Travel to Zanzibar in Tanzania

Are you ready for an unforgettable trip? A combined Tanzania Zanzibar safari with our local agency promises you a magical encounter with wildlife and an authentic discovery of the Zanzibar archipelago. Your tailor-made itinerary will offer you the best of the destination while perfectly meeting your criteria and budget. Length of stay, safari itinerary, means of transport, activities, accommodation – every aspect of your tailor-made trip to Tanzania can be personalised to give you a unique and memorable experience. With Off Road, your trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar will be like no other!

Relaxation and discovery on the beaches of Zanzibar

After exploring the land of the Big Five, there’s nothing like a trip to the most beautiful beaches of the Zanzibar archipelago to round off your stay in style. Off the Tanzanian coast, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the spice island invites you to relax and escape. Its heavenly white sandy beaches and turquoise waters offer the perfect setting for those looking to recharge their batteries, as well as being the ideal playground for diving and water sports enthusiasts.

The most beautiful beaches in the Zanzibar archipelago

Zanzibar hides a few jewels of the Pacific to discover during your combined trip to Tanzania.

  • Mafia Island, a little-known jewel of paradise beaches and exceptional marine wildlife. This is where you can swim with whale sharks between October and March.
  • Pemba Island, nicknamed Green Island, also known as Clove Island, is a wild island, much less developed than its neighbour Unguja (Zanzibar’s main island).
  • The white sandy beach of Jambiani, located at the foot of an old fishing village, is a favourite spot for kitesurfing!
  • Theisland of Chumbe and its unspoilt wilderness, a small protected paradise in the south-east of Zanzibar

Discover the seabed of Zanzibar

Discover the seabed of the Indian Ocean! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, you’ll be seduced by the island’s turquoise waters and rich marine life, its coral fauna, and the almost permanent presence of turtles, spotted and leopard rays, dolphins, moray eels and reef sharks.

The best spots for scuba diving in northern Zanzibar are around Ras Nungwi and in the Mnemba atoll. The 3 most famous sites in this atoll are certainly Kichwani, Big Wall and Wattaboni, particularly for the large number of dolphins! Each has its own “specialities”. The Wattaboni channel is ideal for spotting lots of fish and green turtles. Big Wall is surprising in the depth and beauty of its underwater architecture. As for Kichwani, it offers a veritable jumble of brain coral, stag horn coral, napoleon wrasse, shark and manta ray!

At Ras Nungwi, you’ll come across large schools of groupers, green turtles and a few white-tip sharks. At Small Wall, you’ll spot rays, napoleons and Zanzibar’s endemic butterfly fish. Finally, if you pass by Kokota and its seabed, you can admire moray eels, octopus and nudibranchs!

Kizidi is a sublime spot for night dives. Hammerdead is a leading diving spot in the south with its eagle rays, enormous moray eels and numerous sharks: blacktip sharks, reef sharks, grey sharks and even hammerheads!

Unforgettable safari in Tanzania with Off Road

Tanzania is an incredible safari destination that lends itself to a wide variety of combined trips. A tailor-made safari in the heart of Tanzania’s most beautiful national parks will be an opportunity to discover unspoilt wilderness and breathtaking landscapes. Aboard a 4×4 specially designed for observing savannah animals, accompanied by your local guide, you will set off in search of the famous Big Five. The national parks in the north of the country are a guarantee of great encounters with this majestic wildlife. A safari in the mythical Serengeti National Park, during the period of the Great Migration, will reveal the secrets of the law of nature. The rich natural sanctuaries of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara National Park will plunge you into the wild immensity of Tanzanian territory. Tarangire National Park, an elephant sanctuary, offers a timeless experience at the very heart of these impressive pachyderms. For a contemplation of the animal kingdom off the beaten track, opt for the national parks in the south of the country. During a combined trip to Tanzania, you’ll experience a fabulous adventure up close to the emblematic wildlife of the African savannah, while enjoying the paradise-like scenery of the Zanzibar archipelago. A complete tour that combines safari and relaxation in the heart of Tanzania’s most beautiful landscapes.

Cultural encounters in Tanzania and Zanzibar

The first part of your combined Tanzania – Zanzibar trip will invite you to discover the way of life and traditions of the local tribes. Encounters with the Massai, Hadzabe and Datoga peoples will provide you with unforgettable moments of sharing. An immersive experience at the heart of Tanzanian culture. Extend your stay on the Spice Island and discover a culture, heritage and history with many influences. Zanzibari cuisine is a reflection of the richness and cultural diversity of the island of Zanzibar: mixed, surprising, spicy and refined. In this cuisine with influences from all over the world (Bantu, Indian, Arabic, as well as English, Portuguese and Chinese), fresh products from the sea are given pride of place. Taking part in a local cooking class is one of the immersive and authentic activities that will help you discover the secrets of this multi-flavoured cuisine!

