Zanzibar vacation: After an exciting safari, enjoy the idyllic island paradise and unwind on the beach


  • Island archipelago consisting of two main islands Unguja and Pemba as well as several small side islands. (We will mainly focus here on the sights in Unguja).
  • Since 1964 autonomous region in union with Tanzania, together the United Republic of Tanzania
  • The larger island of Unguja is about twice the size of Pemba, much more developed for tourism and easier to reach
  • There is a wide range of hotels and lodges of various categories on both islands
  • Size of archipelago: 2,462 km2 = slightly larger than Tenerife
Blick auf das türkisblaue Wasser des indischen Ozeans
Clownfische vor einer Seeanemone unter Wasser

Highlights Zanzibar vacation:

  • Enjoy a delicious cocktail in a beautiful hotel right on the beach with the best weather in Zanzibar overlooking the sea and let your mind wander
  • Marvel at the Arab legacy in Stone Town, try freshly fried fish in Forodhani Gardens or visit the house where Freddy Mercury was born
  • Learn how cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper are grown on a Zanzibar vacation and a spice tour
  • Look out for the Zanzibar colobus monkeys endemic to the island in the Jozani forest
  • Marvel at the breathtaking corals and fish of the underwater world on a snorkeling or diving trip

Best time for Zanzibar vacation:

  • Basically possible all year round
  • The weather in Zanzibar is relatively constant, with temperatures averaging around 27 degrees Celsius (feeling warmer)
  • April to May is the rainy season, so you don’t necessarily have to go swimming in the sea to get wet. However, many accommodations are significantly cheaper in the low season
  • From June to October it is dry and the Zanzibar weather is a little cooler, which makes for pleasant temperatures at night for sleeping
  • November and early December is the rainy season, but the rainfall is significantly lower than in April & May
  • Summer in Zanzibar Tanzania is from mid-December to March, when temperatures are at their hottest and it can also be humid
Ein Paar im Infinity Pool mit der Insel Mnemba im HIntergrund
Kühe bei Flut am Ufer des indischen Ozeans auf Sansibar Urlaub

Getting here from Arusha:

  • 712 km = roughly 10.5 hours by safari car to Dar es Salaam (it takes longer by bus), then just under 3 hours by ferry (depending on arrival time, an overnight stay in Dar es Salaam may be necessary).
  • By car, you can make some great stops along the way, for example in Mkomazi National Park, the Usambara Mountains or Bagamoyo
  • Zanzibar can be reached by plane in just over an hour

Where is Zanzibar located / Zanzibar map

History Zanzibar Tanzania

Estimated to have been inhabited since the late Stone Age, Zanzibar has always been characterized by various influences due to the traders from Persia, India and the Arab world who frequented the island. Part of the Portuguese Empire since 1504, the Europeans did not actually have much influence on the government in Zanzibar. Their local presence was limited and the administration remained in the hands of previous leaders, mainly Arabs. The era ended with the massacre of the Portuguese inhabitants by the Sultan of Mombasa, and from 1698 Zanzibar was under the influence of the Sultanate of Oman.

Uferpromenade von Sansibar Stadt mit dem Hafen im Hintergrund
Im Amphitheater vom Old Fort in Sansibar Stadt Stone Town

The trade in ivory, spices, gold and fabrics prospered, and later Zanzibar also became the most important hub for the slave trade on the East African coast. In 1832, the Sultan even moved his seat of government from Oman to Stone Town. At the end of the 19th century, the slave trade was banned and from 1890 Zanzibar was a British protectorate. The British government lifted the protectorate in December 1963 and just one month later, following the Zanzibar Revolution and the flight of the last Sultan, independence was declared on January 12, 1964. This was followed in April of the same year by the merger with the mainland of Tanganyika to form today’s United Republic of Tanzania.

Beach vacation Zanzibar

When you think of a Zanzibar vacation, the first thing that comes to mind is the beach. In fact, the island has various beautiful sandy beaches to offer. Almost along the entire east coast you will find a wide variety of hotels that invite you to relax after an eventful safari. There are simple accommodations, small chic lodges or larger resorts, some are located in a small town with various dining and shopping options, others are in the middle of the idyll without much hustle and bustle, so there is something for every taste. Due to the offshore coral reefs, there are rocks or sea urchins in the sea in some places, so it is advisable to pack swimming shoes if necessary.

