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 $5,372 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,125 per person economy class from London

Families from $4,817 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 $1,125 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 $14,607 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $927 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 $4,731 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $993 per person economy class from London

Families from $3,699 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 $993 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 $4,291 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 $1,588 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
- Excellent hospitality

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

Shooting Star Lodge

Zanzibar & Islands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Relaxed small beach lodge
- Infinity Pool
- Lovely Gardens

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 484 reviews

(4.92/5)

  • Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.

    Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.

    They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.

    The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.

    On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.

    I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.

    The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.

    Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!

    MissingMartha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018

  • The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
    Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
    When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
    Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.

    MissingInga Olafsdottir reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018

  • The highlights for us were the accommodation choices - we loved each place we stayed and for quite different reasons.

    We found the food really delicious at all the places. We were really impressed. We ended up eating dinner every night at Dar Housnia, which was really tasty but a bit expensive but we loved the convenience of it and loved everything else about the place.

    My 9yr’s favourite place was Douar Samra - he liked the rooms and all the meals. We all like the communal meals there. It was good to get to know other travellers. But my husband and I really loved the Douria Suite at Dar Housnia as it was great to the have space and down time by ourselves there. We spent some hours just lazing on the terrace after walking around Marrakech for hours.

    We also thought Kasbah Ellouze was really lovely too. They were super helpful accommodating the kids. They made sure we could celebrate NYE dinner with the kids as they go to bed early. It was really kind of them.

    We had a Hussain as our guide for trekking and he went with us on the road trip. We really liked him: friendly & kind, and not too loud & talkative (our family is on the quiet side!). Hussain was great with our two boys. He made them feel comfortable, kept them safe on the treks (ie speed walking ahead with them when they wanted (our 4yr old loved this!) and holding them securely on mules over the rough terrain) and he played football with them too!
    We had two different drivers who were both good - helped out when our 9yr old vomited from car sickness and were happy to drive slowly as needed.

    Also we thought your organisation of everything and choice of accommodation & guides was excellent. We had no complaints. We had a splendid, relaxed and easy holiday - we didn’t have to think of anything & it was all great.

    MissingHelen Newman reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks on 30 January 2018

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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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