Just the mere mention of Zanzibar is enough to conjure images of pearly beaches and bent-double coconut palms. This jewel in the Indian Ocean has long been the go-to beach escape in Tanzania. It is home to 50 miles of some of the finest white sands you’ll ever leave footprints on, plus one of the most immersive and historic port towns in East Africa.
The beaches take centre stage, of course. Nungwi Beach on the north coast is a hubbub of resort hotels with salt-washed Tanzanian fish tavernas spilling onto the shoreline. Matemwe Beach, on the western edge, is known for its fringing of pristine coral reserves. Michamvi Beach, running up the sides of Chwaka Bay midway down the isle, is for sunsets that blaze pink and orange across the mangroves. And that’s just scratching the surface.
It’s no secret that most luxury villa rentals in Zanzibar lend themselves to no-holds-barred relaxation. But between sessions of swinging in a palm-slung hammock and splashing in your private pool, you should be sure to make time to hop over to Stone Town. This UNESCO site is the main urban centre of Zanzibar, first built up by Portuguese traders in the 16th century, only to be taken over by Omani Sultans who completed the great walls and Bulwarks in the 1700s.
These days, it’s a picture of old Zanzibar yet still fizzes with life. Market places beckon down one alley; fishing folk tout their stacks of sardines and octopus on the quaysides down another. All the while, bobbing dhow boats line the water out front – they’re the perfect choice for a romantic evening cruise away from the hustle and bustle of the centre.
Our luxury villas in Zanzibar offer the perfect retreat for travellers heading to this sand-fringed, palm-dotted corner of East Africa. Stunning properties with infinity pools and sun terraces ensure you won’t even have to step out the door to immerse yourself in the island vibe. But remember that the multi-coloured coral reefs and bustling marketplaces of Stone Town are never too far away.
- Stone Town – an incredible UNESCO site with a long history
- Nungwi Beach – one of the best beaches in Africa
- The marine conservation area of the Mnemba Atoll
- Shop in the seafood bazaars at the Forodhani Night Market in Stone Town
- Laze on paradise beaches
- Snorkel and dive on vibrant coral reefs