THINGS TO DO IN ZANZIBAR
Enchanted by Zanzibar’s white sand beaches and impossibly turquoise waters… it is the place you dream of when you want to be a castaway… Our FARA photographer Rosa Scipion took to the seas and took to the shores with our castaway model Carla Guetta.
Zanzibar has always been a meeting place, it was where traders met between East and West. And now, it’s time to dream of who you might meet… who you might become…
Off the coast of Tanzania, many travelers combine a trip to the Spice Island with a safari. It is an island of contrasts with the merchant houses and labyrinthine streets of Stone Town and the endless beach that give way to swimming with whale sharks and other fantasies.
WHERE TO STAY
MR KAHAWA, PAJE @mr_kahawa
Our absolute favourite place – the Ocean View Loft with four-poster beds, sand-coloured walls and opening out to the Indian Ocean, the crystal clear turquoise waters, the breeze. It feels like waking up in heaven… or washing up on the shores of Paradise. There’s is also a soul food fusion café, the best coffee we tasted and regular farmers and handicrafts markets.
ZURI ZANZIBAR @zurizanzibar
It is a feast for all the senses with beautiful villas and bungalows nestled in tropical gardens with the soothing sound of the waves. There are African textiles and upcycled furniture made from the iconic dhows that sailed along the coast and a beautiful spa with yoga deck and a ‘wild fitness’ gym.
EMERSON ON HURUMZI @emersonzanzibar
This lovingly restored merchant house is in the heart of Stone Town – it’s a step back into the old Zanzibar with stunning views of the harbor. We loved the Blue Room and the Zenana Suite (the Zenana was always a women’s only area of the mansion house).
EBB AND FLOW, PAJE @ebb.and.flow.paje
Surfer vibe here… in fact they say they are the perfect place for saltwater addicts. Ebb and Flow are affiliated with the Aquaholics Kite Surf school and the Buccaneer Dive school. You can also choose to just kick back… Rooms and apartments are nestled around a central courtyard.
In the markets, try local fruits and superfoods Baobab and the acquired taste of Durian… There’s rambutan and, some might say, the most delicious bananas. You’ll find coconut based curries and delicious seafood on most menus.
SECRET GARDEN, EMERSON SPICE @emersonzanzibar
A walled garden full of tropical foliage serving up delicious vegetable curries and seafood – our favourite was the cinnamon scented tuna.
We loved the down home laidback vibes at Sativa – their samosas are a must try and come evening time we had the delicious Buddha Bowl. There’s also a new yoga shala here.
LECKER LECKER, PAJE
A short walk to the beach, this is a great shack serving up seafood and great local curries – try the coco spinach, the curry prawns or the fish of the day.
SEXY FISH, NUNGWI BEACH
Perched on the sea with beautiful sunset views, Sexy Fish is naturally all about the seafood – try the Senegalese Crab Curry, tuna ceviche or they serve lobster in a myriad of styles and spices.
MAMA MIA NUNGWI BEACH @mamamiazanzibar
Crystal clear sea and amazing gelato (these are a few of our favorite things!). For indulgent moments try the ice cream cookie sandwich. There are also pizzas on the menu.
KAE FUNK MICHAMVI, NW ZANZIBAR
Every evening, people gather at Kae Funk for a spectacular sunset, dance show, a beach bonfire and delicious cocktails. You can stay past the golden hour and try their seafood platters.
This is the place to come post sundown. Ibiza style DJ space with a conscious clubbing crowd.
Time your visit with Full Moon to experience the Kendwa Rocks Full Moon Party that has been celebrating the light since 1996.
Be One with the Ocean
Whether you go kite surfing in Paje, snorkeling at Chembe Island, swimming with whale sharks or take a ride on an iconic Dhow – you can become a water goddess in the Indian Ocean.
Friend of FARA @hanlederer describes it as “the most mesmerizing blues” and perfect “floating therapy.”
Hannah recommends an overnight stay at Chumbe eco island excursion . “You can stay overnight on the island. Only 12 people are allowed each day so you need to plan well in advance.” It’s a stunning conservation project – reef and coral.
You can book Dhow and other boat trips, snorkeling and island tours through Eco & Culture Tours or go for a picnic at the Sandbank in Nungwi… the white sands are simply stunning.
BACK ON DRY LAND
Tangawizi Spice Farm – Inland from Stone Town.
As well as a slow wander around the indigenous trees and plants of Zanzibar, you could join a cookery course to learn how to make delicious local vegan coconut based curries.
WHERE TO SHOP
Naturally Zanzibar entices you with its scents and spices – make time for a trip to Stone Town’s Darajani market for spices, local baskets and textiles
Island Life – B4 Beach Club, Paje
Bikinis galore but also a small collection from local designers.
Mr Kahawa – Paje – hosts a regular handicraft market with artisans from the Jenga collective and a farmers market with an abundance of delicious deli foods from their own kitchen.
Jenga Collective – Michamvi Beach
You can also visit this social enterprise empowering local women across Tanzania with textiles, beads, baskets and homewares.