LOCATION Zanzibar lies about 19 miles (30 km) off the central coast of Tanzania
BEACH FRONTAGE About 50 miles (80 km)
KEY WILDLIFE Kirk’s red colobus monkeys, green turtles, dolphins, colorful reef fish ACTIVITIES Snorkeling, scuba diving, forest nature trails, whale- and dolphin-spotting, bird-watching
The east coast of Zanzibar isn’t the place to go for bland, international beach-resort luxury. Although its sandy palm-lined beaches are as idyllic as they come, the east coast offers visitors much more than just pretty beaches.
The seafront is studded with traditional Swahili villages, including Bwejuu, Paje, and Jambiani, each one smaller and more rustically somnambulant than the one before, making it a great place to experience rural Africa on its own terms. In keeping with this, accommodations tend to be low rise, low key, low impact, and low cost – it’s the ideal place to relax after a costly safari.
Look out for the endangered Kirk’s red colobus, a fringed monkey endemic to Zanzibar.
Getting There Several flights connect Dar es Salaam and Arusha, both of which are on the mainland, to Zanzibar Town, from where it is easy to arrange a transfer or taxi to the east coast. Ferries also depart every day for the island between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Town.
When to Go Any time except the rainy season (Mar–May).