Zanzibar & Swahili Coast
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Zanzibar & Swahili Coast

The islands off the coast of Tanzania are a wonderful adjunct to a safari. Steeped in history, this region is where Africa meets Arabia.

Zanzibar & Swahili Coast
Best Months June - October
Shoulder Season December - March
Epic Suggests 5-6 Days
  • Zanzibar

    Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of the Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles off the Tanzanian mainland. Zanzibar, known locally as Unguja, is 97 km long and 32 km wide.

    africa-swahili-zanzibarIt is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town - the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.  Long the destination of Arab traders, Zanzibar is a melting pot where Africa meets Arabia, it having been an important trading port for the commodities of spices and slaves. The historic port of Stone Town still bears the scars of the slaving years.
  • Mafia Archipelago

    Mafia Island and its surrounding archipelago (including the tiny islet of Chole) has a great deal to offer as an unspoiled, little-visited alternative to other Indian Ocean locations around Zanzibar and along the coast. This is what Zanzibar was 30 years ago.  Visitors today still find essentially small, rural farming and fishing communities whose lives have continued in much the same pattern as has been traditional for millennia.

    africa-swahili-mafia-archipelagoThe southern region of the archipelago houses the Mafia Island Marine Park, a World Heritage listed area. The park is home to a wonderful variety of marine life and offers some of the, if not the, best diving on the African coast. Mafia's best kept secret is its population of whalesharks; in the summer months good numbers inhabit the waters of the channel to Mafia's north feeding off the plume of nutrient from the Rufiji River. The islands also witness humpback whales and turtle nesting over the same period.
  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 1: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania / Zanzibar

    On arrival in Dar es Salaam you transfer to the domestic terminal for your short scheduled flight (20 minutes) to Zanzibar's Stone Town.

    On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel which is ideally located on the doorstep to Stone Town. This is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars and grand architecture of a by-gone era.

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 2: Zanzibar

    For hundreds of years Zanzibar has been the meeting point of Arabic and African cultures. Today you explore this melting pot as you tour with your private guide. Witness everyday life in a coastal African city, peruse the markets and wander the maze of narrow cobbled streets.

    Time permitting (depending upon your arrival and departure time) you may wish to head to the island's interior for a spice tour. Zanzibar's second commodity historically was spice production, much of which was exported to Arabia.
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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 3: Zanzibar / Mafia Archipelago

    Today is not just a run of the mill travel day. From start to finish, it is a true adventure. Fly from Zanzibar, via Dar es Salaam to Kilondoni on Mafia Island.

    Upon arrival you are met and transferred by road and dhow to your eco-lodge and home for the next few days on Chole Island.

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 4: Mafia Archipelago

    Chole Island is a castaway's ideal. The range of activities is what makes this place so endearing; diving, snorkelling, dhow sailing, fishing, cultural visits and whaleshark excursions (in the summer months).

    It is undoubtedly one of the best offerings on the East African coast. Guests are assured of a peaceful, back to basic and a discerning holiday unlike any before.

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 5: Mafia Archipelago

    Located within a World Heritage listed Marine Park, Chole is the epitome of rustic elegance. The literal translation of your lodge's Swahili name is "Chole in the village". Chole is proudly a community conservation initiative and backs directly onto the local settlement. The villagers are stakeholders in the lodge and are employed exclusively within it.

    During your stay you will have many opportunities to mix with the locals and soak up the laid back ambiance of this wonderful retreat.
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  • Sample Itinerary

    Day 6: Mafia Archipelago / Zanzibar / Dar es Salaam

    Today you transfer by boat and road to Kilondoni, to marry up with your domestic flight to Dar es Salaam and your onward flight.
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  • Sample Itinerary

    Indicative Cost

    From US$ 375 per person per day.

    Enquire Now

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  • Sample Itinerary

    Extension: Northern Tanzania

    A visit to the coast is ordinarily preceded by a safari to Tanzania's northern parks; Tarangire, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.

    The combination of all three parks offers a wonderful contrast of experiences.  There are few safaris that come close to this for sheer mass of game.
    africa-swahili-ngorongoro
  • Sample Itinerary

    Extension: Southern Tanzania

    For the seasoned safari-goer a sojourn to the remote southern parks of Tanzania is a very good option; be it to the Selous, Ruaha or Katavi, or a combination thereof.

    These parks are gloriously wild offering a very different landscape and safari experience to the northern region of Tanzania.  Logistically it is an easy addition.
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  • 1/9 | Day 1: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania / Zanzibar
  • 2/9 | Day 2: Zanzibar
  • 3/9 | Day 3: Zanzibar / Mafia Archipelago
  • 4/9 | Day 4: Mafia Archipelago
  • 5/9 | Day 5: Mafia Archipelago
  • 6/9 | Day 6: Mafia Archipelago / Zanzibar / Dar es Salaam
  • 7/9 | Indicative Cost
  • 8/9 | Extension: Northern Tanzania
  • 9/9 | Extension: Southern Tanzania
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