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AACN56 Day 31 – 34: Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island

Aside from all of the wonderfully idyllic sandy palm-fringed beaches, romantic winding cobbled alleyways and lush tropical forests that the exotic Zanzibar offers; it also boasts an intriguing history. Zanzibar was once the base of great 19th century explorers such as John Hanning Speke, Richard Burton and David Livingstone, and at one time was a major trading centre of spices – a trade that is centuries old. In fact, Zanzibaris have traded with the people of the Arabian Peninsula for generations, sailing across the ocean in simple dhow sailboats and relying on the annual trade winds for passage. The Arab influence can be seen in the stunning architecture of Zanzibar, as well as the diverse street stall offerings of the capital, Stone Town. Even the Swahili language itself is a result of the mixing of Arab and African languages and cultures over long periods of time.The island was also once a staging post for slaves purchased from the African interior being detained before shipping to Middle Eastern slave owners. You can hear more about these tales of Zanzibar’s history from almost any local willing to take you on a trip out to Prison Island or even just around the city. Zanzibar’s wildlife is intriguing, as it is the home of the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet and the possibly extinct Zanzibar Leopard.

Our time spent in this paradise-like place is not structured, giving you the chance to spend your time however you’d like. One of the best ways to see Stone Town is simply on foot, allowing you to better explore the bazaars for old maritime trinkets and stunning patterned cloths. You can also partake in activities such as visiting mosques, palaces, courtyards and alleyways of the old town. Spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper are grown in nearby plantations of which you are encouraged to take day tours of, dazzling your senses with all of the different tastes and scents available to experience. If you’re the kind of person who leans more toward leisure time spent on the beach, you’re always free to enjoy the gorgeous white sand and sparkling ocean, and to simply spend your time soaking up the sun’s rays.

If you’re looking for a good swim or dip in the sea, head out to the northern beaches to experience the warm and inviting Indian Ocean at its best, where you can try your hand at snorkelling and diving, indulge in some tasty, lavish seafood or just relax beneath a coconut palm with a tasty cocktail and good book in hand.

PLEASE NOTE: Because we leave the truck on the mainland, basic tourist class accommodation and breakfast on Zanzibar is included in the trip price, but for the sake of flexibility, lunches and dinners are left for your own account. Usually we spend one night in Stone Town and the following three evenings in the north of the island at one of the beaches. Your Tour Leader will be able to assist should you experience any problems whatsoever.

Trip Highlights: Ferry to Zanzibar, Stone Town, Northern beaches, optional Zanzibar activities
Day 1 on Zanzibar Accommodation: 1 night Stone Town at Safari Lodge or similar – twin/ triple rooms with en-suite facilities
Day 2, 3 and 4 on Zanzibar Accommodation: 3 night Kendwa Northern Beaches at Sunset Bungalows or similar – twin/ triple rooms with en-suite facilities
Meals included: Breakfast is included with hotel accommodation
Distance Covered: Ferry crossing on Day 1
Optional Activities: Spice Tour US$35, Scuba Diving local US$150, Yacht Trip US$120, Snorkelling Safaris from US$40, Massages from US$20

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