TANZANIA islands: Zanzibar & Mafia Island Packages
Have you heard about the idyllic Tanzania Spice Islands? The population of Zanzibar is about one million people with 350,000 of them living on Pemba Island. Zanzibar Island is a part of the United Republic of Tanzania but it has its own autonomous government.
East Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on the which side of the island you are visiting.
On the Northeast coast are Nungwi and Kiwengwa where waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones.
The north coast boasts fantastic swimming and smooth beaches of white sands that make for dazzling days in the sun. Few people come to these areas, and at the right time of year you may find that you have the entire stretch of beach to yourself.
Zanzibar is the most beautiful and exotic island in Africa. Many visitors who come to Tanzania for a safari add an excursion the white sand beaches of Zanzibar to finish their trip. Most people visit the north or east coast of Unguja Island.
Many airlines from Europe and the rest of the world fly direct to Zanzibar with regional flights from Nairobi, Mombasa, Arusha and Dar es Salaam (Dar) operating daily. Zanzibar Island is also accessible by sea with hourly ferries departing from Dar each day.
Tanzania Islands: Activities in Zanzibar
Activities such as island hopping, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving and snorkelling are available. Our one-day Spice Tour and the half-day Stone Town Tour are highly recommended. Many people also go on a wildlife adventure. Learn more about Zanzibar tours and excursions by contacting us.
When To Go
Zanzibar is accessible year round.
Mafia and its surrounding archipelago is a thirty minute flight south of Zanzibar. It has a lot to offer as a less visited alternative to other locations along the coast of the Indian Ocean. Mafia boasts better diving opportunities than Zanzibar, but the beaches are not as pretty. Mafia encourages visitors to explore offshore sandbars and smaller islands. There are very few hotels on Mafia and this only adds to its attraction as the perfect destination for adventurous travelers.
An overview of where to stay
Kinasi is the most well known lodge on Mafia and the only lodge with a swimming pool. On Chole Island across the channel is the Chole Mjini Lodge, one of Africa’s most uniquely designed properties with each room charmingly raised into the trees. Mafia Lodge is not as luxurious as Kinasi or Chole Mjini, but it offers great value for money.
Mafia is the perfect destination for adventurous travelers who want an active vacation of fishing, snorkeling, and exploration. Because it is off the beaten path, it’s a secluded getaway but the beaches aren’t great. This is not the place to visit if you are just looking to flop onto pure white sands and soak up some rays.
When to Go
Mafia is privileged with very good weather throughout the year. It never gets cold because it nearly straddles the equator. The only thing to avoid when visiting are the rains. April and May are the heaviest rain months and it’s best to avoid the island during that time.