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Advice for one week in Zanzibar

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Jan 1st, 2016, 01:51 PM
  #1
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Advice for one week in Zanzibar

Hello, can experts please advise me on this itinerary. We are planning to travel around mid February. we are a couple in our 50's. We don't need to relax and we don't want to spend our time in large all inclusive type resorts. We are interested in local culture, nature, good food, sea and beach, snorkeling. Our idea is to rent a Vespa as suggested in a recent fodorite post or a car. We would like to spend first 2 nights in Bwejuu at Anne of Zanzibar (celebrating) , then move on to Matemwe Beach Village for 3 nights, one night in Nungwi? or open to suggestions and final night in Stone Town at Emerson Spice.
Will this give us a good feel of the island? Any comments on our choice of locations/hotels? have we missed anything important?
Thank-you very much!
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:45 PM
  #2
 
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Zanzi is a rather 'small' island absolutely beautiful. The beaches are pristine,waters azure and inviting.I'm sure you'll have a great time.There is little you can miss on the island considering you have a week.You can cover the nook and cranny. Stone Town is very quaint.The bazaars and the cobbled streets.Just to walk around the town looking at historical building, a mix of Swahili, Persian and Indian culture.Apart fron the various restaurants serving a variety of food, don't forget to go to Forodhani Gardens a park by the sea-walk, where after sunset great seafood is grilled and served along with local food.

I wouldn't be comfortable riding a 2-wheeler on the two way,single track, narrow roads around Zanzibar. Cabs are inexpensive.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Thank-you
We have decided on two nights in Stone Town so we will definitely go to Forodhani Gardens for the grill!
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Jan 4th, 2016, 12:20 PM
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I loved Zanzibar and especially old Stone Town where you can spend the whole day exploring the meandering narrow streets trying not to get lost.

Keep in mind to respect the local culture and dress modestly while in town making sure shoulders, arms & knees are covered and no cleavage. I wore capris in town with a 3/4 sleeved Indian cotton top.

It'll be hot & humid so make sure your room has A/C.

Try to make it to the Sunset Lounge at the Africa House Hotel where Livingstone used to hang out and the sunsets are sublime. Go early as it gets packed at sunset & then suddenly everyone disappears so stick around and enjoy some rock lobster.

The Beyt al Salaam restaurant across the street from the Stone Town Serena has excellent seafood and hearing the call to prayer from the Tea House Restaurant was amazing! It's a long climb up steep narrow stairs and you'll need reservations for dinner.

Nungwi is known for a lot of partying so if that's not your thing then better to stay around Matemwe.

You're really going to enjoy your week exploring the island!
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Jan 5th, 2016, 04:06 AM
  #5
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Thank-you Kath, I am glad we opted for 2 nights in Stone Town. So much to do!
I wonder if anyone can help me with this query: since we fly in early morning I thought we could go directly to Jozani Forest before checking in to our hotel in Bwejuu but I can't seem to find any information on getting there independently. I know you need a guide to tour but how do you find the entrance? I don't expect it will be sign posted from the airport. Any suggestions?
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Jan 5th, 2016, 12:51 PM
  #6
 
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Seconding Africa House for sunset!!

Also, the Zanzibar pizza at the night market is one of the most delicious things I've eaten. It's weird (there's mayo involved!) but so very delicious!
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Jan 5th, 2016, 01:28 PM
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Have you checked with Bwejuu about dropping off your bags if your room isn't ready and ask if they can arrange someone who can drive you there?

If you're thinking of going directly from the airport there will be a plethora of guys there all willing to drive you anywhere you'd like to go. I'd negotiate a price first tho.
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Jan 6th, 2016, 12:26 PM
  #8
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Thanks but we are planning to rent a car at the airport or maybe a motorbike (but that may be too complicated with luggage). We are staying in different hotels around the island and like the freedom of self driving. But good idea to ask the hotel for information.

As for the pizza - we are Italian so not sure about that - mayo!!! Maybe we could call it something different... : )

But Africa House for sure!
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Jan 6th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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Part of my daily routine was to find a different spot to watch the sunset with a nice drink in hand.

The Serena has a nice bar overlooking the water on the ground floor.

The Tembo Hotel also has tables along the beach with interesting people watching as it's not far from the ferry terminal. I have a photo of western girls sunbathing in bikinis and 10 feet away a guy carrying an AK 47.
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Jan 11th, 2016, 03:28 PM
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Does the Tembo serve alcohol? I think it may not which is why I didn't book it though it looked nice and has a pool.
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Jan 11th, 2016, 04:07 PM
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Oh I'm not sure whether Tembo serves alcohol as I believe I enjoyed an ice cream for that sunset.
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Jan 12th, 2016, 08:19 PM
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Tembo House doesn't serve alcohol, but that really isn't a problem. I've stayed there several times and it's my hotel of choice in Stone Town. I just walk down to the Serena and sit out on their patio for my "sundowner" drink, as KathBC notes.
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Jan 12th, 2016, 09:21 PM
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Sharon - any advice on rooms?
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