Our association with Zanzibar goes back 50 years.

We will:

  • Discuss your needs,
  • book your holiday, tailored just for you,
  • give you full financial security,
  • and our agent will meet you on arrival, provide all transfers, and be available to you 24/7 for any assistance.

Archive for the ‘Our Blogs’ Category

Tree Lions

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Our group of four returned recently form a 7 day/night safari in the northern parks of Tanzania followed by 3 nights in Stone Town on Zanzibar.

Our safari took us to Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, the southern Serengeti/Ndutu locality and the Ngorongoro Crater.

We had a comfortable safari vehicle with a very experienced driver/guide who was able to spot game where we would never have seen them. All our accommodation along the way was excellent and all arrangements were spot on. Perhaps the highlight was the spotting of cheetahs.

In his briefing about the safari before we left, Michael at Zanzibar Travel advised us that, from his experience, not to have too high expectations of game viewing in Lake Manyara National Park, and that claims of tree climbing lions in the Park are probably a myth.

Well, HE WAS WRONG! And here we have evidence of tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park!

Our guide did confirm how fortunate we were, that sightings are rare and that in his 15 years of guiding he had only witnessed them on about 10 occasions.

We count ourselves very fortunate.

The only down side, or more of an inconvenience, was that somewhere along the line we, and our guide, picked up a dose of “Delhi Belly”. This did result in having to make more enforced stops than we would have wished.

The Zanzibar Serena Inn was perfect for our needs, centrally located, comfortable and with wonderful ocean views. We even managed a round of golf at Seacliff Hotel which hosts the only course on the island.

Our thanks to Zanzibar Travel for a perfect holiday.

The Patrick/Kemp Group

Zanzibar Expectations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Life is full of expectations. It is when the reality does not match the expectations that there is disappointment.

Over the last 20 years there have been only a handful of people who have been disappointed with their visit to Zanzibar. In discussion with them it has been obvious that their expectations of the island were different to the reality. Perhaps their expectation was to visit a destination similar to places they have visited in Europe and/or other developed countries.

We have therefore made some notes to help people to know what to expect:

  • The majority of people on Zanzibar, and most of sub-Saharan Africa, are very poor compared to “western” standards. There is a high rate of unemployment on the island and the standard of living in terms of housing, dress, public transport, etc is low compared to developed countries. This will be obvious soon after you arrive on the island when you transfer from the airport to your first destination. Most houses are traditional “huts” built with mud and coral with thatched or corrugated iron roofs.
  • However, despite the poor conditions the incidence of malnutrition is very low. The island is blessed with a wide range of fruit and vegetables and the ocean is abundant with fish. The people are of a happy disposition, always smiling.
  • In most villages there is no running water to local houses. You will see women collecting water from communal water taps and taking them to their homes. Some hotels have to bring water in large water tankers to replenish their water supplies. Guests are asked to use water sparingly. Many local houses do not have electricity and rely on “tilley lamps” for lighting.
  • The main roads on the island are in a reasonable state of repair, but minor roads and those in villages are un-sealed with potholes like you have never seen before. Makes for an “interesting” drive!
  • Whilst tourism is a now a mainstay of the economy, along with agriculture and fishing, in many ways tourism is relatively unsophisticated. We feel that this adds to the unique charm of Zanzibar. It is particularly noticeable in the service side of tourism. Do not expect a Dubai, or Seychelles, or Maldives where service staff, normally imported from other countries, are professionally trained and coached to say “Have a good day”. The majority of staff you will encounter at hotels and restaurants are recruited from the local area – thus providing employment to local people – and trained by the hotel. They will be kind and well meaning and the majority will go out of their way.
  • In Stone Town some of the buildings are still in a state of disrepair and some have collapsed completely. This is a legacy from the 1970s and early 80s when financial support to Tanzania and Zanzibar from Eastern Bloc countries ceased and investment in maintaining buildings and general infrastructure declined. Old Stone Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and buildings have to be faithfully restored to resemble their original structure. Many parts of Town are being put back to their former glory and visitors can wander and appreciate the Omani & Colonial style architecture.

We trust that these brief notes will give you an idea of Zanzibar and will help you embrace the island for what it is. We feel the island and its people have a unique charm.
Michael Sweeney & Natalie Blake
Zanzibar Travel

A Return to Zanzibar

Posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

16 years ago Michael & Natalie at Zanzibar Travel arranged our wonderful Honeymoon to Zanzibar.

We’ve always wanted to return, so this half term, to celebrate my husbands special birthday, we organised a trip back with our 3 children, Lucy (15), William (13) and Ben (11). They love adventure and animals so we had to include a safari in Tanzania too!

We deliberately started our holiday in the fishing village of Nungwi in the north of the island. Recognising that “tourists” will never fully appreciate what life is like at their destination, we felt that being in the village would give the children at least some understanding of what life is like for people living in Africa.

The beach is shared with local people, we walked around large parts of the village where visitors do not often venture, we visited the amazing turtle sanctuary which is run by local people, and saw dhows and fishing boats being built and repaired in the traditional way. Flame Tree Cottages provided us with an ideal retreat in Nungwi with its lovely pool set in wonderfully tended tropical gardens. A real treat was the breakfast on our terrace every morning, and the kids loved the bats nesting in the palm trees above our cottage.

On our transfer from Nungwi to Stone Town we stopped off to do a spice tour. We had done this previously on our Honeymoon, and remembered how fascinating it was. It was once again extremely informative and interesting both for us, and for the children. Would highly recommend.

During our 3 days in Stone Town we stayed at Mizingani Seafront Hotel which has been tastefully converted from the Old Custom House building and now has a very Arabic feel. Whilst our spacious Family Room had glorious views over the ocean/harbour, the down side was ferries coming and going and “honking” as they left or approached the harbour. We took a day long excursion, with snorkelling, to Prison Island, the home of some tortoises reputed to be several 100 years old. This was fun. On other days we just wandered (and got lost frequently!) in the narrow bustling streets of Town with its interesting architecture, & beautiful wooden doors. The Slave Market & Museum was very sobering but incredibly interesting. For excellent coffee and omelettes we strongly recommend Zanzibar Coffee House. The kids really enjoyed the fresh pizzas at La Taverna run by an Italian family. And we all really enjoyed the delicious curries at The Silk Route and Monsoon Restaurant. (The Wednesday night we were there, there was a very good trio playing African music).

Our next part of the holiday was our safari. We flew into Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania in a tiny plane (very exciting!) staying at the wonderful Rufiji River Camp. This was great fun and we all loved the tents, surrounded by monkeys with the hippos grunting all night. It felt so wild and completelywhatwewanted! Simon was very spoilt on his special birthday with a surprisec hampagne party at sunset by the river, with a few giraffe for company. A moment never to be forgotten.

Our guide, Hassini, was excellent, his 4×4 skills in the mud out of this world, and he found us a wide variety and abundance of game – but not a single lion!!! This could have been, in part, due to the rains arriving unseasonally early in October rather than late November. Our guide told us that with the rains some game do not have to go to established water sources as pools will appear at inaccessible locations.

Back to Zanzibar and to our final destination, Breezes Beach Club & Spa where we had stayed on our Honeymoon. Luxury!! The kids eyes popped out of their heads when we arrived and it was the perfect end to the holiday. It has got even better over the years and exceeded our every expectation. The staff are truly 5*, facilities excellent, food outstanding and the beach on the south east coast, we felt, was better than at Nungwi probably because it was private and felt completely empty. We will definitely go back.

In summary… we loved every minute of every day. The kids experienced real Africa which is what we wanted. A wonderful mix of hotels, locations and experiences. The standard of cuisine was high everywhere we went, with no tummy bugs at all. Our flights with Ethiopian Airlines were very good, and Zanzibar Travel had thought of everything and made the whole trip so easy for us.

Both for us and the children – the holiday of a lifetime, never to be forgotten. Thank you so much.

The Hobbs Family

December 2019

Juliet & Julian Silburn

Posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Dear Michael & Natalie

Thank you for arranging the most wonderful holiday.

Our time on Zanzibar and Mafia Island is a very memorable one for a number of reasons.

Firstly, we loved the culture and the people – so gentle and kind and our visits to the villages were a highlight of the holiday.

Secondly, the hotel choices were perfect for us. We were made to feel very welcome in all.

  • Emerson Spice in Stone Town offered excellent service and delicious food; our room was stunning – eccentric, colonial charm! We loved exploring Stone Town and if we were to do the holiday again, I would extend our 3-night stay by another 2!
  • Butiama on Mafia Island offered simple ‘feet in the sand’ accommodation which was comfortable and positioned on a beautiful beach, particularly when the tide was out. Being within walking distance of Kilindoni meant that we could visit the town and get a feel for life on the island. The staff offered a number of tours including snorkeling and diving in the marine park. The whale sharks were unseasonably early and, although we chose not to see them, many guests were delighted that they were able to swim with them!
  • Pongwe Beach Hotel was sophisticated but low key and the food was excellent. Its position on a quiet, unspoilt and very beautiful stretch of coastline was just what we were looking for – a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and very good amenities of the hotel.

Finally, your agent GTI was outstanding; Alawi maintained contact with us throughout, confirming transfer times, arranging an excellent guide in Stone Town, spice tours and private dhow trips. He went out of his way to ensure Zanzibar was everything we hoped for and even stayed in touch when our return flights went awry at the last minute!

To conclude, our 2-week holiday was an amazing experience – the perfect combination of sightseeing, discovering a new culture and relaxation.

Your prompt advice in answer to my many queries and recommendations regarding all things Zanzibarian was invaluable.

Thank you once again for putting together a most memorable holiday. With best wishes.

