Paradise Beaches & a touch of Arabia in Africa-Exotic ZANZIBAR

Review by: Munind Shah

I am a passionate traveler who loves to discover this beautiful world. I travel to countries on my own, make my way alone, fitting into the culture as best I can!

Destination: Zanzibar, Tanzania

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Recently, I had the privilege to spend a few days in beautiful Zanzibar, the magical island off the coast of the United Republic of Tanzania – the largest country on the east coast of Africa. Zanzibar is actually not one island but an archipelago, consisting of Unguja, Pemba and a host of smaller islands, in the Indian Ocean. I flew from Mumbai to Zanzibar via Addis on Ethiopian Airlines (B787 Dreamliner service from Mumbai), but there are many ways of getting there. Indian nationals require a visa-offered on arrival with a fee- and a yellow fever vaccination certificate-so expect a good thirty minutes to clear all formalities. I stayed at the 5 star luxurious Baraza Resort & Spa (Part of The Zanzibar Collection), which is located on the South East Coast, an hour’s drive from the airport. The resort which has only 30 private villa’s is on the most beautiful 50-acre site with its bedroom villa’s located on rising ground overlooking verdant gardens and the sparkling white beach, the public areas, the pool, the more than 1,000 beautiful palm trees and the azure seas beyond. All the rooms offer a large terrace, sun loungers, lounge bed, private plunge pool and a bathroom with shower, air conditioning, TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and mosquito nets. My days were quite hectic as I wanted to see as much as possible in the limited time that I had. But you can expect to start your days with delicious breakfasts, exploring the beauty of the island, lovely swims in the Indian Ocean, indulging in divine buffet style lunches and refreshing drinks (resort offers all-inclusive package which includes all meals and most drinks),treating yourself to a couple of relaxing spa treatments. Every evening you can have something special to enjoy like a Masaai performance, dancing groups, bands etc, while having dinner. (Indian vegetarian food is widely available, but I recommend you try other cuisine which is equally appetizing). You can go snorkeling with an instructor to Mnemba which is famous for its rich and diverse marine life. A stunning excursion! Zanzibar has an interesting history as it has been ruled by Portugal, Arabia and England, and was once the Capital of Oman. The island was famous worldwide for its spices and its slaves. I strongly recommend going on a guided day tour to Stone Town, where you can learn more and explore the narrow streets and crowded markets, it is quite an experience for the senses! You can also find a lot of Indian touches in the old city, as a lot of Gujaratis traded via the Arabian route and therefore you can find Hindu and Jain temples.

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