From snow-crested Kilimanjaro to the wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania has it all. After all the mores of the mainland, though, you may want to kick back – and that’s where the white sandy beaches and honeymoon-ready tropical islands of Zanzibar, adorned with upscale resorts, come into play, offering respite and relaxation after an all-action African adventure.
Choose from 56 bungalows or luxury villas with private beaches on tropical Unguja – the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago. Decor is an easy blend of thatch, wooden decks and local artworks, with timber louvres opening to the view. Food celebrates the island’s past as a meeting point for spice traders from around the world, showcasing African, European, Arabic and Indian flavours. There are two restaurants, or you can book a candlelit beach dinner for two with a private bonfire, or even a Bahari seafood barbecue extravaganza under garland-strung palms.
The Residence is in fact 66 spacious villas secluded in 32ha (80 acres) of tropical gardens, each blending contemporary comforts with Swahili, Omani, Indian and British design. Explore the gardens on foot or by bike. Visit Stone Town, book a dive with dolphins or a deep-sea fishing cruise, or just doze on a daybed at your private pool. There are two restaurants, or you can have lunch (fresh seafood, fritters, pasta) delivered to your side in a rattan basket. Later, the hotel can arrange a private barbecue on the jetty at sunset.
This Bounty-ad retreat has just eight luxury villas with draped arched windows, buttoned sofas, butler service and their own stretch of pristine Zanzibar beach. Owners Marcus and Eileen pamper guests with fine local cuisine and hand-picked wines, served in the romantic restaurant, in your villa, or even on a more remote island. Staff will arrange activities from kitesurfing to scuba diving and dolphin tours, or excursions to Jozani Forest to see the indigenous red colobus monkeys.
Set among palms above a powdery beach on the east coast of Zanzibar, this simple-yet-stylish hotel has thatched roofs, white walls and arched windows echoing the Arabic past of the island. Rooms are brightly decorated in Zanzibari style, with hand-carved furniture. A Sultan Suite at the ocean’s edge is sheer opulence, with a huge double room, bed swathed in muslin and a lounge opening to a wide veranda. The main Makuti Restaurant serves themed dinners, Zanzibari to Italian and Swahili, with traditional Zanzibar dancers, Taarab music and acrobats.
Essque Zalu’s 40 suites and eight villas overlook gardens, a turquoise lagoon and the inky Indian Ocean at this food-centred resort on the north-east coast of Zanzibar. All feature traditional steep makuti-thatched roofs and simple decor inside, accented with traditional artwork. Two restaurants celebrate international and local food and you can learn to prepare Swahili dishes at Mosha Studio, where Tanzanian sous-chef, Rose Mosha, puts guests through their paces in a state-of-the-art kitchen.
Choose from 11 villas, with one to five bedrooms, on this family-owned eco-luxe island resort. Some have a rooftop terrace overlooking the beach with a hot tub. Unlimited rental of snorkelling gear, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and bicycles is included in your stay, as well as games from pool to pétanque and ping pong. You also have use of the fitness area, main pool and spa with its sauna, steam room and hot tub. The food, served in two restaurants, on the beach or in your villa, is fresh and healthy with an African edge, centred around produce from the resort’s own organic herb, fruit and vegetable garden – and seafood caught fresh daily.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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