This 5-day Zanzibar Vacation Package is an excellent introduction to the exotic island of Zanzibar.
Beginning in Stone Town, the cultures and history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are uncovered on a walking tour of the city. Spend a second day exploring further, take a romantic cruise on a traditional sailing dhow and taste Zanzibari cuisine in the Foradhani food market. Up next, a spice tour to awaken your senses with exotic aromas and encounter exotic new fruits. Then, this affordable Zanzibar vacation takes you to an idyllic beach resort where you can enjoy the tropical beaches, watersports, spa treatments, sunset cocktails, and delicious cuisine.
This surprisingly cheap holiday in Zanzibar will leave you wanting to come back for more of paradise.
Our 5-day Zanzibar Vacation Package begins in Zanzibar City where the international airport is located. When you arrive at the airport your driver is there to welcome you to Zanzibar Island and transfer you to your hotel in Stone Town.
At your seaside hotel, you have some time to settle in and freshen up before your guide collects you for a walking tour of Stone Town.
It is as if time stood still in this fascinating old quarter of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The eclectic architecture is a testament to the various cultures– African, Arab, Indian, and European–that have occupied this exotic island. Wander through winding alleys and admire the ornately carved and studded wooden doors, archways, and weathered shutters. Primarily a Muslim country there are numerous mosques in Stone Town as well as two cathedrals to serve the Christians who arrived with the British.
Visit the Arab fort, built by Omani Arabs after the Portuguese were expelled. It has served as a prison, garrison and today is a drawcard for tourists with its cultural center, market, restaurants, and amphitheater. The old slave market is the site today of the Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ, a building that houses many tributes to the city’s heinous past, one of which is an altar built over the spot where the whipping post stood. All newly captured Africans were tied to the tree here and whipped to test their mettle. Slave trade was a thriving industry in the 18th and 19th centuries until shut down by the British in 1873. The guide has many stories to tell, some amusing but many that tell the tale of the hardship experienced on this island.
Stone Town has a bustling market and many gift shops that have souvenirs and handicrafts on sale. The colorful market is filled with the aroma of the spices that give this island its Spice Island moniker.
After a busy day, the guide will escort you back to your historic hotel next to the ocean. Enjoy sundowners and dinner on the hotel terrace or step out again to dine at one of Stone Town’s restaurants.
Day two of the 5-day Zanzibar Vacation Package is free for you to explore Stone Town and relax at the hotel.
Return to the old part of Zanzibar City to explore Stone Town in more depth, at your own pace. Wander around the courtyard of the Old Fort, a cultural center, that is a popular attraction for visitors to Zanzibar. Shop for mementos in the gift shops, enjoy a meal in the restaurant, watch the artist at work on their Tinga Tinga paintings, and in the evening watch dancing and music shows in the local amphitheater. Take a romantic sunset cruise on a traditional dhow sailing boat (own expense). Head to Forodhani Gardens for a stroll and return in the evening, when the gardens are transformed into a bustling street food market.
Take some time to relax at the hotel and indulge in a massage or inhale the aromas of the spiced body scrub in the spa. Lounge on deck chairs at the hotel pool, or in the shaded lounge areas. Visit Lulu’s sundowner terrace for a cocktail to toast the sunset over the harbor. Enjoy this opportunity to see and experience the fascinating capital city of Zanzibar.
This morning after breakfast your guide collects you from the hotel and transfers you to your beach resort in northern Zanzibar.
On day three of your Zanzibar Vacation Package, you also get to experience the aromatic spices of Zanzibar. En route to the beach resort, you stop to take a spice tour on a plantation. Introduced by the Omani Arabs in the 19th century at a time when spices were a valuable commodity worldwide, spices became Zanzibar’s primary income source after the demise of the slave trade. Spices play an important role in the lives of the Zanzibaris for their use in their cuisine, as a cure for many ailments, and for the dyes and henna that are used for decoration at festivals and weddings. When you see spices such as cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and turmeric root growing in the plantations, it’s easy to understand why Zanzibar is known as The Spice Island.