Juliet & Julian Silburn
August 2019


Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2019

We recently returned from India on a tour organised and led by Michael Sweeney of Zanzibar Travel, and what a feast for the senses it was.

It was our fourth trip to the sub-continent and this time we headed for the relatively un-touristy State of Gujarat. This meant that some of the heritage sights were less manicured than we’d found elsewhere, but also (unlike many tourist sites in Asia) there was hardly anyone else there. Gujarat, one guide told us, doesn’t need tourism as it is already prosperous. We saw evidence of this in its many ceramics and textile factories and in its agriculture, which seemed to thrive despite seriously dry conditions.

Gujarat has an abundant share of beautifully-crafted Hindu and Jain temples. Cooling one’s feet on marble floors, while worshipers perform their rituals to the scent of incense and flower offerings and the sound of bells, is a special experience. We were always welcomed, but never more so than in one tiny temple by the highway which we visited on the off chance while our driver was having his breakfast. The locals were celebrating the birthday of the temple’s god that day. People asked where we were from then plied us with bowls of sweet and spicy rice pudding, a wonderful gesture towards a group of funny-looking strangers.

You don’t go to India to see lions – or do you? One of the highlights of the trip was a very early morning safari in the Gir Forest National Park, the last stronghold of Asiatic lions in Asia. It’s not often that you have a large lion casually wander past your jeep doing his morning rounds, just two metres away.

No trip is complete either without visiting local markets and the first we found was on the former Portuguese island of Diu, one of the few places in the state where alcohol is allowed. The quality of the produce is high when compared to your average supermarket so it is no wonder that Indians still prefer to shop this way. The colours just stunned us – crimson pomegranates and scarlet strawberries zinging against the yellows and oranges of people’s clothing.

Gujarat is fabled for fabrics & handicrafts. After a trip around the renowned Calico Museum in Ahmedabad we were prepared for visiting the epicentre of these crafts in the remote desert region of Kutch. Here we saw fabric being printed with wood blocks and women embroidering mirrored bedspreads in the cool of traditional clay huts.

One of the more unusual tourist experiences in Kutch was a highly controlled visit to the “white desert” on the Rann of Kutch which, at the western end, is the Pakistan border. We walked about a mile up to a curious cuboid structure based on the shape of salt crystals that offered a viewing platform, while laughing Indian families and school parties passed us by on camel carts.

The desert has a crust of salt which makes it appear white in places, though not as white as we’d expected having already seen the weird white landscape and salt pans around the coast.

After the relatively rural days in Kutch we were anxious about going back to a big polluted city. We’d flown into Mumbai at the start of the trip and found the area near the airport a horrible mix of old India, with all its dust and dirt, and brash new western-style shopping malls. However, the centre of the city couldn’t be more different and being by the sea meant the air was cleaner.

Having an excellent guide for two days made the experience very memorable. Alongside the grand former colonial buildings, Sudha showed us many aspects of everyday life, such as the “dhobi ghat” covering 15 acres in the heart of the city. Nearly 7,000 “dhobis” (washermen) each day hand wash, hang out to dry and iron hundreds of tonnes of material from hotels, hospitals and private homes. Then to the daily distribution point in the city for tiffin (lunch) boxes. Lunch prepared at home, usually by a wife or mother, collected by a “tiffin walla” (or more correctly “dabbawalas”, brought from the suburbs by train/bicycle to the distribution point then delivered by the city courier to the individuals in their offices.

All things considered the whole trip ran like clockwork, transport, guides, logistics, and we’d do it all again tomorrow.

M & J Clarke – Herefordshire

Mr & Mrs Parkin – Safari & Zanzibar

Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Thank you for your e-mail and many thanks for assisting us with an absolutely wonderful holiday.

When we first started investigating going on a safari holiday to Africa we were a little nervous about booking with a smaller travel agent we had found on the internet and not heard of before. It was, however ,quite obvious from our first contact with you how thorough and professional your service was. Throughout the whole process you provided us with all the information we could possibly need and assisted us with making the right decisions with our travel arrangements.

Our flights with KLM were as expected from a major airline and we have no complaints with their service.
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport we were met by our guide from Karibu Africa Safaris and he was most helpful polite and friendly throughout our time in Tanzania. We could not praise him highly enough and his ability to spot wild animals was at times hard to comprehend.

All the accommodation we stayed in was as good if not better than we had expected and the staff at these establishments were as helpful and attentive as anyone could have hoped for. We would particularly like to praise the staff at Ikoma Tented Camp who were exceptional. We did have a problem with the water supply on one day however this was worked on and rectified as quickly as anyone could have expected in such an environment.

Our flights with Coastal aviation were on time and comfortable and their staff were also very helpful. ON arrival in Zanzibar we had a wait of about half an hour at Zanzibar Airport before our transport to the hotel arrived but this was probably because our flight had arrived earlier than expected and the local operator GTI was probably not at fault for this.

The transfer to the hotel and later back to the airport was excellent and the information given by the local guide, Alawi, could not have been better.

We did not choose to take any excursions whilst on Zanzibar but instead remained in the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort which I would describe as the best hotel we have ever stayed in. There were occasional issues with the electricity supply but this was no more than we had expected may happen and the problems were dealt with quickly and efficiently by the hotel staff. We could not fault the quality of the food and services and the staff were again as helpful and attentive as any we have encountered anywhere.

In short our holiday booked with Zanzibar travel was better than we had expected and we had very high expectations to start with.

We would have no hesitation in recommending you services to others and we look forward to using you again in the future.

“Asante Sana” for all your help.
Michael and Susan Parkin – North Yorkshire

Taylor Family Holiday

Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

We spent a week on Zanzibar over the New Year period organised by Michael & Natalie of Zanzibar Travel.

At the outset we were provided with a professional and personalised service by Zanzibar Travel. With their in-depth knowledge of the island we were given much information during the planning process which helped immensely in putting our holiday together.

We arrived on the island at an un-Godly hour of the morning. Alawi, a representative of Zanzibar Travel’s agent, was there to meet us and accompanied us on all our transfers. He was intelligent, personable, informative and went out of his way to keep in contact with us during our whole stay.

Our first two nights were at Mixingani Seafront Hotel in Stone Town, a great choice, full of character with wonderful views over the ocean and harbour.

We loved waking up in the morning under the haze of mosquito nets and being able to push back the wooden shutters to watch the hustle and bustle of the harbour area.

From the hotel it is an easy walk into the fascinating old town, granted UNESCO Heritage status in 2000. The town is a maze of cobbled streets and beautiful wooden doorways. Back at the hotel in the late afternoon we were able to enjoy the delights of the courtyard swimming pool to cool off before heading out again to a rooftop bar to watch the sunset and to decide on a restaurant for the evening – there are lots to choose from and all within walking distance.

Our beach stay was at Ocean Paradise Beach Resort. What really made this resort special (apart from the white sand, clear turquoise water and unique traditional round-huts we stayed in!) were the staff. Everyone was so friendly and we lost count of the “jambos” (Swahili for “hello”) shared during our stay.

The pool is one of the largest on Zanzibar Island and has a beautiful swim up bar where you can order fresh juice cocktails and mocktails. The local mangoes and pineapple were gorgeous and we loved watching the sugar cane being pressed through an old wooden mangle at breakfast to produce juice which was flavoured with ginger.

We loved the fact that the hotel supports the local village and we joined the weekly organised trip along the beach to visit the school, hospital and villagers where we delivered much appreciated school supplies including notebooks, pens and pencils.

Lindsay Taylor & Family

Zanzibar Holiday

Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2018

We returned from Zanzibar last weekend and would like to give some feedback on what was one of our most memorable holidays.

Ethiopian Airlines – We can only endorse the praise given in a previous Blog. On time. Great food. As comfortable as any long haul flight can be. Even the transit in Addis Ababa was no trouble and went smoothly. I had been put off travelling abroad due mainly to the constant delays and hassle that we encountered even before we had left England, however, travelling with Ethiopian Airlines was a breath of fresh air and we would certainly fly with them again, and recommend them to anyone.

Breezes Beach Club & Spa – We can not praise the Hotel highly enough, we loved everything about it. Food amazingly good. We rate it 5*.

Mizingani Seafront Hotel – It was very authentic and so different to anything we had stayed in before! We were pleased we had a more traditional hotel with some character rather than one of the bigger chain type hotels. The Hotel was clean, staff pleasant and helpful and the pool was very welcome.

Your Agent – Seyedi was our guide, a lovely man. Always on time, polite, helpful, informative, but not pushy. Unlike guides we have had on some other holidays, he did not try to sell us excursions or trips.

Zanzibar – An amazing country. Full of contradictions. Lovely people, very willing to help and very friendly. Lots of history, beautiful places to visit.
Zanzibar Travel – We have never been to Africa before. Zanzibar Travel made the whole booking experience easy. With their knowledge of Zanzibar/Africa they went the extra mile to make sure it was the right holiday for us, and provided appropriate information so we did not feel we were venturing in to the total unknown. Nothing was too much trouble. Michael & Natalie were accessible at all times and we were kept informed of any changes to flights, etc. Without sounding too ‘over the top’ Michael & Natalie at Zanzibar Travel have restored our faith and enthusiasm for foreign travel and for that, we thank you – we had a really great holiday.

Clare Hopkin & Michael Beach

Ethiopian Airlines

Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Michael & Natalie

We returned recently from our 17th stay at Breezes Beach Club & Spa on Zanzibar. We were told we now hold the record for repeat guests!! As always, Breezes more than met our expectations.

As you know over the years we have flown out on every airline which serves Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

Ethiopian Airlines which, having now used it twice, we think has to be the best route from Heathrow to Zanzibar.

