Oh, what bliss! I recently had the privilege to spend a relaxing week on beautiful Zanzibar, the magical island off the coast of the United Republic of Tanzania – the largest country on the east coast of Africa. Zanzibar is actually not one island but an archipelago, consisting of Unguja, Pemba and a host of smaller islands, in the Indian Ocean. I flew from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam on South African Airways and then to Zanzibar on Precision Air, but there are many ways of getting there.
My friend Ylva (who joined me from Sweden) and I stayed at the 5 star Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa, which is located in Kiwengwa on Unjuga on the North East Coast, less than an hour’s drive from the airport. The resort (which has 112 rooms) is on the most beautiful 30-acre site with its bedroom cottages located on rising ground overlooking verdant gardens, the public areas, the pool, the more than 1,000 beautiful palm trees, the sparkling white beach and the azure seas beyond. We stayed in a very comfortable Superior Room complete with a balcony, a bathroom with shower, air conditioning, TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and mosquito nets.
We started our days with delicious breakfasts, went on to read books in the shade of a palm tree, had lovely swims in the Indian Ocean and the resort’s big pool, walked on the long beach and indulged in divine buffet style lunches and refreshing drinks (we were on an all-inclusive package which included all meals and most drinks). We also treated ourselves to a couple of relaxing spa treatments. Every evening had something special in store for us to enjoy like a Masaai performance, dancing groups, bands etc, while we were having dinner.
Ylva and I went snorkeling with a group of other guests and instructors to Mnemba one morning, which was just amazing! Mnemba is famous for its rich and diverse marine life. A stunning excursion!
Zanzibar has an interesting history as it has been ruled by Portugal, Arabia and England. The island was famous worldwide for its spices and its slaves. I strongly recommend going on a guided day tour to Stone Town, where you can learn more and explore the narrow streets and crowded markets, it is quite an experience for the senses!
I have been back home in Johannesburg for a while after this trip, but often think back on this utterly relaxing, energy boosting week – away from school lifts, homework and the packing of lunch boxes – in my case made possible by my always helpful mother in law and of course my lovely husband!
Please contact SW Africa if you are interested in finding out more about holidaying in Zanzibar.