teeming with culture, history, and overflowing with pristine, palm-fringed, white beach resorts framed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the archipelago sits off the east coast of Africa and offers honeymoon couples an unrivalled opportunity to relax, explore and indulge in the warmth of Tanzanian hospitality.
What to Do
Zanzibar Island is a window into the ancient cultures of the Omani Arabs and the Portuguese. Stone Town is the old quarter of Zanzibar City and is a major tourist destination. Stroll through the Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and the historical Turkish baths, or take a step back in time and explore bazaars and streets unchanged over centuries, now dotted with cafés and bistros.
For romance, the Stone Town Dhow sunset cruises are terrific, whilst spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to gain an insight into everyday life.
Zanzibar has some of the best beaches in Africa. In the north, the silky white sandy beaches are fabled by sunseekers, whilst the east coast is more dramatic with rich coral reefs and sandbars. Top spots include Nungwi Beach on the northern tip, famed for its luxury hotels and party vibe, whilst on the east coast Matemwe Beach offers a local experience. The calm, warm, clear waters of Pongwe Beach are a favourite with water-sport lovers.
Eco-tourism is growing in Zanzibar and Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection zone, is one of the most popular with visitors. Other must-visit conservation areas include Chole Island Marine Park, Jozani Forest and, on the mainland, the Serengeti National Park, home to the largest herds and the highest concentrations of predators on the planet.
Where to Stay
There is a wide selection of international and local five-star resorts and hotels found all around Zanzibar. Some, such as Mnemba Lodge, offer lavish honeymoon packages, others, like Parachichi Hotel, entice guests with a magnificent beachfront location and facilities. For a heritage experience, look at Karafuu Hotel and Sultan Sands Resort, or for something different, try a liveaboard island hopping cruise with Zanzibar Yacht Charter.
The cuisine of Zanzibar reflects its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic nature. The external influences include elements of Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British and even Chinese cuisine. Luxury resorts offer a variation on romantic beach dining, but Zanzibar also boasts some magnificent and distinctive experiences, no more so than at The Rock Zanzibar. Sitting on a rock in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, The Rock was formerly a fisherman’s post and serves an abundance of local seafood. For something with an African twist, the Ethiopian inspired Abyssinian Maritim is a good choice, whilst Loulou offers both magnificent food and a romantic ambience for those looking to enjoy European-style seafood.