By Oljay Bayar
"This is the finest place I have known in all of Africa...an illusive place where nothing is as it seems. I am mesmerised."
David Livingstone, 1866
Zanzibar. Exotic by name and exotic in every sense. The word ‘Zanzibar’ became well known publicly in 2001 when the cologne for men ‘Zanzibar’ was launched by Van Cleef and Arpels. The fragrance was an aura of mystery, allure and exotic spices and a symbolism of the intriguing island near the east coast of Africa known as ‘Spice Island’ or Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is an enticing place like no other due to its diverse rich history and eclectic cultures. This magical island encompasses Arab, African, Indian, Portuguese and English influence in its heritage of ruined ancient Arab palaces, multicultural foods, unspoilt coral reefs and white sandy beaches with azure waters.
The island was one of the most powerful ports along the East African coast and accumulated wealth from being a central hub for trade. In its prime it was commonly said “When you play the flute in Zanzibar all Africa dances.”
Zanzibar is positioned off the coast of Tanzania and in 1964 along with several smaller islands became part of the United Republic of Tanzania. The island is made up of two main islands, Unguja (or Zanzibar) and Pemba. Together with Mafia Island and others they form the Zanzibar archipelago.
Local people in Stone Town, Zanzibar
For those looking to honeymoon in an exotic location with a sense of adventure, the island of Zanzibar is an ideal choice that offers a variety of appealing attractions. From ancient dhow boat cruises into the sunset, scuba diving, snorkelling in the pristine waters, candlelit seafood dinners on the beach, spa treatments as well as forest and spice tours are all what makes this charismatic place so fascinating and famous.
Located along the west coast is where the capital city and famous UNESCO World heritage site of Stone Town is located. The town is the core of Zanzibar culture and regarded as one of the most historical and mesmerising African cities.
Stone Town will leave you in awe of its rich history filled with the scent of spices, its narrow and cobbled alleyways, virtually untouched buildings, grand palaces and bustling street bazaars.
An experience not to be missed in town is a visit to the Sunset Bar at the Africa House Hotel. Sip on drinks at this rooftop bar and watch the sunset with a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean from the open-air terrace.
The romance of Zanzibar can also be enjoyed by taking a sunset cruise on a dhow, a hand-crafted wooden sailing vessel. With a cocktail in hand, you can watch the sunset and nature together on the horizon as you sail through the calm waters of the ocean. Be lost in the moment of the beautiful scenery as you leave behind the hustle and bustle of Stone Town.
It is ideal to spend a night or two in Stone Town and explore the magic of the city before making your way to the east and northeast coast of the island which is where the most beautiful beaches are such as Jambiani, Pongwe and Kendwa. The visualisation of white coral sandy beaches, an endless clear turquoise ocean and coconut palm trees are breathtaking and truly heaven on Earth.
If you desire a more exclusive and intimate honeymoon then it is best to stay at one of the several small islands off the coast of Zanzibar. Depending on the island some are only for a day visit or some offer the ultimate hideaway such as Mnemba. Zanzibar’s most famous island and the crème de la crème of indulgence.
Mnemba Island is situated 4km north east of Zanzibar and is surrounded by crystal clear water and a coral reef. The islands extensive marine species make it a haven for those interested in snorkelling and diving.
Within this idyllic island paradise, one will find the prestigious accommodation of andBeyond Mnemba Island. A favourite of celebrities and those discerning travellers seeking exclusive seafront privacy. Imagine spending your honeymoon days on thatched–sided bandas on stilts along the water with an endless view of the ocean whilst having a personal butler attend to your needs.
Relax with stunning views of the ocean at andBeyond Mnemba Island
Other resorts too also consider are The Palms and Baraza Resort and Spa Zanzibar which are both situated on the South East Coast of Zanzibar on Bwejuu Beach - considered one of the top 30 island beaches.
Zanzibar has a variety of choice for your honeymoon and individual needs. There is an extensive selection of accommodation choice from high end large resorts to smaller and independently owned boutique style. Wherever you choose to stay most share the picture perfect scenery of white sandy beaches translucent water, coconut palms and the beautiful beachfront of Zanzibar.
The best times to visit Zanzibar for your honeymoon are in January and February and also from June to November. It is recommended to stay 5-7 nights to experience the true beauty of this exotic destination.