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Has anyone been to Zanzibar?

(16 Posts)
basildonbond Sun 22-Mar-15 14:25:44

Dh has to go to a conference in Dar-Es-Salaam at the end of August and he's asked me if I'd like to go too with the idea of going over to Zanzibar for a few days after the conference. It would mean sorting out something for the dc (2 teenage boys and a 12 year old girl) plus the dog so while doable won't just be a matter of hopping on a plane ...

Anyone with firsthand experiences to share?

Zanzibaragain Sun 22-Mar-15 18:59:30

one day, but not yet

AgentProvocateur Sun 22-Mar-15 19:20:29

No, but I'm envy that you're getting the opportunity to go. I'd love to go.

HarimadSol Sun 22-Mar-15 19:23:17

DH and I went there a few years ago and loved it. I did my first scuba diving there and was hooked. We took the local public transportation around - I think it's called a dalla dalla - which was much better than a taxi IMO. You can rent one of their boats and go for a sail and snorkeling. It's really quite beautiful.

sparing Sun 22-Mar-15 19:25:55

Zanzibar is fabulous and very easy to get to on the ferry from Dar. Stone Town is a great place to wander around, there's loads to see and do, and the beaches and the scuba diving are fantastic.

I'm very jealous smile

WishIwasanastronaut Sun 22-Mar-15 19:26:46

Yes! It's wonderful if you are a lover of paradise beaches and diving! You can tour the island but it's only approx a day's excursion. All budgets catered for there. A poor island but warm people. You could perhaps think about combining the trip with a safari if you were prepared to take a short plane flight and had enough time/money.
Shame your kids can't join you. They would love it too.
Google mafia Island - this might be of interest tooenvy

moggle Sun 22-Mar-15 19:30:33

We were here on our honeymoon, to relax after a safari on the mainland. It was utterly wonderful, we stayed at Pongwe beach hotel which I couldn't recommend enough. Also a couple of days in Stone Town which was cool, including a visit to more offshore islands.

basildonbond Mon 23-Mar-15 08:11:41

Thanks everyone - it sounds fabulous

Yes it would be lovely if we could all go but we just can't afford it, sadly, and this would only be for 3-4 days as dh will have to get back to work

I'll investigate options for the dc which (fingers crossed) won't make them feel too hardly done by ...

Christelle2207 Mon 23-Mar-15 08:55:40

Like Moggle we did safari then Pongwe beach hotel which is simple but stunning. We also did 2 nights in stonetown which was stressful but a good educational experience.
It was lovely but I would say it's an extremely poor place, very poorly resourced and the vast majority of locals don't seem to benefit from the influx of wealthy tourists. Be careful to stay somewhere that does actually employ locals, doesn't deprive them of water etc and is kind to the local environment.

SpecialDispensation Mon 23-Mar-15 22:15:42

I went there about 15 years ago. The scariest bit was Dar es Salaam airport to port, but once we got there it was like paradise. We stayed in Stone Town for a few days, the doors there are stunning! Then went to Nungwi, where the hotel was raided by bandits and we had to hide on the beach for a few hours. The hotel closed the next day and there was a big cover up. Back then, it apparently happened a lot but was kept very quiet for fear of reducing tourism.

We stayed for the remainder of the trip further down the coast in Matemwe, swum with dolphins, snorkelled and had the most amazing time. I've travelled extensively and even with the difficulties we had, it's the best place I've ever been. Such a heady mix of history, culture, breathtaking sea and beaches and wonderful people.

Cherryblossomsinspring Thu 21-May-15 11:51:56

Spent nearly a week there a few years ago, it was wonderful. You can't really go wrong. Well, unless you are my friend whose hotel got held up by guys with AK47's but that's highly unusual, far more likely in Dar. She was fine if s little shocked. Some other guest got pistol whipped but nobody seriously hurt. Probably shouldn't have told you that, it definitely wouldn't stop me going again. It's beautiful and relatively safe.

AtomicDog Thu 21-May-15 11:56:49

Were they robbed?
My 6yo has asked to go to Zanzibar... goodness knows how he has heard of it!

Cherryblossomsinspring Thu 21-May-15 12:24:19

Yeah, just cash and some watches/jewellery from other guests. Very scary experience but she loves telling the story! You can be unlucky in any country where some people are extremely poor, like England I guess. But the average person doesn't have access to an AK47, just a knife.e

Heels99 Thu 21-May-15 18:28:45

The two teen girls from London last year who got acid thrown in their faces has put me off. And Cheryl Cole getting malaria there.

Cherryblossomsinspring Thu 21-May-15 20:52:25

Forgot about those things. Was it really Zanzibar she got malaria? Really though it's a beautiful, casual and relatively safe place. Don't be put off by the rare stories. Everywhere has them.

Amaxapax Thu 21-May-15 21:04:32

We went to Zanzibar for a few days after a safari in Kenya. We chose not to spend time in Stone Tone, but went straight to our hotel, which I think was the Hideaway at Nungwi. It had just recently opened and was having some growing pains, but the beach and hotel were stunning and we were able to go scuba diving, which was fabulous. Our time there was very relaxing and we were very well looked after.

The only thing I'd say is be aware of various fees. You have to pay for a visa upon arrival, and there's a departure fee as well. It's substantially cheaper if you're flying back to Dar Es Salaam as opposed to an airport in another country. We also had an unpleasant experience with a taxi driver who agreed to one price, and then claimed we had agreed to a much higher one upon arrival at the hotel.

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