Ein Steg ins Meer über dem türkisblauen Wasser des indischen Ozeans auf Sansibar
Strand Urlaub Sansibar: Mittagessen mit dem Meer im Hintergrund

The tides are sometimes strong on the east coast, so you can enjoy swimming in the sea at certain times of the day and take a great walk on the beach at others. If you would like a wider choice of activities and want to jump into the sea at almost any time in the best Zanzibar weather, you should take a look at the north or northwest of the island. Here there are breathtaking wide sandy beaches, few tides, lots of leisure activities and, at least in direct beach locations, the hotels tend to be larger. You can find a selection of different accommodations that we recommend for your Zanzibar vacation below.

Water sports

Water sports enthusiasts also get their money’s worth on Zanzibar. Kitesurfing is particularly popular in the area around the small town of Paje, where there are also various schools offering courses. Snorkeling and diving can be done in various places on the island, the Mnemba Atoll in the northeast is particularly beautiful. Jet ski rentals can be found in Nungwi and Kendwa and you can also do a parachute jump over the Indian Ocean here. Stand-up paddling, canoeing and kayaking are available in most towns and some hotels even have their own equipment for their guests. Deep-sea fishing trips are also offered almost everywhere. So if you don’t just want to keep your nose in the sun, there are various ways to keep yourself busy on, above or in the water.

In Sansibar Stadt kann man viele verschiedene Souvenirs erstehen

Stone Town Zanzibar vacation

There is a lot to discover in the oldest district of Zanzibar’s capital. The winding alleyways are easy to navigate on foot, as they are too narrow for cars. Most of the buildings date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and are made of coral limestone and mangrove wood, which is where the name “Stone Town” comes from. The old town is influenced by Arabic, Indian, Swahili and European culture, which is why Stone Town was named a UNSECO cultural heritage site in 2000. Other reasons for the title are the important maritime trade between Africa and Asia, which is reflected in the city’s architecture, as well as its symbolic importance in the fight against the slave trade.

The most important sights are the Old Fort, the Palace Museum and the House of Wonder, but a visit to the Old Dispensary, the historic slave market, the Livingstone House Museum or the Princess Salme Museum is also worthwhile. Freddie Mercury, the famous singer from Queen, was born in Stone Town under the name Farrokh Bulsara and lived here until he was 8 years old. You can visit the family’s former home in the town. In the evening, it is always worth visiting the Forodhani Gardens, a small street food market right by the Indian Ocean. Here you can try a variety of grilled seafood, fruit and other things and watch the young people of Stone Town jump from the promenade into the sea. Of course, Stone Town is also a great place for souvenir shopping in one of the small stores in the old town.

Im Forodhani Park in Stone Town kann man abends viel verschiedenen gegrillten Fisch und andere Sachen probieren

Jozani Forest and spice tour

Zanzibar is generally rather sparsely vegetated, but the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is a green change from this. The 50 km2 park consists of 100% forest, including palm trees, flame trees and mangroves. On a guided hike through the park, you can observe various birds, insects, three different species of monkeys, including the endemic Zanzibar colobus monkey, as well as other mammals and learn about the different plants. You may have heard of Zanzibar, the Spice Island. Even though the once prosperous spice export industry has long since lost its importance, you can still take an interesting “Spice Tour”. Here you can learn a lot about the cultivation and use of various spices.

Hotels Zanzibar Vacation

Here are a few hotel recommendations for your perfect beach vacation in Zanzibar Tanzania. We are happy to offer you a follow-up stay to your safari in one of these (or of course other) hotels.

Der Pool der Hakuna Matata Villa in Paje lädt zu eine Erfrischung ein

Hakuna Matata Paje


Great hotel in kitesurfer’s paradise with pool just 1 minute walk from the beach

Der Strand im Kendwa Rocks Hotel ist wunderschön

Kendwa Rocks

Middle class

Resort for the whole family with a beautiful beach and various activities on the doorstep

Das Zanzibar Queen Hotel mit tollem Pool und Meer im Hintergrund

Zanzibar Queen

Middle class

Chic hotel for perfect relaxation or snorkeling & diving at the nearby Mnemba Atoll

Vom Restaurant im Kikoi Boutique Hotel hat man einen tollen Blick aufs Wasser

Kikoi Boutique Hotel

Middle class

Great rooms, pure relaxation and a breathtaking sunset over the sea

Im Zuri Zanzibar Hotel erwartet dich Luxus pur

Zuri Zanzibar


Privacy on extensive grounds with everything your heart desires and of course a unique beach