Reasons to Visit
Zanzibar, an island located just off Dar es Salaam, is blessed with a coastline of picture perfect beaches. There are miles of white sand leading into shallow turquoise water lined with offshore reefs and dotted with small fishing villages sheltering under
At high tide all the dhows sail in to the various beaches and harbours on Zanzibar and lively bartering for the day’s catch ensues. Cruising around the islands on a traditional dhow boat is one of the best ways to experience Zanzibar.
Mafia is the site of Tanzania’s first marine national park, covering 800 square kilometres and with over 460 species of fish and fantastic corals. There are a wide variety of dive and snorkel spots in the Archipelago with something to offer for all abilities.
There are some very busy beaches, backed by large resorts which we don’t use. We have driven all round the island and found quiet beaches with small boutique hotels and simple lodges. We’ll drive you across the island to these and you can relax in peace.
Flanked by the sea, Stone Town is exotic and steeped in Swahili history. Laden dhows sail in to the port, crumbling buildings cast shadows over labyrinthine streets and the smell of spices fills the air. Much of Stone Town was built in the 19th Century and remains unchanged to this day.
The most commonly found turtle in Zanzibar is the green turtle, followed by the hawksbill. Both nest in Zanzibar and Pemba is one of the best places to see them. There are several projects being run to help protect these endangered animals and their nesting sites.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
We've had excellent feedback from our clients for Echo Beach Hotel. It's very Zanzibari, so don't expect a totally slick operation - it's all part of the hotel's charm.
Echo Beach Hotel sits amongst five acres of gardens on Bwejuu, one of the prettiest beaches on Zanzibar. The lodge is owned and run by Sue and Andrew Page, an English couple who spent 14 years running a hotel in France, before being seduced by the hot weather and white sand beaches of Zanzibar. Andrew is a trained chef, and as a result Echo Beach has one of the best reputations on the island for food.
The 12 rooms at Echo Beach are scattered amongst several cottages built amongst the coconut palms. The cottages are all traditionally designed with tropical colours on the walls, traditional Zanzibari hand-made furniture and makuti thatched roofs. Outside each bedroom is a shady verandah or balcony where guests can enjoy a cool drink and watch the world go by. Inside, the rooms all have en suite bathrooms and are decorated with bright, jewel-coloured drapes and a mixture of antique and locally made wooden furniture. There are five single storey Beach Villas each with one room, and two double storey Beach Villas, with one room upstairs, and another downstairs. Each has a separate entrance, and the bedrooms are slightly larger than the single storey villas. The two Garden Cottages are set further back from the beach and have a small outdoor garden. Finally, the Beach House has two en suite rooms, and works perfectly either for families, or for honeymooners, with one of the rooms used as a private sitting area.
Andrew oversees the kitchen, where meals are cooked according to the fishermen's daily catch and whatever food is freshest in the market. They also have a dhow on the beach which has been cleverly converted into a bar as well as a wood-burning stove which produces delicious pizzas and fresh-baked bread. Most people come to the lodge to relax beside the swimming pool or beach, but for the active, excursions including dhow trips and spice tours can easily be organised. There is also a small spa therapy room in the pretty gardens and the hotel works with a dive centre further up the beach to arrange snorkelling and diving trips.
The largest of all the islands in the archipelago, Zanzibar Island is home to turquoise waters, pristine white sand beaches, and the old and facinating capital, Stone Town.
Our rating: Medium
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