Zanzibar was once the centre of the spice and slave trade in Africa but is now better know for its white beaches and crystal clear blue seas. The island offers itself as a relaxing destination with warm sunny days and beautiful accommodation ranging from small boutique hotels to all-inclusive four and five-star resorts.
Twined with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania, Zanzibar makes the perfect beach destination. Old Stone town remains very much unchanged from its days of slave trading with its winding streets and high townhouses, cobbled streets and dilapidated buildings. The coastline offers some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean if not the world.
However, the beaches do vary around the island with the east coast offering coral and offshore sandbanks whilst the North coast is not so good for swimming due to the tides at that end of the island.
What to do in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a beach location offering long sunny days on white sands and clear blue water ideal for snorkelling and diving. Water sports are hugely popular as is deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. The capital of the island, Stone town is famously known for its spice and slave-trading activities in past years. A great day for sightseeing with it’s winding streets and tall dilapidated townhouses.
A visit to Jambiani Beach is a must for any beach lover as the palm-fringed beach offers a great day’s sunbathing. However, the sea on the east coast has high tides so it’s often hard to swim. A good tip is to get a fisherman to take you out to the reefs and snorkel from there rather than swim in the strong tides.
Seaweed Harvesting on the East Coast – Watch the local women collecting the seaweed on a daily basis when the tide has gone out. The collect the seaweed for hours to sell for a few cents.
Stone Town Market – A visit for the local spices and to marvel at the stalls selling various meat and fish.
Maruhubi Palace one of a few ruins that can be visited on the island, it was once owned by Sultan Said Bargash’s and built-in 1880 to house his many wives. In 1889 it was ruined by a great fire and has since remained in ruins.
Slave Market Under the Omani rule the slave trade flourished with slaves taken from the interior of Central Africa and marched to the coast where they were transferred to Zanzibar to be sold to work in plantations or taken to Oman for other work.
Getting married in Zanzibar
If you are looking for a wedding on a beach then Zanzibar ticks all the boxes with its white sand and crystal clear blue waters. There are many hotels offer wedding packages for weddings on the beach starting from £565 per couple. These wedding packages would include a decorated location, bridal bouquet, grooms buttonhole, sparkling wine and wedding cake, photographer and CD of wedding photos.
Legal requirements to Marry in Zanzibar:
The legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years. Bride and Groom may not be related by blood, marriage or adoption. Two witnesses are required.
You will need to be in Zanzibar for at least 2 working days before you can legally marry.
Your intent to marry must be posted for 21 days before you can exchange your vows.
You must send an application stating that you are both single and intend to marry to the Regional Commissioner, the marriage date, your full names, domiciles, birth dates and birthplaces of both sets of parents, You must both sign it and it must be notarised if you are having a civil ceremony.
Ten-year passports & 2 photocopies
Full birth certificates
Certificate of No Impediment
2 passport photos each
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then your previous marriage certificate and the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown.
If you are having a religious ceremony you will need a letter from your church stating that you have followed the requirements of your church to get married and that banns have been posted in your home country.
Honeymoons in Zanzibar
Tanzania is the perfect honeymoon destination for a twin center with beach and Safari. It combines the wonderful sights of the animals on Safari with a romantic balloon ride over the Serengeti and the idyllic white sandy beaches of Zanzibar and Pemba.
There are many hotels to choose from for the perfect honeymoon destination from 3 star all-inclusive resorts such as the Mapenzi Beach Club too the luxury resort of Fundu Lagoon. Itis the perfect destination to twin with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania or to visit the Capital city Dar es Salaam.
Where to stay in Zanzibar
Zanzibar offers a wide choice of accommodation for every budget and all types of board basis. From 3 star hotels such as the Mapenzi Beach hotel or the four-star Ocean Paradise Resort to the 5-star resorts of La Gemma dell’est, Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski.
For something truly different, a stay at the Mnemba Island lodge in the Northeast of the Island in one of their 10 palm-frond beach cottages on a full board basis including 2 dives per day. This private island offers total privacy and relaxation in a luxury environment.
If it’s a barefoot beach honeymoon that you are looking for then a stay at the Fundu Lagoon is the ultimate choice. Fundu Lagoon is only reachable by speedboat and located just off the island of Zanzibar and offers thatched-roof tented bungalows with wooden viewing decks. There are six suites on offer with private plunge pools for that truly romantic honeymoon.
Best time to go to Zanzibar
The driest time to visit is from June to October and the wettest months are April and May. The temperature is constant at 28 to 32 centigrade throughout the year.
Zanzibar lies 25 miles off the Tanzanian coast and is made up of the main island and Pemba islands. The island is only 60 miles by 20 wide but offers some very romantic hotels perfect for honeymoons. To name a few check out Matemwe Bungalows, Ras Nungwi, Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island or Unguja resort located at the northern tip of the island.
For more information on Tanzania, please visit the official Tanzania Tourist Board
Getting to Zanzibar
The flying time from London to Zanzibar is 9 and a half hours with flights either Dar es Salaam or Nairobi in Kenya. They are 3 hours ahead of GMT and a visa is required for UK passport holders. Visitors to the area should also consult with their doctors for any injections that may be required.
Thank you for viewing our holiday information online. please also call 0156 536020 for advice on when to travel to Zanzibar and the best holiday deals. or get in touch by email
For more information visit the Zanzibar Tourist Board