The much visited Island of Unguja (Zanzibar) along with Pemba forms the semi-autonomous state of Zanzibar. Situated 25km off the East African mainland accessible either by daily scheduled flights or ferry from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar is a true tropical paradise.
When you visit Zanzibar you will feel as if you have been taken back in the days of the sailors, pirates and the sultans. Dressed in colorful veils and long white dresses, women and men walk slowly up the beach where a lonely dhow sails towards the golden sunset.
Cheers, trumpets, mystery and the smell of the spices rule the narrow streets of Stone Town, the ancient trading port of the sultans of Oman in the 19th century. One of its kind in the world, the architecture of Zanzibar resonates the exotic arabic, Persian and Indian cultures that had many impact in Zanzibar history, carved doors and balconies decorate the houses which are made of coral stone.
The even coastline, flat sandy beaches doted with coconut trees and Stone Town the oldest part of Zanzibar clad in history, consisting of 2,500 buildings all made of coral stone, lime and clay, hence the name. Inland, the island is garden of Eden offering the most exquisite tropical plant species
There are some locations in the far North and south tip that are a little out of the way, and these remain untouched by more developed areas where resorts stand side by side along well racked sand beaches.
Pemba Island is situated about 80km north of Zanzibar and directly east of the lazy town of Tanga. The lushly covered hillside made up of natural forests and clove plantations fill the landscape. Pemba attracts divers and sun worshippers from all over the world to her crystal clear deep blue waters that drop off into an abyss.
There are many sheltered bays with white sand beaches also ideal for the novice diver and a handful of live-aboard yachts offering charters through out the Zanzibar archipelago. This combination of time spent on and off the island making for a perfect means of truly seeing Pemba.
Mafia Island offers world-class diving, 160 km to the south of Zanzibar. This is a favorite site for fishermen and scuba divers. The rare and exotic dungong breeds in the Mafia channel there are giant fruit bats.
Giant turtles lay their eggs on the smaller islands east of Mafia during the northeast monsoon. There are ruins of settlements at Ras Kisimani. A 13th century mosque has been excavated here.
The Swahili coast is little explored although holds some fine beach getaways laced with a crumbling history that stretches back to the days of the Sultans. Pangani is reachable either by road transfer from Arusha or Dar es Salaam or daily scheduled flights. Quiet beaches - Pangani is an away from the crowds beach destination.