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
Shooting Star is very simple and quiet, and the beautiful gardens offer a great shelter from the hot sun. The staff are really welcoming and will make sure you have an enjoyable stay.
Shooting Star is owned and run by Elly Mlanga, a warm friendly man from Arusha, and his British wife Lesley. It originally started as a small beach restaurant but as it became more and more popular Elly built a number of cottages for people to stay in.
There are seventeen rooms, made up of four garden lodge rooms and eleven sea view rooms as well as two suites, Kusi and Kaskazi. They are spaced around a well tended garden with bright tropical flowers. There are hammocks under thatch shades and lovely views of the beach and sea. Each room is simple but pretty with Zanzibari beds, polished stone floors, fresh flower arrangements and en suite bathrooms. The two newly built suites are lovely. The ground floor areas have a large hallway, which open up onto a large terraced exterior verandah with a private swimming pool. The bedroom is on the second floor and has magnificent panoramic views both up and down the coast. Continuing up the stairs to the roof level, guests will find the roof terrace the perfect place to relax in the evening. Set just back from the sea the restaurant and bar is under thatch and serves simple Zanzibari food using fresh ingredients and fish from local fishermen.
Whilst the hotel doesn't have a dive centre, Elly can arrange dive and snorkel trips for those that want. They also have a beach bar for those just wanting to relax by the sea. Recently opened is a new Spa overlooking the beach. There is a therapist and a menu of treatments from fruit facials, wraps and scrubs and massages.
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: Simple
Our rating: First Class
Our rating: Medium
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