Must-sees during your stay with Off Road

A stay on the Zanzibar archipelago after a safari in the footsteps of the Big Five in Tanzania is not just synonymous with idleness. There are plenty of points of interest and activities to do in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Get lost in the narrow streets of Stone Town

Stone Town is a must-see on the island of Zanzibar! This town with its distinctive atmosphere and architecture owes its uniqueness to a wonderful blend of African, Arab, Indian and European cultures. As you wander through the narrow streets of this emblematic city on the spice island, you’ll discover the old slave market where East Africa’s first Anglican church was built, the House of Wonders, the bustling Darajani market, the sumptuous carved doors with their studded wood, the old Arab fort, the former embassies of the United States, Germany and England, and other more unexpected treasures such as Freddy Mercury’s house!

Everything you need to know about Zanzibar’s spices

The famous “spice tour” is one of Zanzibar’s star attractions. The centre of the island is home to the spice farms and plantations that once dominated Zanzibar’s economy. Vanilla, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, lemongrass, nutmeg, black pepper, jackfruit – you’ll discover a multitude of spices in their natural state. All your senses will be on alert during this experience.

Discover the Safari Blue sandbanks at Fumba

This sea excursion aboard a traditional sailing boat takes you to sumptuous white sandbanks. The paradise-like setting of these warm, translucent waters is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The excursion also includes a stopover where you can sample delicious seafood: lobster, squid, prawns and other tasty fish.

Swim with dolphins at Kizimkazi

During a snorkelling excursion in the turquoise waters of the Zanzibar archipelago, you’ll discover some fascinating mammals: dolphins! To meet these endearing animals, you’ll set off from Kizimkazi, a small village in the south-west of Zanzibar. Who knows, maybe you’ll share a swim with them!

Meet the giant tortoises of Prison Island

Prison Island is a not-to-be-missed stopover on your trip to Zanzibar. Just a stone’s throw from Stone Town, the island of Changuu, in Swahili, still bears traces of its past. In fact, this island was the departure point and transit zone for many slaves awaiting their assignment. Today, the island is home to some curious inhabitants: the giant Aldabra tortoises from the Seychelles. A surprising island to discover on a trip to Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Explore the Jozani forest

A visit to the Jozani forest, located in the south-east of the island of Zanzibar, is well worth the diversions. You’ll discover some of the world’s most unique monkeys: the red colobus monkey. They’re impossible to miss! Even if they allow themselves to be approached, avoid touching them, for your own safety as well as theirs! The forest walk continues with the discovery of the island’s mangroves, an ecosystem of considerable importance. Protected and revered by the locals, mangroves are natural regulators capable of coping with phenomena such as tsunamis and rising oceans.

Authentic, comfortable accommodation for your adventure

There is a wide variety of accommodation in Tanzania. For your safari in the heart of the Tanzanian wilderness, there are several options to choose from. Tented Camps combine the charm and authenticity of a safari tent with the comfort of a hotel room. These top-of-the-range camps offer panoramic views of the surrounding savannah, while guaranteeing you quality services. The more rootsy mobile camps move to the rhythm of the Great Migration to offer you a unique experience as close as possible to the animals. These camps, made up of mobile tents, blend into the landscape for a more intimate approach to safari in Tanzania.

For your enchanted break on the island of Zanzibar, you can also choose between different types of lodges. You can choose between the charm of small structures offering comfortable bungalows on the beach or the top-of-the-range services of luxury lodges with sea views and a private swimming pool. At Off Road, we offer you the most suitable accommodation solution for your adventure in Tanzania and your relaxing stay in Zanzibar!

Prepare your trip to Zanzibar and Tanzania with advice from Off Road

With the advice and tips of our local travel agency, preparing your combined trip to Tanzania will be a breeze!

Vaccinations before travelling to Zanzibar in Tanzania

Only one vaccination is compulsory before travelling to Tanzania: the yellow fever vaccine. This must be done at least 15 days before the departure date of your trip to Tanzania. Although vaccinations against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis and rabies are not compulsory, they are still highly recommended. As is preventive treatment against malaria.

