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Zanzibar: Spice Island

Laid back on Zanzibar

Known as the Spice Island, the beautiful island of Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast is bursting with culture and history, seemingly at odds with its idyllic geography of white-sand beaches with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze. Together this makes Zanzibar a fabulous place to explore as well as a dream to relax and unwind.

Located just 40 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania and just six degrees south of the equator, Zanzibar Island is referred to locally as ‘Unguja’ and is known internationally as the ‘Spice Island’. An important trading centre of the Indian Ocean region in the nineteenth century the island became famous for spices and fresh produce, and supposedly boasts the sweetest pineapple in the world. The island is characterized by the magic of historic Stone Town and beautiful sandy beaches fringed with coral reefs.

Stone Town is said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa and it is the cultural heart of Zanzibar. Little has changed here over the last 200 years here. It boasts a labyrinth of walled streets, winding alleys, bustling mosques and grand Arab architecture. You can spend many idle hours simply wandering the streets, shopping at the bazaars and admiring the intriguing elephant-proof doors. Or you could just sit and watch the sun set over a cold beer and a sumptuous seafood feast. If food is your thing, make sure you also check out the brilliant night market that serves traditional local fare. Females should note that Stone Town has a high Muslim population so remember to cover up and bring appropriate clothing.

To the north and east of Zanzibar Island lie the island’s beautiful, isolated beaches with sparkling blue waters and golden sands fringed with palm trees. There are plenty of activity options for you at the beaches. You can go diving, snorkelling, swimming with dolphins or simply relax and take it easy with a massage.

The sun sets off Zanzibar

Any visit to Zanzibar would not be complete without a visit to a spice plantation to dazzle the senses with fresh cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. The sheer number of spices produced and their incredible value for many ailments will fascinate you.

A spice tour is included on all Tucan Travel tours that visit Zanzibar.

A visit to Zanzibar is a rewarding experience with vast natural beauty and a plethora of cultural sights on the itinerary.

Tucan Travel offers 28 Overland group tours that visit Zanzibar year round. The tours either start or end in Dar es Salaam or travel through this area as part of a tour from Kenya in the north or Malawi in the south.

Zanzibar seen from above

Did You Know?

  • Freddy Mercury, the late lead singer of the band Queen, was born in Zanzibar.
  • The island had the first steam locomotive in East Africa.
  • Stone Town has been designated one of the world’s cultural heritage sites by UNESCO.
  • The shortest war in history was fought in Zanzibar in 1896 and lasted two days.
  • There are around 560 carved doors in Zanzibar, with the oldest dating back to 1694.
 

Enquire About This Tour Code RTSCP Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Package

Duration: 3 Days Route: Arusha to Arusha Style: Add-ons Level: Comfort Price: US$1,489.00

Tanzania

Explore the most famous park in Africa. The Serengeti National Park covers over 14,000 square kilometres and its vast plains and scrubland are home to leopard, lion, giraffe, elephant, cheetah and many more. Its beautiful neighbour is Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Game driving inside the Ngorongoro Crater is an experience in itself. It has one of the densest populations of lion in the world.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTZP2 Isles of Zanzibar

Duration: 5 Days Route: Stone Town to Stone Town Style: Add-ons Level: Comfort Price: US$479.00

Tanzania

Beautiful palm-fringed beaches and pristine coral reefs, sparkling turquoise waters and warm African sun – the spice island of Zanzibar offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Treat yourself to a few days of rest and relaxation, beginning in the historic Stone Town. Stone Town is a labyrinth of alleyways and market places and exploring this old trading post is a delight not to be missed.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTKCM5 Mt Kilimanjaro Trek – Marangu Route 5 Days

Duration: 5 Days Route: Arusha to Moshi Style: Add-ons Level: Standard Price: US$1,519.00

Tanzania

Close to the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha the majestic ice-capped Mount Kilimanjaro sits on the Equator towering 5 896 metres above sea level. Eagerly conquered by hundreds of reasonably fit people every year, this trek offers you the chance to ascend Africa’s highest mountain following the Marangu route and enjoy spectacular views of verdant farmlands, forests and heather moorlands in the national park below the three volcanic peaks.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTKCH6 Mt Kilimanjaro Trek – Machame Route 6 Day

Duration: 6 Days Route: Arusha to Moshi Style: Add-ons Level: Standard Price: US$1,709.00