Comparing Ethiopian Airlines with Qatar Airways (which we used once before) the departure and arrival times on both airlines are almost the same on all four sectors. The difference being that with Qatar, one is flying a much longer distance on each leg but have shorter layovers in Doha.

With Ethiopian one has the very latest A350 from Heathrow to Addis Ababa which even in economy must be the quietest most comfortable airliner flying. From Addis to Zanzibar on the outward journey it was the scheduled B787 Dreamliner but on the return ZNZ – ADD they were using a brand new A350 to cope with the large number of passengers. Experiencing both B787 and A350 within hours of each other there can be no doubt the A350 is more comfortable.

Unfortunately Qatar are still using narrow bodied A320 from Doha to Zanzibar (touches down at Kilimanjaro en-route) which we found too claustrophobic for a 7 hour flight.

All four Ethiopia flights left on time and arrived early and the standard of service, in-flight entertainment, leg room and width of seats etc. was very good.

I am pleased to say that our “tongue in cheek offer” to upgrade to their first class (business on any other airline) was accepted two days before we returned and hence we enjoyed flat beds for the final leg to LHR, plus of course the use of the lounge with complimentary food and drink during the layover.

Even without the benefit of the lounge ADD airport is very adequate for a layover and has the unusual feature of “quiet” areas around the terminal with dimmed lighting and beds to lie out on. The shops and catering facilities now appear to stay open all night, so whilst it does not have the glitz of say Dubai or Doha, it is very adequate and reasonably comfortable.

Clearly it is hard to comprehend how such a poor country can have an airline, let alone a state owned airline, which one could perhaps rate as 4-star. If Ethiopian can change people’s perception/prejudice, it and its route to Zanzibar has a great future.

There is no doubt at all that we will fly Ethiopian Airlines for our next trip to Zanzibar.

Peter & Diana Grimshaw – Worcestershire.


Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Zanzibar Travel introduces TANZANIA TRAILS For 2018.

For 2018 we have introduced a new “product” we call “Tanzania Trails”.

Based on the mainland of Tanzania it is a slightly more intrepid trip than the wonderful beaches of Zanzibar and includes:

  • Visiting working Tanzanian towns and villages.
  • Walks in forested mountains with spectacular waterfalls, swimming in natural river pools, viewing points over endless plains, birdwatching and the option of biking and canoeing.
  • Game viewing in one of Tanzania’s relatively unknown National Parks where there is a high concentration of game.
  • Finally, relaxing on a private Indian Ocean island at a lodge with just 12 thatched cottages.

The duration of the holiday is totally flexible, but to make the most of the varied experiences we suggest 12 days/nights.


  • Tanzania Trails starts with a night in Dar es Salaam on a bed & breakfast basis
  • The following day you will be met early by your driver with exclusive use of a vehicle for the 4 hour (approx) drive to Morogoro. During the afternoon you have the chance to explore the bustling town of Morogoro set at the foothills of the imperious Uluguru Mountains. The night will be spent at Simbamwenni Tented Lodge on a bed & breakfast basis. Simbamwenni Lodge is set within 6 acres of peaceful park-like tropical gardens along the Ngerengere river. Accommodation is either in Deluxe Bungalows or En-Suite Tents.
  • Today you will be transferred by private vehicle for approximately 3 hours to Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp (also known as Hondo Hondo).
  • Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp for 4 x nights in an en-suite tent on a full board basis. This simple, no frills Camp borders the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in southern Tanzania.

During your stay you have a wide choice of activities:

  • Walking/hiking in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park catering for a range of abilities from social walkers to more serious hiker. View spectacular waterfalls. The Park is home to different species of primates and a large variety of birds. For the less active there are walks out from the grounds of Hondo Hondo.
  • Village Tour to the bustling, vibrant, wonderfully chaotic Mang’ula village. The village can be visited by mountain bikes which are available for hire.
  • Dugout canoe trip on the Kilombero river. It is likely you’ll see hippos, crocodiles, Nile monitor lizards and many birds, including the endemic Kilombero Weaver and if you’re really lucky, a shoebill.
  • Nature trails around the Camp.
  • Overnight Fly Camping – The Lodge offers overnight fly camping at many locations. You will be accompanied by a ranger/guide, cook and porters who will carry your camping equipment. Hear the night time “noise” of the African bush; witness the carpet of stars with no ambient light. The experience of a lifetime.
  • After 4 nights (or as many as you would like) transfer by private vehicle to Mikumi National Park – approx 2 hours.
  • Stanley’s Kopje for 2 x days/nights on a full board basis and includes game drives. Stanley’s Kopje resides over the best game viewing area of the park, the Mwanamboga waterhole. The main dining/bar/sitting areas enjoying fine 360 degree views over the surrounding Mikumi wilderness, whilst the 12 spacious en-suite tents are scattered around the lower perimeter of the hill, with stunning views across the plains.
  • Mikumi National Park has a high concentrations of game, with large herds of Nyasa Blue Wildebeest, buffalo, impala, zebra and giraffe. Where there are large herds, there are always plenty of predators (lion, leopard) waiting for dinner. With over 400 species of birds in the Park there is plenty to keep any bird enthusiast interested. Excursions are on a shared basis.
  • After 2 days/nights you will have a 6 hour drive, with picnic lunch and passing through interesting towns and villages to the coastal town of Bagamoyo. (Flight option also available.) From here you will have a short boat trip to the island which hosts Lazy Lagoon.
  • Lazy Lagoon for 4 x nights on a full board basis. Your own private island in the Indian Ocean where the waves lap the white sandy beach just metres from your bed. Lazy Lagoon features 12 en suite beach “bandas” (thatched cottages) with unimpeded sea views and access straight on to the beach. The main dining and living area is spacious and airy, with high ceilings and cool wooden floors; the perfect escape from the midday sun. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here, with each table enjoying sea views. There is a swimming pool located in front of the dining/bar area. Activities include sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and, of course, swimming. Trips can be made to the historic town of Bagamoyo where Livingstone, Speke, Burton & Stanley started their explorations of East Africa.
  • On your last day you will have the short boat transfer to the mainland and then a 2 hour road transfer to Dar es Salaam for your return flight.


Based on 2 people (Double/Twin accommodation) = £2,080.00 per person.

Based on 4 people (2 x Double/Twin accommodation) = £1,830.00 per person.

Costs Include:

  • Accommodation and board basis as described above.
  • All road transfers with exclusive use of a vehicle, driver and fuel costs.
  • Excursions, Park & Conservation Fees at Stanley’s Kopje

Costs Exclude:

  • International flights.
  • Excursions, guide & ranger fees and Park Fees at Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp. We can quote on different excursions & associated fees.
  • Visa, travel insurance.

Tanzania Trails is ideal for families seeking a gentle African adventure. We suggest a minimum age of 8 years. There are generous reductions for children aged under 12 years sharing with parents.


Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

I’m writing from the 7 seater Cessna flying back from the Selous Game Reserve to Zanzibar.

The safari was amazing. We didn’t want to leave.

Rufiji River Camp is perfectly located on the banks of the Rufiji River. From our tent we watched hippos and crocodiles in the water or sunning themselves on the sand banks, and herds of elephant and giraffe on the other bank.

We saw so many animals, and very few tourists. I hope not too many tourists find out about Selous! Although I understand from talking to other people that the concentration of animals in the more famous parks is greater and so you see more animals more frequently, but also lots more tourists which they said detracts from the safari experience.

We did an amazing full day excursion – so much varied game – with picnic lunch beside the River. Having longer allowed us to go further and find more animals. I think it depends on the day and where the animals are. We certainly saw more varied landscape by driving further away from camp and up in to the forested hills. Our amazing driver/guide, Nelson, knew how to keep the boys interested for the full day.

The third day we did the early morning safari and saw less animals although being in the bush in the early morning was beautiful.

Lance had a 12th birthday to remember. Various email greetings sent via Peta, the Camp Manager (the perfect hostess) were presented to him and told that a giraffe had delivered them in the mail!!! The day started with a bush breakfast – interrupted by 20 elephants who wanted to share – and finished after dinner with a freshly baked cake brought by the staff singing a Swahili birthday song. It is going to be hard to top this birthday.

The three days in the Selous must rate up there with the best holiday experiences we have ever had.

Antonio, Mrredith, Lance and Milan from Madrid.

Jane & Christopher Castle

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017

It is now some months since we returned from the wonderful holiday you organised which truly exceeded our expectations.

Having negotiated the “interesting” vagaries of the Airport (no baggage carousel here, just neatly stacked cases and our choice of patterned blue cases made the job of finding them easy) we were transferred to Mizingani Seafront Hotel, our room on the 3rd floor had the most wonderful views over the ocean and port. Between excursions the courtyard swimming pool was much appreciated.

There was so much more to do than we anticipated, helped greatly by Alawi from GTI, your agent on the island. A polite, punctual, knowledgeable, informative man. He took us on a guided walking of Old Stone Town, through the labyrinth of narrow streets where we learned about the intricately carved wooden doors, the history of key buildings and about the mix of people that have built up the population over the centuries. We chose to visit the exhibition of the slave trade and went on to experience the sights and smells of the market too.

After a break for some lunch, Alawi met us again to take us to Prison Island, a half hour boat trip from Town. The island has served various functions; a prison, an isolation area for contagious diseases, and during Colonial times the Government Guest House was available to senior British officials to spend weekends with friends and families. The giant tortoises, thought to have been brought from Mauritius and reputably over 300 years old.

One evening we had booked a meal at the Tea House restaurant at Emerson On Hurumzi Hotel and knew to get there early to see the sunset. There’s quite a climb up to the top but the view over Stone Town and out to sea is wonderful. The sunset did not disappoint! Throughout the meal, we were gently led through a cultural story by the waiters, music, dance and the food. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable evening.

