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Every bit as exotic as its name, Zanzibar is the ideal add-on to a safari on mainland Tanzania. The island boasts many lovely palm-fringed beaches, strewn with soft white sand and protected by sheltering coral reefs. The historic Stone Town is a maze of narrow alleys hemmed in by 19th century Omani and colonial mansions. Zanzibar is also a fine diving and snorkeling destination, with good opportunities for sighting giant turtles and dolphins. Terrestrial wildlife includes Jozani Forest's habituated troops of the endangered Kirk's red colobus monkey, and the startling giant coconut crab (the world's largest land-dwelling crustacean) on the ...

Every bit as exotic as its name, Zanzibar is the ideal add-on to a safari on mainland Tanzania. The island boasts many lovely palm-fringed beaches, strewn with soft white sand and protected by sheltering coral reefs. The historic Stone Town is a maze of narrow alleys hemmed in by 19th century Omani and colonial mansions. Zanzibar is also a fine diving and snorkeling destination, with good opportunities for sighting giant turtles and dolphins. Terrestrial wildlife includes Jozani Forest's habituated troops of the endangered Kirk's red colobus monkey, and the startling giant coconut crab (the world's largest land-dwelling crustacean) on the award-winning Chumbe Island Sanctuary. Though it sees few tourists, the mainland coastline is every bit as beautiful as the islands. Urban highlights include the sleepy Swahili ports of Bagamoyo and Pangani, while Saadani National Park is the one place in East Africa where elephants and lions might be seen on the beach. The main attraction of the truly remote south coast, suitable only to adventurous travelers, is Kilwa Kisiwani, whose ruined mosques and palaces lay at the center of the medieval Indian Ocean gold trade.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The monsoon months of March-May are best avoided; June-Oct. is the coolest and driest period.