Tanzania

Close to the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, the majestic ice-capped Mount Kilimanjaro sits on the Equator towering 5,896 metres above sea level. Eagerly conquered by hundreds of reasonably fit people every year, this trek offers you the chance to ascend Africa’s highest mountain following the Machame route and enjoy spectacular views of verdant farmlands, forests and heather moorlands in the national park below the three volcanic peaks.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTKCM6 Mt Kilimanjaro Trek – Marangu Route 6 Days

Duration: 6 Days Route: Arusha to Moshi Style: Add-ons Level: Standard Price: US$1,869.00

Tanzania

Close to the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, the majestic ice-capped Mount Kilimanjaro sits on the Equator towering 5 896 metres above sea level. This trek offers you the chance to ascend Africa’s highest mountain following the Marangu route and enjoy spectacular views of verdant farmlands, forests and heather moorlands in the national park below the three volcanic peaks. This Add-on includes an extra acclimatisation day at Kibo Hut.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTKCH7 Mt Kilimanjaro Trek – Machame Route 7 Day

Duration: 7 Days Route: Arusha to Moshi Style: Add-ons Level: Standard Price: US$1,939.00

Tanzania

Close to the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, the majestic ice-capped Mount Kilimanjaro sits on the Equator towering 5,896 metres above sea level. Eagerly conquered by hundreds of reasonably fit people every year, this trek offers you the chance to ascend Africa’s highest mountain following the Machame route and enjoy spectacular views of verdant farmlands, forests and heather moorlands in the national park below the three volcanic peaks.

Enquire About This Tour Code RTSZ Serengeti & Zanzibar

Duration: 8 Days Route: Arusha to Stone Town Style: Add-ons Level: Comfort Price: US$2,309.00

Tanzania

Combine two of Tanzania’s greatest highlights, the famous Serengeti National Park and the exotic Isles of Zanzibar. Starting in the Serengeti, take 4WDs into the national park – if you’re lucky you may see the Big Five! Then fly to Zanzibar to relax after your safari adventure on one of the crisp white beaches. Explore the labyrinthine streets of Stone Town and wander the fragrant food markets in this enigmatic trading post.

Enquire About This Tour Code FSZ Serengeti & Zanzibar

Duration: 11 Days Route: Nairobi to Dar es Salaam Style: Overland Tours Price: US$1,799.00

Kenya, Tanzania

This fun-filled tour showcases the best of East Africa's natural and cultural highlights. From the vast open spaces of Serengeti National Park to the diverse flora and fauna of Ngorongoro Crater, there are wonderful safari experiences on offer. The serenity of Zanzibar Island provides a cultural contrast, with its delicious spices, history, architecture and glorious sun-kissed beaches.

The tour that we operate in the reverse direction is Serengeti & Zanzibar (FZS).

Enquire About This Tour Code FZS Serengeti & Zanzibar

Duration: 11 Days Route: Dar es Salaam to Nairobi Style: Overland Tours Price: US$1,799.00

Tanzania, Kenya

Encompassing two of East Africa’s highlights, this tour takes you from the vast plains of the Serengeti to the beautiful beaches and sumptuous markets of Zanzibar. The Serengeti National Park protects the highest concentration of large mammals on Earth, so safari opportunities are unparalleled. Zanzibar lets you rest your bones after the adventure, in a more relaxed setting.

The tour that we operate in the reverse direction is Serengeti & Zanzibar (FSZ).

Enquire About This Tour Code FVZ Zanzibar to Vic Falls

Duration: 14 Days Route: Livingstone to Dar es Salaam Style: Overland Tours Price: US$1,329.00

Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania

Enjoy an exciting tour through some of Africa's most beautiful scenery including glistening Lake Malawi with its beaches and party atmosphere. Get an insight into Malawi's customs and lifestyle in Chitimba. Then on Zanzibar there's time to relax on the beach, go snorkelling, sip a cocktail and gaze over the waves or explore picturesque Stone Town, steeped in history.

The tour that we operate in the reverse direction is Zanzibar to Vic Falls (FZV).

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Customer Reviews

Katie

"We completed the Sacred Valley and Inca Trail trip with Tucan. It was a 7 day 6 night trip and all the accommodation and most of the meals were provided in the price. The guides provided were very friendly and very knowledgeable and the 2 guides stayed with the group for the whole trip. The setup of the hike was amazing, the porters were great and prepared delicious meals and prepared all the tents so when you arrive at the destination you could relax. I found the whole trip great value for money and would recommend Tucan to anyone about to take on the Inca Trail."

Posted on Nov 28, 2013 on reviews.co.uk

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