It was an early start to get to the airport for flights to Selous Game Reserve staying at Rufiji River Camp. We arrived before 9:30 and were straight out on a drive. The temperature was perfect. Not too hot and a bit of a breeze when in the jeep. We had the head guide, Frank, to spot the animals and he did an amazing job, finding us a pride of 12 lions with cubs that walked within feet of the jeep. We enjoyed the variety of drives and boat safaris especially eating breakfast or lunch in the bush after setting out early for the day.

The tents were large and clean and the main camp area had beautiful views over the River Rufiji, perfectly positioned to see the sun go down over the distant hills. The food was tasty and there was a choice of main evening meals to suit us both. Electricity was only on at certain times of the day so a power pack is handy for charging batteries. We were sad to leave the beauty and remoteness of the camp. A rare window of blissful time with no internet or television.

It’s great to be with a person who loves their job and the pilot flying us out of the reserve was one of them. He couldn’t help sharing his love of flying and thankfully we do too, as the small planes are an experience!

Alawi again met us at the airport and transferred us to Kendwa where we were staying at The Gold Zanzibar Hotel. It was interesting to see the real Zanzibar en route and made us realise how the majority of Zanzibaris are living.

Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa is a comfortable, beautifully manicured hotel on a fabulous beach.

The rooms are large if a little unusual with the painted concrete bed surround, floor and bath.

We were able to relax on the best sunbeds we had encountered anywhere and indulge in our books and watching the world go by.

There was a buffet style meal for all inclusive guests which was good, with lots of dishes being freshly cooked for you but it did become a little monotonous after a few days. We did eat at the à la carte restaurant for one evening where the food was delicious.

The hotel is working with the local community to improve the education provision and local maternity and paediatric services. They do a weekly walk with guests to the village to see the hospital and school. Had we known this prior to our trip, we would have certainly packed some resources to give to the school which was operating with very little.

Sadly, all holidays come to an end and we have to return to work to save up for the next adventure. We would have no hesitation in using Zanzibar Travel again and I have already started dreaming of where might be our next destination.

Jane & Christopher Castle – Felixstowe – Travelled in July 2017


Posted on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

As we expected, the hustle and bustle was a far cry from tranquility of Paje, but so, so interesting.

It is also a far cry from the Stone Town I visited 20 years ago.

Most of the narrow streets are now paved. Many more shops have opened, a lot selling mementos of Zanzibar, especially wood carvings, the unique Zanzibar chests, and “tinga tinga” art. A much wider range of restaurants have opened serving international as well as local dishes. So many more houses have been restored, many of them being transformed in to boutique hotels.

Stone Town, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the restoration of houses and transformation in to hotels are strictly controlled so as to retain the original appearance. But as in many places around the world, money can get you around rules and regulations, as witnessed by the development of an internationally branded chain hotel on the seafront.

Our hotel, Mizingani Seafront Hotel, has been converted from the original Custom’s House, my grand father’s office during his time as Commissioner of Customs during the 1950’s. The restoration has been done really tastefully. Our Family Room on the top floor was the size of a tennis court, with views to die for.

Alawi from Grand Travel International (Zanzibar Travel agent on the island) went out of his way to make the 3 hour town tour interesting for the boys. They learned so much about the history and culture of Zanzibar, the slave trade, the centre for exporting (often poached) ivory, the island’s heyday as the worlds leading exporter of cloves and other spices, the history and origins of Zanzibar doors, etc.

During the tour there was the inevitable retail stop!

Meals most nights were at The Spice Route, and we have to agree with Zanzibar Travel’s advice that the curries are as good as one gets anywhere. Lance was in to the spiciest dishes available, though they were not chilli hot – and the restaurant coped with Milan’s need for non spicy food.

Antonio, Meredith, Lance & Milan from Madrid.


Posted on Friday, August 25th, 2017

Having spent time over the last few days watching people take beginners scuba diving lessons in the pool right on our doorstep, it was time for the 2 boys to have a go.

They completed a Bubblemaker PADI class and now have certificates to say they completed the first stage to becoming scuba divers. They loved it, unfortunately, as it’s another expensive sport which Mum & Dad will have to fork out for.

Zala Park is a small reserve founded by a local man, Mr Mohammed, with the intention of educating local children about preserving endangered species, and the need for preservation. It still serves that function but now also attracts many visitors. The relatively small entrance fee helps maintain and develop the park. The animal species are mainly different types of reptiles, snakes, lizards and crabs. It is set in lush vegetation trees such as orange, lime, grapefruit, nutmeg, banana, ginger, chillies, black pepper and cinnamon.

This evening we have to say our farewells to some people we have become fond of in the last few days. Particularly, Penda, the waitress at Ocean Restaurant where we have breakfast who loves Milan. And Smi, or Little Man, a boy about 4/5 years old who the boys have adopted. He is very cute.

Its going to be tough to leave Paje as we are very comfortable here. I know that Stonetown will be very different..more work, but good too. I am very proud of the boys at how they are dealing with being out of any previously encountered environment… they are doing it very naturally. I think Stone Town may be a test… we shall see.

Antonio, Meredith, Lance & Milan – from Madrid


Posted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

It is time to take advantages of some of the activities offered on the south east coast of Zanzibar around the
village of Paje.

Zanzibar is very tidal, rising and falling in excess of 2 meters. There is a reef which runs around most of the island and in most places it is about a kilometer from the shore. At low tide the water recedes to the reef. In some locations, at low tide, there are lagoons which are ideal for snorkeling.

First some snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon organised by Wycliff of Buccaneer Diving, the dive centre adjacent to our apartment. Lance and Milan acted as the “anchor men” – lowering and raising the anchor as instructed by Juma, our skipper, when stopping at snorkeling locations.

The sky and water so blue, and the water so, so clear.

Paje is called the kite surfing capital of Zanzibar, a sport which has really taken off on the island and considered one of the best places for kite surfing anywhere in the world. This is because of the (almost) guaranteed breezes which prevail for much of the year, the northeast winds (known locally as the Kaskazi) blow from November/December to February/March, and the southwest winds (the Kusi) from June to September/October.

So, the boys had their first lesson of kite surfing – learning how to fly and control the kite from the beach.

That was enough activity for one day. Next will be some excursions further afield.

Meredith, Antonio, Lance & Milan – from Spain.


Posted on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

We arrived on Zanzibar yesterday with Qatar Airways, on schedule, early afternoon – and just so you know, visas obtained on arrival now have to be paid by credit card, Visa or Master Card.

A warm welcome at the airport by Ali Said (who I remember from 20 years ago – still the consummate gentleman) and Alawi from GTI, your agent on the island, who thoughtfully took us to the market to buy fruit, much needed after the long flight from Madrid, via Doha.

The drive to Paje Beach Apartments on the south east coast took about an hour, passing through the Jozani Forest where we were lucky to see a group of five Colobus monkeys. Milan said they were a family because they all looked the same! We will see many more on our safari in the Selous Game Reserve.

The apartment is comfortable and functional, perfect for a family and only a few yards from the beach, and right next to the swimming pool used by the dive centre.

Thank you for booking us in at Ocean Restaurant for dinner last night, literally on our doorstep. This morning a very late rise, beds are so, so comfy and we needed the sleep after the flight.

It has been a relaxing day familiarising ourselves with the area, and Paje village. A long walk south on the powder white beach, past all the kite surfers, and dipping in for swims along the way in the beautiful warm water.

Antonio and the boys were invited to join in a soccer match taking place on the beach. The local players have quite exceptional ball skills, and Lance commented on how cleanly and fairly they play, with no heroics and showing off – unlike the players back home in Spain – particularly our least favourite man – Ronaldo.

Lance then proceeded to tread on a sea urchin. The long established Zanzibari method of removing sea urchin spines came in to play. Small pin prick above the spine, 5 minute application of the sap of a raw papaya, band aid applied. It is believed that papaya has antiseptic qualities. Next morning the spine had come out. Amazing!!

After just one day it has reminded me of how helpful and gentle the local people are on Zanzibar.

MEREDITH, ANTONIO, LANCE (nearly 12) AND MILAN (9 years)

KENYA SAFARI – JANUARY 2017 – Peter & Linnet Brown from London

Posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Dear Michael & Natalie,

We are now back, after our very successful 9 day safari in Kenya taking in Samburu National Reserve, Olpejeta Conservancy, Lake Nakuru National Park and the Masai Mara.

I am writing to thank you for making the arrangements, and to give you some feedback.

Travel Arrangements. These all worked exactly as programmed by your agent in Kenya, Chameleon Tours, which proved most reliable. The internal flights worked well : the small planes were 12 seaters and exciting, although their time tables were a bit flexible and depended on the number of passengers and stops. We were very happy also to travel by road between camps. Apart from the cost savings, we experienced Africa and felt more a part of it rather than just tourists. But– the journeys were long and a lot of the roads were very basic!

Drivers and guides. Throughout, except on one occasion, we had our own personal driver and guides. Chameleon provided us with a driver/ guide, Davis, who accompanied and looked after us up until the Karen Blixen Camp. He proved a good traveling companion and was keen to discuss Kenya generally. The Laikipia Camp and Karen Blixen Camp (Masai Mara ), insisted on using their own guides who were both very good.

Accommodation. All camps had very good facilities and food. They were different in their styles.

Elephants Bedroom (Samburu) was probably the most like camping in the bush as it used to be (elephants round the tent at night) and we managed to see leopard – very exciting!!

Kicheche Laikipia Camp was small, and very personal, like staying in someone’s home, with great attention to detail and particularly excellent food- a throwback to colonial entertaining- game came very close, coming across the dam next to the camp.