Taste some of the unusual fruits that are grown here, such as jack fruit, custard apple, rambutan, and carambola. Henna bush, lipstick tree, and lemongrass are some of the plants grown here. After the heady aromas of the spice plantation, it’s time to continue north to the beach resort.
The beach part of your Zanzibar holiday is spent at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar) in Pwani Mchangani, on the northeastern shores of the main island.
Arriving at the resort, it is time to kick off your shoes and head to the beach or take a dip in the large swimming pool and enjoy cocktails at the poolside bar. After dinner and a laid-back evening, retreat to your comfortable chalet and fall asleep to the sounds of the Indian Ocean.
Today is yours to do as you please. Enjoy the beach paradise of the Zanzibar Islands!
If watersports are your thing, the resort has a professional PADI accredited diving center on-site to organize and oversee scuba diving trips. With some of the best diving in the world and a company that knows the choice locations, your scuba diving adventures are in good hands. Would love to dive but haven’t before? Then take some tuition from one of the qualified divers.
Other watersports include kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, and sailing, or you may choose to take a dolphin tour or a boat trip.
On dry land, there is a fitness center, beach volleyball, billiards, and table tennis. If that’s all too energetic for you, visit the spa or chill by the pool, soaking up some rays. If you are keen to see more of the island book a tour with the hotel concierge. You can also take a stroll around the resort which is set in a 6.5-hectare garden of lush tropical vegetation with a waterfall and abundant birdlife.
Relax in the evening, toast the sunset with a sundowner, and dine to the sounds of the resident, resort band. Fall asleep under your mosquito net to the gentle soundtrack of the waves.
Today, sadly, this Zanzibar Vacation Package comes to an end. The driver collects you after breakfast and transfers you back to the airport for your onward flights.
The historic Tembo House Hotel is located on the beachfront in the old Stone Town part of Zanzibar City.
This lovingly-restored hotel is in a prime location close to the historical sites, attractions, and restaurants of Stone Town. The building itself housed the American Consulate for five decades in the early 19th century, before becoming the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners, one of the largest trading companies in the Indian Ocean. Celebrities that have stayed in the building include Mahatma Gandhi and Freddie Mercury.
The hotel’s charming restaurant spills out onto spacious seaside terraces, serving local and international cuisine. Tembo Hotel also has an inviting courtyard featuring a swimming pool with deck chairs and shaded lounge areas. The hotel is decorated in an eclectic style with a distinctive Zanzibari character. The interiors feature ornate antiques and carved wooden furniture with bright splashes of color and influences from diverse cultures.
The rooms are all en-suite and most have a balcony with views of the ocean or pool. Each room has a small lounge area with a TV and is air-conditioned. The en-suite bathrooms have a shower and a traditional hammam bath. The rooms are furnished with interesting antique pieces and ornaments, including Swahili beds (carved wooden four-poster beds).
The Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa is located on the northeastern shores of Zanzibar Island, in Pwani Mchangani. The resort is set in a large, tropical garden with coconut palms, water features, and a large swimming pool. This upmarket beach resort overlooks the turquoise Indian Ocean, close to Mapenzi and Kiwengwa beaches.
With individual, typical African style round chalets and a roof thatched with makuti (coconut palm) your superior room is surprisingly sophisticated. Get lost in a king-size bed under your mosquito net, enjoy the facilities of an en-suite bathroom with shower, stay cool with the ceiling fan or air-conditioning and enjoy other facilities typical of a hotel, such as TV, coffee machine, laundry, and room service. Each room has a terrace, ideal for a sundowner as you watch the world go by.
Stay cool in what is one of the largest swimming pools in Zanzibar and relax with a drink from the pool bar. The resort offers a choice of restaurants that serve international and authentic Zanzibar cuisine and, of course, superb seafood. Indulge in a spa session after a busy day, prepare for the evening with a relaxing massage, facial or try the jacuzzi, steam room, or sauna. For the energetic, there is a fitness center, beach volleyball, billiards, table tennis, and a variety of watersports, including diving, windsurfing kayaking, or take a dolphin tour. (NB some activities are at extra cost).
Both accommodation establishments offer free wi-fi access and all beds are fitted with mosquito nets to ensure peaceful nights of sleep.