Zanzibar Islands

Give in to the siren call of the islands, to the warm waters and beaches of Zanzibar and its coral reefs.

Overview

Zanzibar lies off the Tanzania coast, only 25 miles away. But it seems like a completely different world. Zanzibar is the collective name for a number of islands including Pemba and Mnemba islands. A stay at one of the many Zanzibar hotels offers the perfect end to a Tanzania safari. It offers an alluring mix of beautiful white beaches, palm groves and spice farms.
Zanzibar itself is a bewitching place! The rich green valleys are filled with the aroma of spices. Whilst historic Stone Town, once the capital of a vast Arabic empire, is an atmospheric maze of narrow streets, street markets and intricate wooden carved doorways. The Zanzibar resorts offer powder-white beaches shaded by palm trees.

Pemba Island

You might like to stay at the lesser known Pemba Island. This is only a 30-minute flight from Zanzibar. Or opt for one of the smaller islands such as Mnemba Island – which offers the ultimate private island retreat – or Mafia Island. The atmospheric ruins on this latter island are the legacy of the centuries-old trade routes of Persian dhows.

Getting to Zanzibar

There are now some good flight connections into Zanzibar with Ethiopian airlines from Europe and there is a three-times weekly flight direct from Johannesburg. Many of the smaller Tanzania airlines such as Precision and Auric Air connect Zanzibar with both the northern safari parks via Arusha and also the southern parks of Selous and Ruaha.

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Ginny Russell

Co-founder & Director
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. Ginny has returned from the UK to Africa at least twice a year for 25 years and advocates for Slow Travel and a more immersive experience.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Rich trading history and culture.
  • Coral reefs are great for snorkeling.
  • Excellent diving from the Zanzibar resort hotels in the north and east of the island.
  • Dhow sunset cruises.
  • Tours to the spice farms.
  • Colobus monkeys in Jozini forest.
  • Swimming with dolphins in the south.

Explore the Zanzibar Islands map

When to visit Zanzibar Islands

January to mid-March

Summer in Zanzibar Islands

Zanzibar has a tropical climate which means hot and humid for most of the year, with plenty of rain. There is a steady rainfall through the year apart from a fairly dry spell from June to September. However this rain takes the form of short, sharp thundery rain-showers, usually in the late afternoons. So in the summer months it doesn’t interfere with your beach time. As there’s plenty of sunshine at other times (averaging 9 hours per day). It’s a hot 32-33C during the day and a warm to hot 23-24C at night.
AVG RAINFALL 67 mm
MAX TEMP 34 ℃ / 93 ℉
MIN TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉

Mid-March to May

Rain season in Zanzibar Islands

This is the rainiest time of the year and not recommended for a Zanzibar beach holiday – especially April which sees nearly 400mm of rain in one month. It typically rains at least every other day during this time. This slightly cools down the temperatures but not by much! April is particularly cloudy with only 6 hours of sunshine. However late May sees the rain drying up and hotel prices and offers remain keen so this could be a good time to stay at some of the more expensive resorts.
AVG RAINFALL 305mm
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 23.5 ℃ / 74 ℉

June to October

Best time in Zanzibar Islands

This is a reasonably dry period with short showers every 4 days on average. It’s a wonderful time for some beach relaxation after your safari as temperatures are still hot (29C during the day) and a very pleasant 21C at night). Days are dry and sunny with 8 hours of sunshine on average.
AVG RAINFALL 76 mm
MAX TEMP 30.5 ℃ / 87 ℉
MIN TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉

November to December

Short rains in Zanzibar Islands

This is start of the “short” summer rains with hot and humid conditions and short, sharp thundery rain-showers, usually in the late afternoons. Rainfall tends to be higher at the start of summer (November and December) before settling down later on. However there’s still plenty of sunshine around.
AVG RAINFALL 122 mm
MAX TEMP 33 ℃ / 91 ℉
MIN TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉

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Accommodation

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Breezes Beach Club Review

Breezes Beach Club is a friendly and comfortable four star resort hotel set on a really lovely beach. (It is officially five star but we don't sell it as that!) It has a homely feel so I would say it is a good premier standard hotel. But all was well maintained and the food was excellent.

There’s a main bar, pool bar, main restaurant which is used if you have booked on DBB basis and small private restaurant (Sultans Table) which can be booked at extra cost. There’s a second private restaurant just for two - Tides - overlooking the ocean which is very popular for honeymoons and anniversaries.

Rooms are in a series of plantation buildings, each with six rooms, There are two suites on the 1st floor and four deluxe bedrooms on ground floor. Basically these are all the same room size inside but the suites have a large balcony with an outdoor shaded sitting area. There are only two blocks at the front and so the front four suites have sea view and the other suites would only have partial sea views. The rooms are spacious but I was disappointed in the bathrooms which were very old-fashioned. So need to make this abundantly clear in description.

The Frangipani spa was a really good spa with range of treatments, with Jacuzzi and sauna (plus the Sultans Spa for couples)

Room Tip from Kate - Personally I am not convinced that its worth paying extra for a front ‘sea facing’ room as the rooms are relatively far back to allow a large area for sun loungers etc. however it's a matter of personal choice. Similarly I am not convinced about paying extra for the suites unless you had one of the four front-facing suites as then you would have a sea view (through the palm trees).

Cedarberg : Kate Bergh
Did you know
  • WorldFreddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar
  • SizeThe island is 2 461 km²