Mweha Camp ( Nakuru) was quiet and a long way from the game park. It was large and well appointed; The accommodation was in huts rather than tents. Good, but perhaps the least attractive.

Karen Blixen Camp (Masai Mara) was probably the best organised AND located of the camps, with masses of hippos across the river. The facilities and services are modern and excellent, although we found our “personal waiter” rather over enthusiastic.

Conservancies v National Park. Conservancies are better because, frankly, they are more exclusive and have restrictions on the number of vehicles that can chase after each other when an animal is spotted. Also the National Parks are expensive for a 24 hour ticket, which you have to buy, and which is not consistent with the pointlessness of driving around mid- day. We found early morning drives the best in every way.

Animals. We saw all the game we could wish for, up close (a bit too close on one occasion when a large baboon got into our vehicle!). We were able to watch animal behaviour, especially elephants, lions and leopard, as well as ticking off our “I spy” lists.

Peter & Linnet Brown – London

Bucket List Item Ticked

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

From Ian & Judy Jary – November 2016

Good evening Michael & Natalie,

We returned yesterday from our two weeks in Tanzania/Zanzibar. I cannot stress strongly enough how good the holiday was, it was truly amazing.

The Safari part of the holiday far exceeded our expectations, the two camps were nice and quiet with only 20-24 guests at the most, just what we wanted. The staff were excellent, very attentive and could not do enough to please us.

We saw plenty of, and a wide variety of game both land based, and water based, and fortunate enough to see two leopards in the Ruaha National Park.


The lion cubs in Selous Game Reserve were a treat. Mother was nearby keeping an eye on things.


Special mention should go to Lake Manze Tented Camp, it was unbelievable, brilliant location, the 2 managers were excellent, our guide and driver were brilliant. There were many seasoned safari guests that we met who all said that the camp was the best they had visited. It has everything, driving, boating and walking Safaris. And a great birthday cake!



Breezes Beach club was a lovely oasis in Zanzibar, we both had a lovely relaxing time. The evening meals had a theme every evening and it was excellent. Drinks were a bit pricey! We did enjoy the Spice Farm tour.

The Mizingani Hotel was lovely, great character and good location, breakfast was nice. We were in the Freddie Mercury room, it was a bit noisy in the morning when the staff were setting up for breakfast. But the character of the Hotel and service made up for this Your agent, GTI and Alawi were fantastic, arranged everything we asked and he was very knowledgeable. To summarise, a fabulous holiday and a bucket list item ticked off. Please do not hesitate to pass on my e-mail address to any potential clients.

Ian Jary


Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

kisampa1A Special Place for Nature Lovers.

Located on the mainland of Tanzania opposite Zanzibar, so just a 20 minute flight away from Zanzibar, we consider Kisampa Bush Retreat is something very special.

Situated on a remote hilltop on the border of Saadani National Park, and with a vista of the plains below, Kisampa accommodates just 14 guests in 6 open sided thatched bungalows each with hand crafted furniture and verandah with spectacular views. Each bungalow has its own private bathroom set into the surrounding bush and open to the stars. To accommodate families, a “star gazer” tent can be erected next to the bungalows. There’s also a spacious communal bungalow for relaxing at Kisampa.

kisampa2Kisampa is a private community conservation sanctuary. Because it’s their own sanctuary, you won’t bump into other safari-goers anywhere on Kisampa conservancy. The experience is intimate and personal. Being located just outside the Park, it does not have the high costs of safari camps located within parks/reserves, hence its accommodation rates are very reasonable. It does not have the restrictions of a national park/reserve so long bush walks, canoeing, bird watching from a viewing platform, picnics at a beach or beach camping are available.

kisampa3From Kisampa full day game excursions in Saadani National Park can be arranged. With a wide variety of game and birds, Saadani is unique in East Africa as it is the only game park which borders an ocean.

Kisampa is about people, with a total of 5 villages and several hundred people being involved in, and benefitting from the sanctuary. Not only does a concession fee for every bed filled go to the community, but just as importantly, all supplies and most staff are from the area. Funds help local schools (the first secondary school in the area has recently been completed) and medical facilities continue to be developed.

Freddie Mercury at 70

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara) was born on 5 September 1946 on what was then the British Protectorate of The Sultanate of Zanzibar.

He would have turned 70 in early September 2016 had he not passed away in 1991 at the age of just 45. Taken far too young.

Farrokh Bulsara’s parents moved from India to Zanzibar where his father worked as a cashier in the High Court. In 1954, at the age of 8, Farrokh was sent to India where he completed his education at St Peter’s English Boarding School just outside Bombay (today Mumbai). It is here his interest in music began, at the age of 12 forming a rock & roll band – “The Hectics”.

It was also during this time he started to us the name “Freddie” rather than his given name.


In early 1963, on the completion of his education in India, Freddie returned to Zanzibar. Little is known to us about what he did for the next year on the island. Given his remarkable talent for music, one could speculate he honed his skills on a number of musical instruments, particularly the piano, an instrument on which he excelled.
January 1964 witnessed one of the bloodiest revolutions in history.
The islands population were mainly African, but the majority of wealth and governance lay with the minority Arab & Indian population.

The revolution overthrew the then Sultan, ending nearly 300 years of Zanzibar being ruled by an Oman dynasty. The exact number of Arabs and Indians who were slain is not known, but it does run in to 5 figures.
The revolution saw the mass exodus of the remaining Arabs and Indians, including the Bulsara Family who fled Zanzibar and migrated to England.

In England, Freddie enrolled at art school and obtained a diploma in Art & Graphic Design, subsequently played with several bands until 1970 when the group, Queen, was formed. And the rest is history…

Surprisingly Zanzibar does not dwell excessively on its association with one of the greatest rock musicians of all time.

There are a few buildings which, rightly or not, claim to have been where the Bulsara Family lived – and they may well have lived in different abodes.

There is one restaurant called Mercury’s, near “the big tree” (a local landmark) and close to the harbour from which Freddie and his Family would have sailed from the island.


A dhow departs from Zanzibar at sunset

(We regret that copyright laws do not allow us to include an image of Freddie Mercury. But people who lived through the era of Queen do not need an image – Freddie in his pomp & glory will live forever in our minds.)

Unbeatable Prices on Sultan Palace Hotel

Posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

sultan palace hotelSultan Palace Hotel is arguably the best-located beach hotel on the island with magnificent views over the ocean.

Our long-standing and fruitful relationship with Sultan Palace has resulted in Zanzibar Travel being granted the most favourable rates offered to guests.

We can now offer unrivaled prices at this exclusive “boutique” hotel.

sultan palace hotel zanzibarEach of the extremely spacious Suites are inspired by the rounded shapes of the Nautilus shell. Each Suite is decorated differently, with unique drapes and local furnishings as well as some Omani antiques. The Imperial & Ocean Suite’s private terraces overlook the ocean and allow direct access to 20 km of sandy beach; Garden Suites overlook the lush exotic gardens. Jasmine, Frangipani, Passion Flower are the evocative names of some of the suites, recalling the plants and flowers in the Suites respective gardens.

zanzibar travelNo better way to start the day is with breakfast, looking out over the ocean, served on the balcony of the impressive circular main building. Food-wise things get better with a sumptuous lunch served at the Beach Restaurant. After a swim, or a nap, afternoon tea with home made cake/biscuits is served beside the swimming pool. In the evening, gather for cocktails before making your way up the semi-circular staircase to the grand dining room for a la carte dinner.

zanzibar sultan palace hotelPlenty of opportunity to work all this off by walking for miles along the palm fringed beach. It is one of the very few hotels on the island where swimming is possible at low tide in the large lagoon in front of the hotel which provides good snorkelling. Or a gentle swim in the Hotel’s pool.

Our Exclusive rates start at £135.00 per person per day.

Contact us about a holiday


Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2016

We are often asked – “Where is the best place to stay on Zanzibar?”

The answer must be – “It depends what you are looking for”.

zanzibarTo get an idea one needs to understand the geography of the island so we have included a map. The island is about 50 miles long and 25 miles wide.

Assuming people are looking for beach locations, different parts of the island have different types of beaches and different attractions.

Visitors to Zanzibar need to know that the island, and the whole of the East African coast, has extreme tides. At low tide swimming in the ocean is limited, but lovely to walk out towards the reef through the pools. At high tide the ocean is warm with gentle waves. Snorkeling off the beach is very limited – best to go out beyond the reef with scuba dive boats.

THE SOUTH EAST COAST (the bottom right hand side of the map). This is where one gets the long stretches of palm fringed beach with powder soft sand. The northern part of this stretch has been ranked by Conde Naste Traveller in the top 30 beaches in the world. This is the kite surfing “capital” on Zanzibar. Scuba diving and snorkelling beyond the reef is rewarding. Top tip. Hire bicycles to ride for miles along the beach calling in at villages along the way. Visit Zala Park nature reserve. Hotels on this stretch include Sultan Palace Hotel, – Breezes Beach Club & Spa, – Echo Beach Hotel, – Zanzibar Ocean Blue, – Arabian Nights Suites.

THE SOUTH COAST – is more coves and bays rather than extensive stretches of beach. As such, less populated with hotels. Top tips. Hump back whales muster during July/August. Some interesting villages to visit. Diving and snorkelling is good. Hotels we use are Unguja Lodge and Fumba Beach Lodge both of which organise dolphin viewing trips.

zanzibar north east coastTHE NORTH EAST COAST (top right hand side of the map). Also long stretches of beach, particularly further north. Many hotels have been developed on this stretch, but visitors can still find seclusion. Very good diving and snorkelling around the Mnemba Atoll. Good kite surfing. Hotels we favour on the North East Coast are Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa, – Shooting Star Lodge, – Sultan Sands Hotel, – Next Paradise Boutique Hotel, Azanzi Hotel, – Green & Blue Hotel.

