STRIKING IN ITS BEAUTY and rich in history, this spice island off the coast of Tanzania boasts several turquoise- water beaches, one more beautiful than the next. Simply put, Zanzibar is a water wonderland. Take your pick: snorkel, dive, go deep-sea or fly fishing, jet ski or set sail on a catamaran.
You can’t consider your trip to Zanzibar complete, though, without time spent in Stone Town, the capital city. This is where the action is. Walk the narrow streets and alleys and you’ll feel like you’re in a movie. The Arabic architecture adds to the charm. Make your way to Darajani Market. There’s little you won’t find there: fruits, vegetables, seafood, beef, goat and local spices, but also toys, shoes, clothes and anything to enhance daily living. After dark, get your local food fix at the Forodhani Gardens night market.
Do visit Sultan’s Palace Museum (open until 6 p.m. weekdays) and The Africa House Hotel, formerly the English Club, perhaps best known for its popular sundowner venue. Also stop by the Old Fort, built by Arabs for defense against the Portuguese.
But for a deep dive in history, go to the Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral. It proves both powerful and painful, particularly the statues on the museum grounds depicting slaves standing side by side in chains.
To lift your spirits, venture to one of the city’s bars and restaurants. You’ll also find a lively vibe among the eateries and bars on the northwestern coast near Nungwi and Kendwa.
If you have a free afternoon and enjoy the solace of nature, head to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park and its monkeys, bush babies and more than 40 types of birds. Consider, too, a Kizimkazi dolphin tour, where you can see humpback and bottlenose dolphins at play.
For an intimate setting, the Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar Resort reigns as the chill spot. Sip elaborate sundowners on the beach as you marvel at the sunset as well as the cocktails and Champagne. Secluded and with a semiprivate beach, its privacy and safety make it ideal for female guests, solo female travelers and the LGBTQ+ community.
You’ll love the waterfall bar within the resort’s Main Pavilion overlooking an 80-foot-long infinity pool and offering outrageous panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Come dinner time, dine on the alfresco terrace or along the pristine beach. Spoil yourself further with a stop in the Kilindi Spa, tucked away in tropical gardens. You’ll be in good hands.
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