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Places of Interest in Zanzibar

Southern Sky Adventures: Places of Interest in Zanzibar

Capitol is Zanzibar City

Jambiani Beach

Why is it that so many safaris chose to end their trek in Zanzibar? The beaches, of course, and Jambiani Beach does not disappoint. Pristine white sand, yet coarse enough to pack well near the water; Jambiani is a joy to walk on. The crystals glisten in the sun, and we thought about sunburn by reflection. Who knew this gem even existed? It’s well worth the trip if you’re anywhere near Tanzania.

Accommodations are inexpensive, and the best part of Zanzibar is that even now the beaches are largely untouched by commercial tourism. If you run into a fellow tourist in Zanzibar, you may be told that the beautiful beach at Jambiani is crowded and that everyone goes there. The fact is, Jambiani Beach is miles of startling white sand. It would take a lot of tourists to crowd out this piece of paradise.

What to expect? There are no swimming pools, no casinos, no discos, bars… and mainly no electricity – except at some guesthomes. Your idea of paradise? Then welcome to Jambiani Beach, Zanzibar.

Matemwe Beach

A small village on the northeast coast of Unguja, Matemwe is actually ten villages in one. If you could, you know you’d love to find a bed and breakfast close to or even right on the shore of the sea. Guest homes, as they’re known here in Matemwe, accommodate, and most of them hug the sea. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Visitors can arrange diving from all the hotels and guesthomes around Matemwe. But even if travelers  don’t dive – here’s a tip: The hotel can arrange a boat to go out to the reef area where the snorkeling is indeed world class where a  great variety of marine life and coral is in view as far as the eye can see.

Mnemba Atoll is the pristine dive paradise where the people who know are headed. The Mnemba Atoll surrounds the island, once called by Condé Nast Traveler – one of three most romantic ocean destinations in the world. Mnemba means “octopus head” in Arabic.

Expect great expanses of snow white beach studded with occasional rock outcroppings which contrast spectacularly with the sand, sky and sea. The best time to visit Matemwe Beach is July through to March, with high season being October through to March.

Nungwi Beaches

Nungwi Beach, located on the northern tip of Zanzibar, is nothing less than spectacular. With sugar-fine, soft white sand and unbelievably clear turquoise waters, this beach must rank as one of the world’s best. Few tourists make their way to this undiscovered paradise because the roads are in such terrible condition, but those who do are rarely disappointed.

A visit to Zanzibar is incomplete without making the trek north to the most stunning beaches of the entire Zanzibarian Archipelago, the beaches in and around Nungwi   The reason this area is so beautiful, is probably due to the coral reef that has for centuries deposited tons of shimmering grains of sand on its shores due to the Indian Ocean wave action from the northeast.

The contrast of the turquoise water, the deep blue sky, brilliant white sand and unusual large rock outcroppings makes the whole Nungwi area breathtaking. The sandy shore here slopes rather steeply allowing visitors to swim at low or high tide. Because of this feature, little seaweed grows here – which mean less to contend with when relaxing in the crystal clear waters.

Stone Town

The old Stone Town of Zanzibar is a fascinating warren of narrow streets, overhanging balconies and huge, intricately carved wooden doors. The bustling Suk (bazaar), where traders bargain excitedly, is full of the pungent perfume of exotic spices.

The largest town in the archipelago is the capital, Stone Town, located in the middle of the west coast of Unguja, the main island. The town was named for the coral stone buildings that were built there largely during the 19th century, on the site of a very old fishing village. There are over 16,000 people in the town today.

Tall houses line narrow alleyways set in a confusing maze radiating out from the center towards the sea. The streets are too narrow for cars but not, unfortunately, for bicycles and even motorbikes, so visitors must be on the lookout. Life is lived very much as it was in the past and the many mosques

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