NORTH COAST – NUNGWI – The beach in the fishing village of Nungwi is, obviously, shared with local people. There are a wide variety of marine activities on offer. Apart from the beach things to do include a visit to the small turtle sanctuary, guided village tours, watch dhows being built in the traditional way, hire bikes to explore the north. Of the many hotels in Nungwi we like Flame Tree Cottages, – The Z Hotel, – Langi Langi Beach Bungalows and for an international style hotel, Double Tree By Hilton, Nungwi.

north coast nugngwiNORTH EAST COAST – This stretch of coast, south of Nungwi village, is least affected by the extreme tides which are experienced on the whole of the East Coast of Africa. Along this stretch there are a number of very large All Inclusive hotels, as well as some back-packer type hotels which we do not use. Some of the hotels we use are La Gemma Del’EstHideaway of Nungwi – and probably our favourite – Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa.


Book your perfect Zanzibar Holiday today


Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

On the mainland coast of Tanzania, opposite Zanzibar, so just a 20-minute flight.

Mawimbi Villa

Mawimbi Villa is a magnificent 6 bedroom house with all rooms benefiting from air-conditioning and en-suite facilities.

Tastefully furnished in a contemporary style it is the epitome of high-class accommodation and a perfect retreat for an extended family, or groups of up to 12 people, wishing to enjoy complete privacy and high levels of service. It is totally self-contained, with a swimming pool; dedicated team of staff and has high-speed internet.

Mawimbi Villa 2

Your own Chef – Your private chef will prepare fresh meals tailored to the specific needs of the group. Of course he has access to the freshest seafood you will find anywhere coming straight from the local fishermen. The chef can accommodate any dietary needs of the guests and will ensure something different, interesting and tasty will be prepared for each meal.

All of the 6 en-suite bedrooms are lavishly furnished and exceptional proportions. Additional beds can be added to provide family rooms.

Mawimbi Villa 4

All-inclusive – Accommodation is on an all-inclusive basis, and the Villa is occupied on an exclusive basis ensuring total privacy the guests.

Activities Include

  • A day long excursion can be taken to Saadani National Park which can include a canoe trip to view crocodiles and hippopotami.
  • Visit the historic town of Pangani at the mouth of the Pangani River, once a major terminus of caravan routes to the deep interior of Tanzania, as well as an important centre of the slave trade.
  • Marine activities including scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and deep sea fishing.

Getting to Mawimbi Villa

There are several airlines with daily flights from Zanzibar and from Dar es Salaam to Pangani

Airstrip. It is then just a 20 minute road transfer to Mawimbi Villa.

Rates & Availability

Do get in touch with us for rates and availability and for any more information about the wonderful Mawimbi Villa.

If you’d like to know more about Zanzibar Holidays contact us today on 01242 222 027.


Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Located on the mainland of Tanzania in an area known as the ‘Swahili Coast’, this hidden gem is only a 20 minute flight from the island of Zanzibar.

The “Sunday Times” rated Tides Lodge as one of the top six “secret beaches of the world” (we have never been very good at keeping secrets!)


The Tides offers a unique combination of idyllic beaches, access to the historic town of Pangani and yet close enough for a days safari in Saadani National Park. Three holidays combined into one!

The small, intimate lodge of just 9 cottages is set on a palm fringed and secluded beach giving the guests the feeling of peace and exclusivity. Guests can walk for miles each way from the Lodge passing only the occasional friendly local fisherman. The Lodge itself is deliberately low key and relaxed, yet offering the very best levels of service and cuisine. Staff are all employed from the local villages and take great pride in their jobs.

The Lodge itself is deliberately low key and relaxed, yet offering the very best levels of service and cuisine. Staff are all employed from the local villages and take great pride in their jobs.

There are a host of activities to occupy your time – if that is what you like – including excellent snorkelling, scuba diving as well as other water based activities such as kayaking and surf skiing. Big game fishing is available both for beginners and the experienced. Day trips can be arranged to the nearby Saadani National Park which boasts a diverse array of flora, fauna and animals. Cultural excursions to the historic and unspoiled town of Pangani is a fabulous experience.


Tides Lodge has a range of accommodation including beach front cottages, a honeymoon suite and a two bedroom family cottage. The seven bright and breezy individual en-suite cottages are set among the palms overlooking the sea; each has a private secluded sunbathing area. The honeymoon suite, set in a private location, is on 2 levels – downstairs is a lounge area and bathroom and the first floor bedroom enjoys a large balcony overlooking the gardens to the ocean. The family house is beach fronted and has 2 large double bedrooms, a central living area and a dining table for private dining and can accommodate up to 6 people. Outside there is a large veranda and private beach area with parasols.

The Tides Lodge offers a rare and wonderful escape from the frantic pace of everyday life – with only the sound of the ocean waves as a distraction, rest and relaxation is obligatory.


Getting to Zanzibar

Posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2015

There are no direct flights from the UK to Zanzibar, or to Tanzania.

The most direct flights are from London – Heathrow (LHR). Some airlines fly from regional airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Obviously flight prices vary according to which airline and time of year. At the very best, about £550.00 per person. At worst, about £850.00 per person during July/August and Xmas time. Price will be higher the later bookings are made. Our advice is that we book your flights as early as possible to get favourable flight prices.
The options to Zanzibar (ZNZ) are:

QATAR AIRWAYS – One of the most direct. Overnight flight to Doha with morning connection to Zanzibar. Relatively short transit in Doha in both directions. LHR – DOHA approx 6.5 hours and then DOHA to Zanzibar about 6 hours. Return flight departs Zanzibar late afternoon to Doha with relatively short connection time for flight to LHR arriving early morning. Qatar Airways have a good reputation. qatarairways
KENYA AIRWAYS – Overnight flights to Nairobi then morning connection to Zanzibar. LHR – NBO about 8.5 hours then 1.40 minutes NBO – ZNZ. Return flight departs Zanzibar at the very unsocial hour of 04.25 getting in to LHR the same evening. Transit in Nairobi in both directions. The LHR – NBO – LHR sectors are on relatively new Dreamliners. The shortest travel time, but often more expensive than other airlines. kenya
OMAN AIR – Late evening out of LHR to Muscat connecting on to Zanzibar arriving early afternoon. The return flight departs Zanzibar very early morning, transit in Muscat & in to LHR in the evening. LHR – Muscat approx 6.5 hours and then Muscat to Zanzibar about 6 hours. Usually well priced. oman
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES – Quite a long travel time as there are relatively long transit times in both directions at Addis Ababa. Evening departure from LHR to Addis Ababa with morning connection, via Kilimanjaro arriving ZNZ early afternoon. Return is out of ZNZ early afternoon to Addis Ababa then a long transit for the early morning flight to LHR. Ethiopian

Other airlines fly in to Dar es Salaam.

It does make for an additional transit, but gives a wider choice of airline. After going through entry formalities on arrival in Dar es Salaam (DAR) it is a 20 minute flight to Zanzibar.

EMIRATES – Overnight flight to Dubai with connection to DAR arriving early afternoon. Return is late evening out of DAR, connecting to LHR arriving early morning. Relatively short transit in Dubai in both directions. LHR – Dubai approx 6.5 hours and then Dubai to DAR about 6.5 hours. Emirates is a tried and tested brand. Emirates-Airlines-logo-vector
KENYA AIRWAYS – Travel time is longer, but flights with Kenya Airways to/from Dar es Salaam are sometimes less priced than in to/out of Zanzibar – even taking in to account the cost of the connecting internal flight DAR – ZNZ – DAR. kenya
QATAR AIRWAYSThe only airline which connects well for people going on to the Selous Game Reserve for their safari. Afternoon flight from LHR to Doha connecting to DAR with early morning arrival. Return flight is out of ZNZ so avoiding an internal flight to DAR. Relatively short transit in Doha in both directions. LHR – Doha approx 6.5 hours and then Doha to DAR about 6.5 hours. qatarairways
ETIHAD AIRWAYSNew route from 1 December 2015 – some good introductory offers. Overnight flight to Muscat with connection to DAR arriving early afternoon. Return is early afternoon out of DAR with quite a long transit in Muscat, arriving LHR early morning. LHR – Muscat approx 6.5 hours and then Muscat to DAR about 6.5 hours. etihad
TURKISH AIRLINES – For the budget traveller (as prices are usually the lowest) – the down side is very unsocial hours. Flights are via Istanbul, where there are reasonable transit times, but arrival in to DAR is at 03.00 – no lounges open so have to hang around the concourse until 07.00. Departure from DAR for the return is 04.00 – all lounges, etc, close prior to midnight, so on the concourse again. But often far less priced than other airlines. turkish
SWISS AIRWe very rarely use Swiss. Departure from LHR is 06.00 – so latest check-in 04.00 – transit in Zurich – arriving in DAR at 22.05. This means an overnight in Dar es Salaam before connecting on to Zanzibar, or Selous Game Reserve. Transit times in Zurich are very short so any delay to the incoming flight means missing the connecting flight. swiss


Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Dear Michael & Natalie,

HyenaWe just wanted to say thank you so very much for organising a completely wonderful trip. Everything you arranged happened as and when it should, no delays, no problems – it really was “seamless.”

Our safari was amazing, we were collected from the airstrip and transferred to the camp by boat, a super start, and it only got better – unable to make afternoon tea on our first day due to a herd of elephant on our path – fanatstic!

We saw an astonishing variety of birds and animals. Angela and all the staff at Rufiji were very friendly and welcoming, our guides (please forgive my spelling) Mtele and Hasanni were extremely knowledgeable and our masai guide Kotepu a comforting presence.

