Zanzibar & Islands

Zanzibar

Nestled in the clear, sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, the exotic island of Zanzibar is the jewel in the crown of Eastern Africa. Famed for its white-sand beaches dotted with palm trees, it’s a popular barefoot destination for post-safari relaxation. A short, 20-minute flight from the mainland, Zanzibar has become relatively commercialised over time. However, the island retains a friendly, laid-back feel, and a deep sense of its rich spice-trade history. There are in excess of 200 places to stay ranging from humble beach lodges, boutique accommodations, to large ‘all-inclusive’ hotels and exclusive villas. From the meandering fishing villages and dhow-lined shores of the East Coast to the exclusive Mnemba Island and untouched Pemba, each area of Zanzibar and its outlying Islands has its own pros and cons.

We usually recommend between 3 nights and a week's stay on Zanzibar at the end of a safari. Zanzibar is easy to reach by scheduled flights from Northern Tanzania (for the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Highlands), Southern Tanzania (Selous and Ruahu) and Kenya (Masai Mara and Laikipia). The island’s main activities inevitably centre on the beach. Snorkelling on the coral reef, diving, and boat cruises are offered island-wide, along with the chance to see giant sea turtles and swim with dolphins. We also strongly recommend a visit to the wonderfully atmospheric Stone Town to soak up the sights and sounds.


People love what we do. Tourdust is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Our most popular Tanzania family safari including Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater & the Serengeti featuring good value camps with family rooms and swimming pools.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Adults from $4,686 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $862 per person economy class from London

Families from $3,460 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $862 per person economy class from London

Stunning all inclusive Northern Circuit safari combines some of Tanzania's finest safari lodges with an incredible private island beach resort.

Tailor-made Luxury 11 days

Adults from $14,237 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $862 per person economy class from London

Superb safari and beach holiday combining the vast Selous Game Reserve with idyllic Zanzibar Island.

Tailor-made Classic 9 days

Adults from $3,152 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $862 per person economy class from London

Families from $2,565 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $862 per person economy class from London

5 days Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Manyara safari in comfortable lodges & camps plus 5 days in a beautiful barefoot Zanzibar beach lodge

Tailor-made Luxury 12 days

Families from $4,182 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,478 per person economy class from London

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Accommodation

Mnemba Island Lodge

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Beautiful Private Island
- Great Scuba Diving
- Luxurious accommodation

The Residence Zanzibar

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Beautiful Gardens & Beach
- Excellent Facilities
- All villas with private pools
- Massive infinity pool

Matemwe Lodge

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Relaxed Beach Lodge
- Lovely Beach
- Lush tropical Gardens
- 12 bedroom lodge

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Family-friendly
- Superb water activities
- Luxurious dining experience
- Suites with private plunge pools

Anna of Zanzibar

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Barefoot luxury beach retreat
- Fresh water swimming pool

Matemwe Beach House

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Wide range of activities
- Private villa and staff
- Superb diving centre

Fundu Lagoon

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Excellent diving centre
- One of the best adventure beach locations
- Access to the beautiful Mesali Island

Baraza Resort and Spa

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Family Friendly
- Fantastic facilities
- Exclusive, oceanfront villas

Unguja Lodge

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Remote Beach Lodge
- Family Villas
- Excellent diving / snorkelling

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Owner run and managed
- Central Stone Town location
- Excellent service
- Individually decorated rooms

Che Che Vule Villa

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Private villa with pool and staff
- Perfect choice for family
- Flexibility and privacy

Kilindi Zanzibar

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Infinity pools
- Beautiful suites
- Not family-friendly
- Overlooking Indian Ocean

Essque Zalu

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Kids Club
- Views of Indian Ocean
- Jetty dining experience
- Gorgeous accommodation

Pole Pole Bungalows

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Unique local cuisine
- In famous Marine park
- On-beach accommodation

Kono Kono

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Pristine beach
- Beach accommodation
- Fantastic Views

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 600 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

  • Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.

    Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.

    No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.

    MissingTerence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016

  • Our trip was excellent. Thank you! We were particularly impressed with the way it all worked seamlessly: someone was at each arrival point to meet us (or Alex was on the end of the phone to tell us what to do) or there was a phone message at Reception for when to expect someone.

    The Jerusalem Hotel in Lalibela is not the same standard as Tukul Villages but it was OK for one night & we had plenty of warning. Lalibela at Christmas is pretty manic: full to bursting!

    I must say that Alex looked after us well. He came to see us in Gondar to make sure everything was in place for the Simiens Trek & that we knew what to expect. When we got back after it, there he was again! Small but highly-valued pieces of customer care, evident again when he spoke to drivers while we were travelling.

