Although Encounter African Trails is located in Arusha, we can also assist you in planning your trip to Zanzibar or the other Indian Ocean islands. Zanzibar is the most popular destination, however, there are several other smaller and less visited islands for more ‘off the beaten path’ travelers.
We can help you arrange:
- Transport (flight, ground, boat transfers between islands)
- Recreation such as snorkeling, diving, boat trips, fishing expeditions, spice tours, town tours
- Cultural tours
The Zanzibar Archipelago and other Indian Ocean Islands
Jambiani Beach, East Coast Zanzibar
Take a plantation tour through fragrant fields of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. Visit the numerous historical ruins and Jozani Forest where red Colobus monkeys peer curiously at you through the leaves of 100-year-old trees.
Explore the old city of Stone Town, with its bustling bazaars, winding alleys, elaborate mosques and imposing Arab houses with their splendid brass-studded and carved wooden doors. Learn about Zanzibar’s history and culture at the National Museum, which contains relics, carvings and exhibits from the time of the Sultans and the early explorers.
Relax on Zanzibar’s seemingly endless white sand beaches, fringed with gently waving coconut palms. Watch fishermen from picturesque villages, setting out to sea in their traditional sailing dhows. Dive, snorkel and discover the underwater world in coral lagoons, or swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the azure Indian Ocean.
PEMBA - The name Zanzibar includes the main island, Unguja, and its sister island,
Pemba. Very few travelers visit Pemba and consequently this smaller and hillier island
is unspoiled and almost otherworldly. From afar, Pemba resembles a floating forest and was called the Green Island by Arab seafarers and explorers because of its lush coastal vegetation.
Discover Pemba, truly the Island of Spices, growing three times as many cloves as the main island. Venture into Ngesi Equatorial Forest of rare trees and pause to observe one of the largest fruit bats in the world - the Pemba Flying Fox. Swim and snorkel from one of Pemba’s excellent beaches or head for the Pemba Channel; up to 400 fathoms deep and recognized for some of the finest game fishing in the world.
MNEMBA ISLAND - Off the north-east coast of Zanzibar main island, this island forms part of the much larger submerged Mnemba Atoll. Basking in its own lagoon with coral reefs alive with fish, Mnemba Island offers the ultimate in barefoot luxury.
CHUMBE ISLAND - Chumbe Island is a UN Protected Area being “one of the most spectacular coral gardens to be found anywhere in the world” and is Tanzania’s first marine park. Access is by private launch from Mbweni Ruins Hotel on Zanzibar.
MAFIA ISLAND - Home to some four hundred species of fish and five species of turtles, Mafia Island is a popular destination for divers and sports fishermen. Although sport fishing is possible all year round within the channel and reef, the main season is from September to March.
CHAPWANI PRIVATE ISLAND - Chapwani, a short motorboat ride from Stone
Town harbor, faces Snake Island where thousands of egrets roost overnight and is
an idyllic hideaway for honeymooners, with private beach chalets and open-air restaurant.
Palms at Matemwe Beach, North East Zanzibar
Introduction to ‘The Swahili Coast’
The Swahili Coast - 800 km of palm-fringed, white sand beaches, lapped by the dazzling, azure waters of the Indian Ocean - stretches from Tanga in the north of Tanzania to Mtwara in the south. The following are some of the interesting things which you can experience along this coastline.
BAGAMOYO - Once the center of the infamous slave trade, this town is located opposite the southern tip of Zanzibar and some 70 km north of Dar es Salaam. This lovely natural harbor town was also the starting point for journeys into the African interior by famous explorers in search of the source of the Nile.
Visit the old prison, where slaves were herded through underground tunnels to awaiting dhows. Reflect on the grueling expeditions undertaken by Livingstone and Stanley, Burton and Speke, as you browse through the mission’s museum or gaze at the solitary house on the beach where Stanley lived more than a century ago.
DAR ES SALAAM - where the colorful past is reflected in the white-sailed dhows and dug-outcanoes which still ply the waters of yet another fine natural harbor. The city itself is full of reminders – as well as offering all the pleasures of a modern African city. Enjoy lively Kariakoo Market with its maze of stalls and shops in the surrounding bazaar. Here everything is traded, from fish, fruit, vegetables, herbs and livestock to traditional medicines.
KILWA - A group of three former settlements – Kilwa Kivinje and Kilwa Masoko on the mainland and the offshore island of Kilwa Kisiwani – Kilwa was originally established as a centre for the gold trade. It is now a UN World Heritage Site.
A sophisticated trading post for hundreds of years before European exploration of East Africa, Kilwa boasts some of the most spectacular ruins on the East African coast. Kilwa Kisiwani and the nearby Songo Mnara Islands contain numerous ruins, many of which date back to the 13th century.
PANGANI - Once a major port for the export of ivory and slaves, Pangani is a delightful village conveniently situated just two hours north of Saadani National Park on the coast and a further two hours drive from Amani Nature Reserve in the Usambara Mountains.
Explore ancient Arab buildings, relax on the palm-fringed, 6 km sandy bay, snorkel at Maziwe Island Marine Reserve, go deep-sea fishing or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this quiet, Indian Ocean village.
TANGA - The town of Tanga is Tanzania’s major northern port and is not far from Amani Nature Reserve in the Usambara Mountains and Mkomazi Game Reserve. The most extensive limestone cave system in East Africa is located here – the Amboni Caves, formed some 150 million years ago.