Visas and administrative formalities for a stay in Tanzania

To enter Tanzania, you need a valid passport with at least two blank pages. A tourist visa worth $50 is also required for any trip to Zanzibar in Tanzania. This visa can be obtained in 3 different ways: online, at the Tanzanian embassy or on the spot at the airport of arrival. If you choose to apply for your visa before your trip, you should plan ahead, as the process can take a long time. The administrative formalities at the airport also require a little patience. Visa applications can take up to 2 hours, depending on how busy it is.

Suitable equipment for a combined safari – Zanzibar trip

Here are a few tips on the equipment best suited to a trip that combines safari and relaxation in Tanzania. The space available inside the 4x4s and planes used to travel around Tanzania means that you need to travel light. It’s best to opt for a travel bag and a small suitcase. A safari in Tanzania followed by a stay in Zanzibar requires a wide range of equipment and accessories. On the safari side, you’ll need lightweight clothes that don’t get dirty, good walking shoes, a cap or hat, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, a torch, a camera and binoculars. The relaxation aspect of a trip to Zanzibar means a slight change of wardrobe. Bear in mind, however, that the population of Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim, so favour loose-fitting clothes that open up the arms and legs.

When to go to Zanzibar

Temperatures, sunshine levels, type of holiday (adventure, relaxing, combined), unmissable events, observation of the local flora and fauna, activities – all these factors need to be taken into account when choosing the ideal period for a holiday in Tanzania and Zanzibar. As the Tanzanian climate is favourable for most of the year, the choice of period will depend above all on the experience you wish to have during your stay. The best time to visit Tanzania and the Zanzibar archipelago varies from one traveller to another. The dry season, from June to September, offers optimum conditions for a Tanzanian safari followed by a few days’ relaxation on Zanzibar’s heavenly beaches. This is also the time of year when the Great Migration takes place in the north of the Serengeti National Park. The warm season, from the end of December to the end of February, is the most popular time for travellers to spend their winter holidays on the beach. The rainy season, from March to May, is less favourable for a stay on the beaches of the spice island.

Zanzibar cuisine

Zanzibar’s cuisine is a reflection of the island’s extraordinary cultural diversity: mixed, surprising, spicy and refined. This fusion cuisine is in fact a formidable melting pot of influences from all over the world: Bantu, Indian, Arabic, as well as English, Portuguese and Chinese! Geography dictates that you will of course find many fresh products from the sea, the very same ones that are proudly displayed in Stone Town’s huge fish market: lobsters, squid, octopus, tuna, mackerel, etc. The side dishes are often drawn from the local produce.

The side dishes are often drawn from Bantu staples such as sweet potatoes, cassava, beans and plantains. Nothing could be nicer after a scuba diving session!

For the latter, you can rely on the influences of the Persians, Omanis and Yemenis who landed on the Swahili coast with their many spices and citrus fruits, as well as coconuts, mangoes and rice.

To top it all off, the strong influence of Indian merchants introduced masala, chutney, curry, biryani, samosas and fish cakes to Zanzibari cuisine.

Typical Zanzibar dishes

  • Rice pilaf or pilau: with dried fruit and coconut milk, potatoes, onions, spices and rice. A classic dish!
  • Sorpotel (recipe from Goa, a Portuguese colony in India): meat boiled in masala, tamarind and vinegar. Very tasty!
  • Spice Cake: don’t expect to find any psychotropic drugs in this recipe! Instead, you’ll enjoy a real cocktail of flavours thanks to the presence of a host of spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and chocolate.
  • Boku Boku: meat cooked in corn, ginger, cumin, chilli, tomato and onions. Spicy and delicious!
  • Date and hazelnut bread: Traditional bread made from dates and hazelnuts, with eggs and vanilla.
  • Pepper shark: A speciality made with pepper and other spices to accompany seafood and fish.
  • Pweza wa nazi: Octopus boiled in coconut milk, curry, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and lemon juice. Original and subtle!

Get involved in nature conservation with Off Road

As an incoming agency in Tanzania, we work daily to promote the development of sustainable and ecological tourism. As well as organising holidays that are more respectful of the environment, and helping to raise travellers’ awareness of the need to preserve Tanzania’s flora and fauna, we also take real action to help local communities. Travelling to Tanzania and Zanzibar with Off Road means helping to distribute the benefits of tourism more evenly among the local populations, contributing to the preservation of Tanzania’s natural resources, and above all experiencing an authentic adventure and memorable moments of sharing. A sustainable commitment and projects that have a real impact on local life.

Selection of trips to Zanzibar that might interest you