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Islands & Coast
Starting or ending your trip on one of the stunning islands off Tanzania or at an exclusive mainland coastal property, is a must for those who have the time. From stunning beaches, mangroves and forests, the spice markets of Zanzibar, to the private uninhabited islands strewn along the coast, Tanzania offers a spectacular beach destination for all. Guests can visit mainland Zanzibar, an exotic island rich with culture and history, once a significant trading port connecting the East and West. Visitors can enjoy the incredible fusion of Arabic and African cultural influences ranging from the unique traditional clothes to the wonderfully spiced food. Venturing to one of the less developed islands is an equally exciting opportunity which offers a chance to experience the untouched beauty of the landscapes and a 'Pole Pole' (Swahili for "slowly, slowly") pace of life compared to that of busy mainland Zanzibar. For those longing for a completely remote island experience, there are a few magnificent private island lodges in which the natural beauty in conjunction with the high levels of service and amenities create an idyllic isolated beach paradise.
Famous for it's historic past as a trading port for spices, and a bridge between Africa and the Arabic world, visitors can experience the unique blend of cultures on this island. Visit the main city of Stone Town and navigate it’s maze of alleys packed with shops; mosques; and bustling markets, take in its’ distinctive coral stone and carved wood architecture. After which, guests can travel to one of the islands' pristine beaches and unwind in an extravagant hotel or small exclusive lodge!
The Eastern Coast of the Island is known its' picturesque beaches and exclusive accommodation, while the Western Coast is home to the world Heritage site, Stone Town. In the center of the Island guests can explore the Jozani Forest, famous for the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys, or take part in a spice tour on a working spice farm. The island is known for its abundance of diverse marine life, with numerous exciting diving and snorkelling sites that can be explored.
Many guests end their journey on Zanzibar's vibrant shores and after an adventurous safari, are happy to relax and enjoy the fabulous beaches without venturing too far from the comfort of their lounger. However, there are also stunning landscapes on the island and a host of water and cultural activities to be enjoyed.
To the North of mainland Zanzibar, close to the Kenyan border, is Pemba Island. Despite its size, there are relatively few options for accommodation on the island and it remains less developed than Zanzibar. This untouched island focuses on agriculture, specifically spices with an emphasis on cloves, as their main source of income and therefore, isn’t well equiped for tourists to extensively explore all of it's corners. Most guests who travel to Pemba Island go directly to their lodge of choice with the primary focus being upon relaxation and taking advantage of the beautiful coastal eco-system. Pemba might not have the iconic white sand beaches mainland Zanzibar is renowned for but it certainly compensates for this with its incredible underwater diversity of marine reserves off shore and lack of human imprint.
Pemba is home to a wonderfully romantic lodge that is one our favourite options for Honeymooners, Fundu Lagoon.
Renowned for its tranquil azure waters, marine diversity and excellent diving, Mafia is a peaceful alternative to Zanzibar. Although the beaches aren’t as picturesque as those on Zanzibar or Fanjove Island, Mafia island provides a great chance for a stunning underwater safari experience. Untouched and rarely visited, the island has a unique 'castaway' atmosphere and the accommodation available here is suitably rustic.
One of the main highlights of Mafia is the unique opportunity to swim with magnificent whale sharks, the largest fish on the planet, off the western coast of the island when they migrate along the shores between October and March. Sightings can never be guaranteed but guests have a high chance of witnessing these behemoths when they visit during their migration months. During our stay on the island we were fortunate enough to swim these spectacular but gentle giants, an utterly thrilling and humbling experience!
Our favourite choice for accommodation on Mafia Island is the rustic and exclusive Pole Pole Eco-Lodge.
Private Islands & Coast
The private islands along the Tanzanian coast are spectacular locations in which become immersed in nature in total seclusion whilst enjoying the all the facilities and luxuries of an exclusive property. The few private island properties that we heartily recommend retain a rustic charm while providing the comfort, service and amenities one would expect in highly rated hotels. The remote locations of these tranquil island retreats offer spectacularly diverse marine life and therefore plenty of activities for those enjoying the beach and ocean. For those looking for a barefoot luxury private island escape our favourite options are: Fanjove Island & Mnemba Island
The mainland coast of Tanzania has very few properties that offer both excellent quality and convenience of location. Our chosen property on the mainland Swahili coast is Ras Kutani, south of Dar Es Salaam. As it was our home for almost 3 years we are naturally a little biased but it is most certainly worth a visit and manages to foster the atmosphere of a tranquil secluded barefoot chic beach retreat.