    All the staff who worked with us were of high quality, especially drivers and guides. Two who stood out were Younus, our driver both times we were in Addis Ababa, who we felt went beyond the call of duty & made our time there enjoyable - our last evening when waiting for a 2 a.m. flight could have been a drag, was in fact absolutely fine because of his suggestions (the Via Via cafe for dinner & then Mama's Kitchen for some music) and company.

    The Simiens Trek was outstanding. Spectacular scenery, challenging at times, full of interest. Key to making it so was Dereje Gedamu who is a wonderful guide: we felt privileged to have him. he was ably assisted by the other staff & when our first, excellent chef had to leave at short notice to visit his mother in hospital, a replacement was found immediately (at Chenek!) who fed us to the same high standard. It was all a great experience that we will be talking about for a long time.

    We were all pleased to have selected the 8 day option (& were not at all jealous of the peak-baggers heading for Ras Dashen). The second half of the trek was a good contrast to the high altitude section in the National Park's heartland as we descended through more intensively cultivated and populated areas, down steeply to the river and then back up past wonderful rock formations towards Mulit and out to the road at Adi Arkaye. It was full of interest and we were pleased to be pretty much on our own, rather than with the crowds at Geech & Chenek.

    By comparison, the TESFA trek was rather tame, although an interesting comparison to see a more pastoral landscape and less remote villages. We had another good guide & enjoyed the lunch & evening stops, and the "loos with a view".

    Pleased as we were that we had opted to drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, we had mixed feelings about driving the rough Gashena-Lalibela road three times - the starting and finishing points for the TESFA trek were just beyond Gashena. In 3 years when the road is complete this point may become academic, but meanwhile - if anyone else wants to do the same thing - it would be better for them to drive from Bahir Dar to Gashena, meet the TESFA crew there, do the trek & then continue to Lalibela. I am sure that TESFA could look after any extra baggage that people did not want on the trek.

    One other point about the TESFA trek: we were not aware that there are several grades offered. I think we did the easiest and might well have preferred something more challenging so perhaps you could clarify the options available.

    Only one other critical comment: we were underwhelmed by the Mayleko Lodge near Gondar airport. It was indeed welcome to have somewhere peaceful to return to after the trek, the rooms are nice & a couple of us enjoyed a "refreshing" swim, but on the other hand the restaurant was pretty mediocre and slow: we might have preferred to be out in the town.

    Apart from that it was all good! A glimpse of Addis and another of Gondar; trekking with some R&R in Bahir Dar with its different scenery and history, ending with the religious fervour at Lalibela. A great holiday.

    MissingGordon Parker reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 09 February 2016

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Areas within Zanzibar

Characterised by the significant tidal range across the island, Zanzibar’s coastal areas vary in feel. The meandering fishing villages and dhow-lined shores of the East Coast and the South Eastern Michamvi Peninsulas are particularly peaceful havens on this otherwise busy island. Swimming off the Eastern Coast is often restricted by far-retreating tides, but high quality lodges compensate for this with lovely swimming pools, and relatively low visitor numbers make for enticing tranquillity. The Fumba Peninsula, tucked away on the South-West coast, may not be quite as beautiful, but the beaches are less prone to tidal change. On offer here are delightful, low-key activities including swimming with dolphins, trips to the beautiful coral island of Chumbe and the ancient Jozani forest, home to the rare Colobus monkey.

Less susceptible to the tides, Northern Zanzibar offers a dynamic contrast. The area around Nungwi has become a bustling tourist hub with many hotels, myriad restaurants and an abundance of water sports. Although Nungwi’s increasing development means it may lack the untouched charm of neighbouring areas, the setting is nevertheless idyllic and excursions from the fully equipped diving centre, and to Nungwi turtle sanctuary, are among the island’s genuine highlights.

For a high-end, exclusive experience, Mnemba island is located just off Zanzibar’s north-eastern tip. With simple but luxurious accommodation at Mnemba Lodge, and arguably the best beaches in Africa, this is an unpretentious but top notch retreat, albeit with a price tag to match. Some 50km further north sits the untouched island of Pemba with its handful of visitors, small number of lodges, and distinctly traditional feel. In contrast to Zanzibar’s bustling tourist trade, Pemba’s economy still relies largely on fishing and agriculture. Mangoes, cloves and seaweed are farmed here, and traditional fishing dhows are a common sight. Though diving off Pemba may be best suited to those with experience, it is second to none, with coral reefs and abundant marine life to explore. Boat trips to offshore islands are also possible.

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