Has anyone been to the Seychelles or Zanzibar?

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Jan 28th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #1
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Has anyone been to the Seychelles or Zanzibar?

My husband and I are planning a trip to East Africa in Septemper and are considering adding an excursion to either Zanzibar or the Seychelles. Can anyone share their adventures at either place or recommend which would better? We love to snorkel.
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Jan 28th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Lucretia,
I was in Zanzibar a few years ago and stayed at the very romantic and atmospheric Emerson and Green in the Stone Town and at a modest beach resort on the north of the Island.

We enjoyed the time on the island which was both beautiful and culturally interesting but it's my impression that Zanzibar is a very different destination than the Seychelles. It just doesn't offer the same level of luxury accomodation (perhaps with the exception of Memba Island).
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Jan 29th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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Lucretia -
We added The Seychelles onto our East Africa trip and absolutely loved our time there. We spent a week after almost 2-weeks traveling Ken/Tanz.

Yes, it can be more expensive than Zanzibar, but even though there are quite a few very expensive accommodations on Mahe Island (main island) and Praslin Island; while on Fregate and North Islands you will find only one resort on each (very expensive) - you can still find lovely small hotels for less money.

Do a "search" on this board as there were many postings back within the past 6-months. Look for postings from "babette" who recenty visited there and the related comments from various posters here on the board.

However, there is limited air service from NBO to SEZ, so your time on the islands have to be coordinated with the air schedules, as does your time in East Africa to coordinate with departing from NBO to SEZ.

The ideal would be 1-wk trip with a stay on at least two islands, commuting between them by small 19-seater planes (15 min. flight between Mahe to Pralin). From Praslin you can visit La Digue island for a day by ferry (about 45-min) and do other day trips to closer-in islands like Cousin and Curieuse.

Read the threads on this board and check out a few websites - found thru a search on the web. This will give you info re prices.

Feel free to come back here with further questions.
 
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Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:38 AM
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I spent about a week in Zanzibar last year and have no problem in recommending e.g. hotel Ras Nungwi on the North Coast.

http://www.rasnungwi.com/main.php

Simply excellent if you're into snorkeling and diving. Splendid beaches.

If you don't feel like leaving Stone Town, the Serena Inn would be a good choice.

Emerson and Green: if you're into your typical tourist trap, go for the Tower Top restaurant at night. Horrible, if you ask me

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Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:22 AM
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My sister and her husband went to both. They loved Zanzibar and going back this October. Snorkeling was excellent in Zanzibar and less dead coral. All coral in Seychelles is bleached, dead.
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Feb 24th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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Hi Lucretia, I visited the Seychelles in 1978, and again for my first honeymoon in 1980. So you can see the place made quite an impression on me. Obviously I can only make general comment, any recs are way out of date!

Think fabulous deserted beaches, a mountain rising straight from the beach, lush jungle, exotic flowers and birds. It is truly beautiful!
Victoria, the capital is small and friendly, full of the scent of spices and drains like any Far East town, with an enormous natural harbour where the cruise ships anchor.

The northeast shore was the first developed because it was close to the airport. It has coral growing from the beach for about half a mile out, so it is not good for swimming, though the snorkelling may be ok at high tide. The northwest shore is where most of the second generation hotels where built, it has a busy beach, and many of the properties must be getting very tired by now. The southwest shore is where the third generation properties have been built. These are the fabulous beaches, though sometimes the surf can crash on exposed points. I understand that the government has strictly controlled development down that shore for minimum impact. Certainly back when I was there the buzz words were quality tourism, not quantity. Which was pretty radical thinking back then.
Alternatively stay in an old tea plantation up in the hills, you will still never be more than three miles from the action.

There are several National Marine Parks along the southeast shore where the snorkelling is stunning, the fish have never been speared and have no fear. You can access them directly from the shore if you have a rental car; or there are many outfitters who will take you by boat.

I have never visited Zanzibar, but I understand it is a much larger city with a large Arab quarter. It is reputed to be quite exotic and is one of my to do one day destinations There are bound to be good beaches close to the city, the beaches run nearly 2,000 miles up and down that coast. Don?t know about snorkelling. If price is a consideration I would expect it to be cheaper than the Seychelles which has always been a little exclusive.

Hope this helps, let us know how you get on, have a great time, Pirate

PS It?s a long time ago, but there used to be a great restaurant in Mombassa called the Tamarind, nestled on the north shore, right by the Nyali Bridge. Stunning location looking across the estuary to the old Arab quarter with great food and impeccable service.
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Feb 25th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Have been to Zanzibar twice (1998 and 2002) and Seychelles just last week. (1) check weather for september. Hard to choose but depends what you are looking for. If you simply want superb beaches, islands such as La Digue, and possibly others are fantastic. Zanzibar has some very good beaches, but also some interesting culture to explore, and for that reason, I would probably give it a slight edge over the Seychelles. Also, Zanz has the best snorkelling anywhere I have been with the exception of the Great Barrier Reef. Would suggest staying 2-3 nights in stone town, followed by the rest of your stay on a nice beach on the other side of the island
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Feb 25th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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One more vote for Zanzibar. Magnificent snorkeling, seclusion and friendly people. Did you check out Mnemba Lodge in Zanzibar?
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Feb 29th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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both are great places to visit. As you probably know the Seychelles are granite so I would assume the snorkeling should be good ( we didn' try) but the water was blue and beautiful. It is easy to get from island to island and the public transportation on the main island is terrific. The islands are clean and a great example of when socialistic policies seem to work. People are friendly and no real signs of poverty ( unlike other places in Africa)and it feels very safe. Zanzibar is the contrast but wonderful in it's own way. Stonetown has aa Arabic flavor and up island the beaches are great. We were there in early summer 2001 and again Feb 2002 --and the beaches were almost empty. It is known as the spice island and we were fascinated by the spice tour. So depends on what you are looking for. Exotic or clean and comfortable. Good luck you can't go wrong in either place.
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