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Zanzibar Island has been attracting travellers for centuries, the first over a thousand years ago. Successive settlement by the Persians, Portuguese, the Sultan of Oman and the British have all left their mark on the character of the island and its people. Often referred to as the ‘Spice Island’, Zanzibar’s two main exports over the last thousand years have been exotic spices, and more surprisingly, slaves. The island was at the centre of the world’s slave trade until it was outlawed at the turn of the century. The spice trade, in particular cloves, continues to be big business today.
For beach lovers Zanzibar is a paradise. The entire 80 kilometre length of the east coast is bordered with immaculate powder-white sandy beaches. Beneath the turquoise waters – a coral reef runs the length of the coast offering fantastic snorkelling and diving, and creating an area of shallow water that is always safe for swimming.
Zanzibar is often a post-safari choice, but we think it is perfect as a destination in itself. Culture vultures will enjoy Stone Town. A maze of narrow cobbled streets characterised by intricately carved doors and towering minarets is surrounded by buidlings that ooze history, from the 17th century Arab Fort to the grand House of Wonders to the exporation base of Livingstone House. Nature lovers will enjoy primeval Jozani Forest and the opportunity to spot the wild-haired rare Red Colobus Monkey or the tiny aders’ duiker. Or head to a plantation picking, tasting and sniffing your way around some of the world’s most aromatic and mythical spices and fruits, from the thick, earthy bark of the cinnamon tree to fresh little peppercorns with the kick of a Zanzibari donkey.
“Butiama Beach is all about relaxation in truly special surroundings. We want our guests to unwind, let go and be themselves and help them along by providng a laid-back atmosphere coupled with ensuring we do everything possible for each guest to have the most perfect stay.”
“We loved Zanzibar so much that we bought a 5-acre stretch of unspoilt beach & designed & built an idyllic getaway. Running a hotel here is a lot of fun. We want our guests to relax into their surroundings, and enjoy the uninterrupted views of the beautiful Indian Ocean.”
“We want our guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of Mafia, to forget about the time of the day and be ruled by the slow pace of life around them. And to then explore the warm heart of the island, the rich seas, the environment and totally fall for Mafia, just as we have.”
Zanzibar was beautiful and relaxing – we absolutely loved Unguja Lodge, everything was so relaxed, real barefoot luxury. The owners are a great couple, their family was there for the holidays too. Only one other couple there, so great service and solitude. We travel a lot, and have seen many countries and places but Zanzibar and Unguja Lodge are the first place we truly would return for a second visit.
The Pongwe resort was a little bit of paradise. The family chalet with 2 bedrooms and stunning views over the bays with morning coffee was excellent. The food was first class hotel standard and the staff so friendly, I have never seen so many people smile so genuinely. It was so relaxing and we totally loved it.
Just got back from the most amazing trip. Got chased by a group of hippos, had breakfast with baboon, impala and elephants and saw a large group of giraffe crossing crocodile infested water. The game drives where amazing as were the lodges. Unguja Beach lodge was just heaven. 12 steps from our own golden beach. Dinner every night was outstanding as were all the staff throughout our stay.
We had a wonderful time away. Lake manze camp was outstanding – beautiful setting and such great staff. So was Pongwe – again staff, food, location fantastic!
Our holiday was truly amazing. The itinerary was superb. Lake Manze was an experience that we’ll never forget. Having elephants eating their lunch feet from where we sat our veranda was an unbelievable sight. On our final night at Manze lions were prowling around the tents which was pretty frightening but awesome. Unguja was off the scale – Ralph and particular Elies were superb hosts and the location activities and accommodation were second to none. The trip of a lifetime and a fitting way to mark 25 years of marriage!
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“I find that when travelling, I take on so many more challenges and do things I would never normally do, it makes me a bolder and braver person. I love making memories I will always treasure”
“I love the freedom that travel brings, learning about the area, spending time with local people and exploring completely new places.”
“Going away feeds my soul, I love finding places that make me want to stop for a moment and breathe it all in. It’s about creating memories that stand out in my mind, an escape from routine.”
“I love to travel so I can turn my imagination into reality, instead of thinking about how places might be, I want to see them as they truly are.”
Holiday destinations: Borneo | Botswana | Cambodia | Kenya | India | Indonesia | Madagascar| Mozambique | Namibia | South Africa | Sri Lanka | Tanzania | Vietnam | Zambia | Zanzibar | Zimbabwe
Inspiration: Southern Africa Honeymoons | Madagascar Honeymoons | India & Sri Lanka Honeymoons | Southern Africa Family Holidays | Madagascar Family Holidays | Sri Lanka & India Family Holidays