Spicy Island of Zanzibar

Ocean Islands

Spicy Island of Zanzibar

Situated off the coast of Tanzania and washed by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is a tropical archipelago comprised of several scattered islands – the two largest of which are Pemba and Unguja, or Zanzibar Island. Today, the name Zanzibar evokes images of white sand beaches, slender palms, and turquoise seas, all kissed by the spice-laden East African trade winds. In the past, however, an association with the slave trade gave the archipelago a more sinister reputation.

Trade of one kind or another is an intrinsic part of the island’s culture and has shaped its history for thousands of years. Zanzibar's identity as a trading hotspot was forged by its location on the trade route from Arabia to Africa; and by its abundance of valuable spices, including cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the past, control of Zanzibar meant access to unimaginable wealth, which is why the archipelago’s rich history is studded with conflict, coups, and conquerors.

Just 13 kilometres from Stone Town , Zanzibar and home to the rare robber or coconut crab, the world’s largest land arthropod, Chumbe is an award-winning private nature reserve. You can visit for the day from Zanzibar (permits required) or opt to stay at Chumbe Island Lodge, an eco- lodge on the island. There is a coral reef sanctuary and forest reserve.

Clove-covered Pemba sits across the Pemba Channel from Zanzibar but is far less developed. The 50km channel itself is a rich fishing ground and the quality of marine life around the island attracts divers and snorkellers looking for a barefoot escape - Fundu Lagoon (pictured) is a wonderful laid-back, feet-in-the-sand type of place offering just this. We would describe Pemba as Zanzibar 30 years ago. Manta Resort even has an under water room so you can be truly immersed in your marine experience...

Mnemba Island just off Zanzibar has a wonderful but very exclusive beach retreat owned by &Beyond. If you're looking for beach chic then this is your place...

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