This post was written and snapped by Pete and Dalene Heck (aka the lovely team at Hecktic Travels).
Even the name ‘Zanzibar‘ sounds exotic. Add in the phase ‘spice islands’ and the mind boggles with vision of pirates, cinnamon, chalk-white beaches and cinematically swaying palms. With a rich history as a gateway for treasure-hunters in search of gold, wild animals, slaves, or simply a tropical paradise, to this day Zanzibar still owes its livelihood in large part to travellers.
It was a cool morning in Tanzania, and my husband and I rose a little earlier than most to sneak into the sheltered kitchen and grab coffee before the breakfast rush. The tents were beginning to stir, but we had a few minutes alone to enjoy the first of the sun’s rays, the squawking of unnamed birds, and to stares of the giraffes nearby.
Picking the world’s best beach is a bit like arguing why your favourite colour should dominate the rainbow. Everyone’s going to have an opinion.
My earliest memory is of a beach. I’m about six years old and the sun’s going down over a little cove on Mornington Peninsula, in southeast Australia.
With its picturesque beaches and beautiful blue waters, Ashok Solanki discovers that there are few more delectable places to unwind than the exotic ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar…
“One can smell the spices in the air, even though the island itself is still not in sight. It is said that in the old days pilots followed the scent of the spices to locate this tiny speck in the Indian Ocean. The ferry from Dar es Salaam takes just over 2 hours, but when you land on Zanzibar you step back in time to an, as yet, unspoilt and little-known paradise.
Warm and inviting, the wonderful islands of Zanzibar are floating in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Tanzania. With a colourful history and incredible underwater world, Sally MacFarlane discovered that adding a Short Break in this sensational archipelago was a perfect way to spice up her African adventures…
“One of my sweetest travelling moments ever was jumping off a wooden boat into the crystal clear waters off the coast off Zanzibar. Not only did it feel fantastic after a hot and dusty (but awesome) 6-week overland safari with Intrepid through southern and eastern Africa, but it felt like taking a peek into an incredibly special world.
One of the best things in life is getting to live your dream and Intrepid’s Lisa Rollinson got to do just that on the Road to Zanzibar…
“I’m an animal fanatic! I have dreamed of travelling to Africa since I was a little girl and while growing up I wanted to be David Attenborough. By my late teens I realised that a career in wildlife documentaries was unlikely, but I could still travel through Africa and see all the animals… and continue my dream.
Swimming and snorkelling in the blue seas off Zanzibar’s coastline and heading deeper into the Indian Ocean to dive over reefs with local friends – can real life experiences get more idyllic? Intrepid’s Jacquie Burnside has just returned from Tanzania, and this time Zanzibar was top of her travel list…
“I had heard much about this spice island paradise, so was full of excited anticipation as the ferry from the mainland docked at the Stone Town port. Soon the port area, busy by day with the traffic of traditional sailing dhows unchanged in design in 600 years, would glow beneath a red and purple African sunset.
Chock full of history and character, I quickly lost myself in the labyrinth of alleys and back streets… that’s always half the fun of exploring an Old Town area.