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The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world’s five oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi) or ~19.8% of the water on Earth’s surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia to the east. To the south it is bounded by the Southern Ocean or Antarctica depending on the definition in use. Along its core, the Indian Ocean has some large marginal or regional seas such as the Arabian Sea, Laccadive Sea, Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean Islands
From the often-overlooked and largely undeveloped tropical paradise of Pemba Island in the north to the classy utopia of Mafia Island in the south, Tanzania’s tropical east coast islands offer a welcome respite at the end of a rewarding safari. Nestled between Pemba and Mafia is Zanzibar with its eclectic mix of white-sand beaches, warm water, nightlife and powerful cultural history.
LUXURY INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS HOLIDAYS
There’s no better way to end an action-packed Tanzania safari Tours than with a few days blissing out on the beaches and islands of the Indian Ocean. Boasting pristine white sands, swaying palm trees and turquoise waters, they offer a quintessential paradise where you can relax and rejuvenate before heading back to your day-to-day life.
From the vibrant beach resorts around Mombasa to the Swahili-cultured streets of Lamu, Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline offers something for everyone. Off the coast of Tanzania lies one of the continent’s most exotic island destinations – Zanzibar – and its no less beguiling little sister – Pemba. Slightly further afield is the stunning archipelago of Seychelles whose granite boulders perch above the Indian Ocean to create a scene that has to be seen to be believed.
To inspire your own beach and bush safari, here are a few of the Zanzibar Holidays tour packages.
Indian Ocean Islands Highlights
- Crystal, warm waters and spectacular corals make for superb diving and snorkelling
- Each destination has its own flavour, a unique fusion of Africa and Europe
- Many interesting historical sites and cultural experiences await
- Easy to get to with flights from Europe and East Africa as well as via The Middle East
- Usually thought of as romantic destinations, the islands are also excellent for family trips
- Many options for travellers seeking relaxation, activity, adventure or a bit of all three
The lion’s share of Tanzania’s island visitors gravitate towards world-renowned Zanzibar. Zanzibar Island has an almost overwhelming choice of over 800 tourism establishments to suit every budget and taste.
It almost goes without saying, but this is not a place you should come to if you don’t want to see other tourists. While some parts of Zanzibar are less intensively developed than others, this island is about as far from a pristine wilderness escape as you can get with almost the entire coastline developed, but most especially in the northeast and southeast.
Zanzibar – an exotic island kingdom of former slave traders and fishermen – has reinvented itself as a tourism hotspot. For those with deep pockets and a healthy budget, nothing beats the exclusive satellite island of Mnemba off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar. With one exclusive; Beyond lodge, Mnemba is the very pinnacle of tropical island beach-chic luxury. Alternatively, there is a dizzying array of hotels, beach resorts, guesthouses and other accommodations options to choose between on the main island.
It is highly recommended to visit Zanzibar or one of Tanzania’s other Indian Ocean islands at the end of your safari. After lots of early morning game drives and ‘African massages’ courtesy of the often-bumpy roads, some quality rest and relaxation on an idyllic white-sand beach lapped by the warm, azure waters of the Indian Ocean is usually just the tonic and will no doubt prove the cherry on the top of an incredible Tanzanian safari experience.
The quickest and safest way to reach any of the country’s island destinations is by air. With both regularly scheduled flights and private charters flying the aerial island access routes, getting there is simple if a touch costly at times, especially if you want to fly from somewhere outside of the major cities.
For those on a tighter budget or who enjoy sea travel, there are a few ferries that sail daily between the mainland ports and islands of Pemba Island, Zanzibar and Mafia Island. It is, however, important to assess the sea conditions, seaworthiness of the vessel, and presence of safety equipment before boarding a boat for your island voyage.
TYPICAL ZANZIBAR DISHERS
Zanzibar cuisine should be sampled at least one in your life. In our resorts, you can experience evenings dedicated to local cuisine. Zanzibari cuisine is the product of diverse influences accumulated over the centuries and which can be traced back to the numerous cultures which have characterised the island’s history. The flavours are mixed with the gastronomic traditions of Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British and Chinese cultures.
A typical Zanzibari dish is spiced pilau rice. Other delicacies originate from the African mainland: manioc potatoes, boiled beans, sweet potatoes, roasted corn on the cob and yam.
The famous nut and date bread made with eggs and vanilla which is traditionally eaten at the end of Ramadan must also be tried.
If however you want to try something a little bit different, don’t miss out on shark in pepper, or “pwewa wa nazi”, Swahili for octopus in coconut milk prepared with curry, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and lime juice.
Another equally traditional dish is “sorpotel”, a mixed offal and pork stew seasoned with curry spices. “Boku-boku” however, is a type of spicy meat stew cooked with wheat, ginger, cumin, chilli, tomatoes and onions. The famous Zanzibari pizza is also not to be missed.
For those with a sweet tooth, the spiced cake made with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and chocolate must be sampled.
In general, spices are used in all types of cooking on the island and characterise destinations, flavours and colours.
Drinks must have their say too: try DAWA, a local cocktail that literally means “Medicine”. It is similar to Caipirinha but honey is used instead of sugar.
Explore at the pace of the wild, sync your pulse with the earth, and discover true freedom.
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