Zanzibar is beautiful. The Shooting Star Lodge is lovely, as are all the staff. Elly is charming, and Emilie is looking forward to seeing you in November. We must mention Murj, his happy smiling welcome down on the beach each morning was great.


What a treasure Alawi from GTI is, we did a tour of Stone Town and visited a spice farm with him, a real font of knowledge and excellent guide in a very interesting country.

This holiday exceeded all our expectations, you got every aspect just right.

Our sincerest thanks,

Colin & Anne Gordon


Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2015

Dear Michael,

Thank you for following up with us about the trip. We had a truly marvelous time. What a wonderful place Zanzibar is! We had heard many good things about the island before our traveling there, but I must say that our expectations were exceeded.

The beaches are indeed as beautiful as they appear in photos; the food is outstanding; the people are incredibly friendly; and the culture and history are really interesting.

We were very satisfied with all aspects of the trip and already hope to visit Zanzibar again someday in the future.

Thanks for your assistance in planning the holiday. We will be glad to complete a (positive) evaluation form whenever it arrives in the mail.



The Sorensen family from Norway

Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Dear Michael & Natalie

We have just arrived home a couple of hours ago. What a holiday!!!!! Many thanks for your help. Your experience was an important contribution to this success. Sultan Palace was paradise for us and Paola and her staff were fantastic. We enjoyed two days snorkeling on the reef in the blue lagoon. The children loved the Imperial suite and the food was excellent.


After such a good experience we wondered what to meet at Rufiji river Camp. It was as good as Sultan Palace. We enjoyed it very very much. The camp was nice, the staff veery nice, our guide Stephen from Ngorongoro was exceptional and Angela nice but a little bit stressed. The food was excellent and the games was unforgettable. We enjoyed both driving games, boat safari and walking safari. We love Impalas and Giraffes which there was hundreds of. We were lucky and got the opportunity to see a lot of different animals. Large herds of elephants and buffalos, not to mention all the crocks, hippos and lions.


Stone Town and spice tour also was nice, but in comparison with Sultan Palace and Rufiji River Camp it is not what we will remember most. But it was a fine interception between those two. Personally I liked the airstrip at Rufiji River Camp. Full of baboons and Impalas and in the middle of the bush.

We have wonderful memories for the rest of our lives.

Many thanks



Posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

door1“When I was a child living on Zanzibar I just assumed all houses had big wooden doors with metal studs in them.”
(Michael Sweeney of Zanzibar Travel)

It is only when I returned many decades later that I realised the significance, and beauty, of the Zanzibar doors which adorn houses and hotels in historic Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During your visit, no doubt you will take photographs of doors in their varies stages of neglect or restoration. It is worth having some idea of what they are all about, which I did not know until quite recently.

The larger and more elaborate the door, the greater the wealth, social significance and status of the owner who built the house. The intricate carving, usually surrounding the door, told passers by something about the trade of the owner of the house.

In those days there were no office blocks so business was transacted from the home of merchants and traders. For example, those in the slave trade would invariably have carvings of chains. Geometric patterns tended to indicate the owners were in the finance business, usually accountants or money lenders.

Carvings also have other symbolic significance, for example:

  • Flowers indicate it was a family home.
  • Rope and/or fish carvings indicated the occupant was in the fishing trade.
  • Vines – that the owner was in the spice trade.

There are 2 basic types/shapes of the wonderful Zanzibar doors:

  • Indian Doors. These can be identified by the arched shapes above the door, and the metal (usually brass) protruding spikes.
  • Arabic Doors. These are generally rectangular in shape, the carvings are often excerpts of scripts from the Quran, and/or indicating their trade or profession. These tend to have ornamental brass studs rather than spikes.

door2 door3

So, why do Indian doors have spikes?

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 16.03.39It is said they are to protect elephants pushing the door down and entering the house. But there have never been elephants on Zanzibar. The spikes replicate the doors of the houses they, or their forefathers, had left in India (where there are elephants) before making a new life on Zanzibar.

For those with a bit more time, and interest – one more thing to look out for.

You know how trades/professions today tend to gather in a similar place in the commercial centres of towns and cities around the world. High street banks are close to each other. Estate agents are close to each other. The same on Zanzibar centuries ago.

Different trades and professions gathered in distinct parts of Town. Look for similar carvings/symbols along one street, then another street will have a number of houses with carvings/symbols representing a different profession or trade.

When in Stone Town, look for a book on Zanzibar Doors at the excellent book and souvenir shop, The Gallery, on the corner of Kenyatta Road and Ghizenga Street.

These 2 are from our personal album.


All Inclusive Specials

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2015

The Emerald Collection, members of ‘The Leading Hotels Of The World‘, manage two luxury hotels on Zanzibar.

Very attractive “specials” are being offered for stays throughout 2015 for bookings made by the end of May 2015. Prices exclude international flights.

DREAMS OF ZANZIBAR: 7 nights in a Deluxe Room on an All Inclusive basis for £550.00 per person which includes transfers from/to the Airport by our agent on Zanzibar.


: 7 nights in a Luxury Junior Suite on an All Inclusive basis for £670.00 per person which includes transfers from/to the Airport by our agent on Zanzibar.


Contact us on 01242 222027 or email info@zanzibartravel.co.uk for more information. Should you wish, we can combine a week at one of these luxury properties with other locations on the island.

Selous Game Reserve – The Hidden Gem

Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2015


Mention the Serengeti, mention Ngorongoro Crater, mention Masai Mara and most people will recognise these names from things like “Big Cat Diaries” and many other wildlife programmes and articles.

Mention The Selous Game Reserve and most people will say “where?”

It is for just this reason we consider The Selous to be the hidden gem of East Africa – relatively unfound, so fewer camps/lodges, hence fewer vehicles/people – yet abundant with wildlife and birds.

The most vehicles we have encountered on our many game drives in The Selous is 3 – compared to, on one occasion in the Ngorongoro Crater, we were one of 19 vehicles viewing a lion kill of a zebra; in the Masai Mara there was a virtual traffic jam as word got around there was a leopard in the vicinity.

So, apart from the fact it is relatively uninhabited with visitors, why do we think it provides, probably, the most rewarding safari experience in East Africa?

  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest game reserve in Africa, 4 times larger than the Serengeti, giving a wonderful safari experience to the experienced safari goer as well as people taking a safari for the first time.
  • The Rufiji River, which runs through the park, means it has a wider variety of game and birds than most parks in northern Tanzania and Kenya.
  • Visitors have a wide range of activities including drive safaris, river safaris and guided walks. In other parks/reserves one tends to be vehicle bound.
  • There are 440 known species of birds, the largest population of wild dogs in the world and an amazing concentration of all game, particularly between July and October – but rewarding right through to March. We have seen lion on each of our visits to the Selous, as well as many herds of buffalo and giraffe (my favourite animal, so regal) eland, hyena, sable, hippo, crocodile, kudu, baboon, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, colobus and vervet monkeys. Every one we meet on safari in Selous have sighted leopard – we have yet to see one – just one good reason to keep going back.

Add to these, and many other things, it is easily accessible from both Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar with a relatively short plane journey.

We book at camps located inside the Reserve which have good locations either on the banks of the River, or on the banks of a lake. There are lesser priced camps outside of the Reserve, but they tend to involve quite a long drive to get to the main concentrations of animals. The camps where we make most bookings are Selous Impala Camp, Rufiji River Camp and Lake Manze Tented Camp.

Courtesy Wikipedia:

The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania. It was named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this territory in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I. Scottish explorer and cartographer Keith Johnston also died at Beho Beho in 1879 while leading a RSGS expedition to the Great Lakes of Africa with Joseph Thomson. The Selous was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature.

The reserve covers a total area of 54,600 km2 (21,100 sq mi) and has additional buffer zones. Within the reserve no permanent human habitation or permanent structures are permitted. All (human) entry and exit is carefully controlled by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Some of the typical animals of the savanna (for example elephants, hippopotami, African Wild Dog, cape buffalo and crocodiles) can be found in this park in larger numbers than in any other African game reserve or national park.




At the end of the day, take a seat and have a drink.


Price from £1,435.00 per person (excludes international flights)

  • Early morning arrival in Dar es Selaam with Qatar Airways, met for transfer to the Domestic Terminal – 3 minutes. 10.45 Depart Dar es Salaam. 11.30 Arrive Selous Game Reserve – Mtemere Airstrip.
  • On arrival at the Selous you will be met by a representative from Rufiji River Camp for the short transfer to the Camp.
  • Rufiji River Camp for 3 x days/nights – En-suite tent. Your safari will be on a full board basis (excludes drinks) and includes Reserve and Conservation Fees. You will have a choice of excursions chosen from games drives, river safaris and guided walks. There is normally one excursion in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening. Full day game drives with picnic lunch are also available. Excursions are on a shared basis.
  • After 3 x days/nights transfer to the Airstrip for mid morning flight to Zanzibar. Met on arrival by our agent with exclusive us of a vehicle, driver and English speaking guide. Transfer to Flame Tree Cottages in the fishing village of Nungwi at the north of the island – approx 1 hour.
  • Flame Tree Cottages for 5 x days/nights. Double Room on a bed & breakfast basis. Flame Tree Cottages, set in tropical gardens, fronts on to the ocean. Located in this interesting fishing village, there are things to see/do in addition to relaxation. There are a choice of restaurants and bars for meals.
  • After 5 x days/nights, transfer by our agent to Stone Town.
  • Mizingani Seafront Hotel for 2 x nights. Presidential Suite on a bed & breakfast basis. Located in the heart of historical Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you have a chance to see the “real” Zanzibar.
  • On your last day our agent transfers you to the Airport for your return flight.

The price from £1,435.00 per person includes the safari with excursions, Reserve Fees, internal flights to Selous and back to Zanzibar, all accommodation as described and all transfers by our agent on Zanzibar. The price is based on travel mid January – end March and November to mid December.

A new terminal building is coming

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


Passengers first view of Zanzibar

At the moment the current airport can either be:

  • off-putting to new arrivals on the island expecting similar standards to the airport they left in the “western”world; no carousel but luggage passed through a hole in the wall on to a wooden bench; no shops (though there are a couple of money change outlets); very limited toilet facilities
  • or it can be seen as a wonderful experience of airports of a bygone era (pre-carousel, pre expensive retail outlets, pre Dyson high powered hand driers, etc) and an introduction to Africa.

But all is about to change with a new terminal building due for completion in October 2015 – we will believe that date when we see it!! It is Africa, after all – though even in our “western” world we know that projected completion dates of major building projects are rarely achieved.

The intentions will not only provide passengers with better facilities, cope with an increasing number of passengers, but also to attract new airlines to inaugurate scheduled flights to Zanzibar making it more accessible to people from Europe, South Africa, the Indian sub-continent and beyond. At the moment only 3 international airlines fly in to Zanzibar; Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways and Oman Air.

The upgrading and extension will be able to cope with larger, and more, aircraft at any one time aimed at bringing more tourists to the island to fill the ever increasing number of beds as the new hotels continue to be built.

Over 80 per cent of the island’s foreign exchange earnings come from tourism, hence the Government’s desire to increase the number of visitors.

The extension of the runway has been completed. The new terminal is partly funded by The World Bank, but largely by a long term loan from the Chinese Government – another example of the continued Chinese investment in many parts of Africa.


New terminal under construction

The project, started in February 2011, will provide the island with a truly “international” terminal, yes, carousels, retail outlets, modern toilets (I guess with Dyson power hand driers) spacious departure and arrival halls – but also better working facilities and equipment for an increased number of staff who will be employed.


Impression of the new terminal building

Whilst the airport development will providers travellers with more comfortable arrival and departure facilities, will this be good for Zanzibar and its people?? Those who have an interest in the island and its people certainly hope it will. It will be of benefit if:

  • It will create more employment for local people staffing an enlarged airport.
  • Assuming it attracts more visitors it will increase the revenue to the Government of Zanzibar which imposes significant taxes on hotel occupancy – but will only benefit local people if this increased revenue is invested in, for example:
  • Improving the education system by increasing the number of schools, the fabric and facilities of existing schools, improving basic materials available for schools, improving teacher training and increasing the number of qualified teachers – and more.
  • Improving the health care system, the facilities at existing health care establishments, increasing the number and range of health clinics, recruiting more qualified health care staff – and more.
  • Improving the infrastructure of the island: electricity supply, roads, sanitation, housing – and more.
  • Those hotels experiencing higher occupancy, and new hotels to cope with an increased number of visitors, will recruit staff from the local communities – not only in menial positions but training local people to take on meaningful jobs.

At Zanzibar Travel, we do hope the improved airport facilities will benefit all passengers, not only tourists but travellers from the East African community , and be of a wider benefit to the people of Zanzibar.

~ Michael Sweeney

A return to Zanzibar after 11 years

Posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Shooting Star Lodge pool, our daughter loved it

Shooting Star Lodge pool, our daughter loved it.

Thank you very much for organising us a fantastic holiday in Zanzibar. As per our last visit to the island, everything went very smoothly and your local guys looked after us very well indeed!

We enjoyed re-visiting Nungwi in particular. There have been many changes in eleven years but it retains much the same atmosphere and Flame Tree Cottages was a perfect option for what we wanted. Seif and his team were great!

Shooting star was certainly a beautiful place and our room “with a view” was spectacular indeed. For our needs, it was a little too quiet as there wasn’t a great deal for a seven year old, but she did love that pool.

We had a lovely time and will be happy to recommend you to friends. The next time we contact you will be to do a safari before a shorter break in Nungwi again. We will look forward to it.

Thanks again! Regards,
Ian Cooke.

Zanzibar Travel Notes: In 2003 we booked a holiday for Ian & Kate – the cost was £1,762.00. In late 20014 their holiday cost was £3,651.00. Not all was inflation, this time their 7 year old daughter Matilda, traveled with them.

Leopard Sighting & a Dutch Smoker

Posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

“Yes we did see leopard and Michael has some wonderful photos that he sent to me, I am sure he won’t mind if I ask him to send them on to you. The sighting happened on our last day on safari. No leopard had been seen for over three weeks. We had been out in the morning and had seen a huge group of over 200 elephants along with Eland and Lesser Kudu. Lorenzo decided to try to find a pair of mating lions as a finale and we set out in pursuit. Half was along a track levant his colleague received a call from his mobile and Lorenzo hastily turned around and set off in chase… and at pace! I was hanging on for dear life in the back seat, having tucked away all my camera equipment. We arrived next to a large Baobab tree where Mark ( a fellow Englishman) and his guide and a group of Dutch in another vehicle were eagerly looking up at the tree. We could just make out the head and shoulders of the leopard and waited patiently for a better view.

We noticed that after a time the two Dutch couples were drifting off to sleep apart from one of the group who was evidently itching to smoke a cigarette! He had been warned by Steve, their guide, not to make any noises and by NO account get out of the vehicle. The Dutchman however decided to ignore his advice and got out for his “cigey” regardless! Steve screamed at him, the leopard got up and looked intently at the car and the Dutchman, now very worried looking, got back into the vehicle. We weren’t sure if the cat was going to pounce or scarper! Luckily it decided to choose the later and moved to the back of the tree. Fortunately it settled in a ‘v’ of the tree and we had excellent views for some time before the leopard decided to literally crawl down the tree, rear end first, then stroll away. Wonderful experience followed by a glass of champagne with mark and his guide watching an amazing show of lightening strikes in the distance. An experience I will never forget.”
Martin Gascoigne-Pees


Usambara Mountains

Posted on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The “Switzerland of Tanzania”. Gentle trekking, spectacular views, rain forest, water falls, unspoiled. Accessible from Zanzibar. Contact us for more information.

Zanzibar and Muscat

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

5 nights in Zanzibar, 4 nights in Muscat. Superior accomm- odation, all transfers & flights with Oman Air from £1,600.00 per person.

Zanzibar Action Project (ZAP)

Posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Zanzibar Action Project (ZAP) do all sorts of good work in the village of Jambiani on the south east coast. ZAP is an English based charity. See what they have done and doing on www.zanzibaraction.co.uk where you can also make contributions.

Health Improvement Project Zanzibar

Posted on Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) is centered around the hospital in Makanduchi township on the south of the island. Founded by a surgeon from England in association with a doctor on Zanzibar, HIPZ has not only funded construction projects, but finds health workers from throughout the world to spend time at the hospital. See www.hipz.org.uk

Zanzibar Music Festival

Posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013

Zanzibar Music Festival (Sauti za Busara) is held annually in February. The aim is to bring together musicians from East Africa and beyond to appreciate the uniqueness, wealth & diversity of music from the region, to share this with the public and local musicians. See www.busaramusic.org

Oman Air

Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Now fly to Zanzibar via Muscat. Prices are competative and include an hotel overnight in Muscat on the return.

Top Tips

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Books and Postcards – “The Gallery” on the corner of Kenyatta Road & Ghizenga Street. Owned by the Jafferji Family. Lots of coffee table books with pictures by Javed Jafferji.

Clothing – “One Way” on the right as you go up past the Post Office in Kenyatta Road.

Ghizenga Street – The tourist shopping street for woodwork, metal work , Tinga Tinga paintings and general “tack”. We tend to avoid this street as the shopkeepers and other touts encouraging you to buy becomes a bit annoying.

Best Art Work – Go in to the Old Fort, turn right in to the large grassed courtyard and up stairs in the right corner to an art gallery. Much more imaginative and authentic than you will find in shops.

Best Woodwork – “Zanzibar Souvenir Shop” further back from the main shopping area. Just ask GTI to take you to the shop where Michael buys carved items. They use exclusively recycled timber.

Weddings on Zanzibar

Posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Weddings on Zanzibar – Many hotels will organise weddings. There is quite a lot of administrative work involved, but the hotels will do most of this for the couple. Please contact us for further information.

Scuba Diving

Posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013

The Indian Ocean surrounding Zanzibar is renown for its dive sites. It is our view that one of the most professional dive operators is One Ocean with dive centres in several locations. www.zanzibaroneocean.com

Kite Boarding

Posted on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Kite Boarding – With shallow waters, sandy bottom and constant winds Zanzibar has become an outstanding destination for kite boarding. www.kitecentrezanzibar.com in the village of Paje on the south east coast was the first centre to be established in 2006.


Posted on Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Tides – Zanzibar, and the whole East African coast is very tidal so swimming in the ocean at low tide is limited. For information about tides at the time you may want to travel, see http://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/7156.html


Posted on Sunday, April 21st, 2013

A new venture on the sea front in Stone Town between Africa House Hotel and Serena Inn. 1st floor is an “English Pub”, 2nd floor restaurant (quite expensive) and top floor is a “whiskey and cigar” bar with good sunset views.

More information at http://www.tatuzanzibar.com/


Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The balcony bar at Africa House, written-up in most guide books as the place to be, gets very crowded, visitors even bussed in from beach locations! We tend to go to Serena Inn, drinks are more expensive, but much quieter, attentive service, and you normally get nibbles!

Mafia Island

Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2013

An unspoiled “gem” south of Zanzibar. No large developments. Total relaxation.