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Zanzibar

Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s reputation as an island paradise is not an exaggeration. Zanzibar is actually a whole group of islands – two large islands –Ungoja and Pemba plus other small islands. The beautiful island features an entire eastern coast and miles of sandy pristine beaches. If you are a beach or sun lover and you have a thing for snorkeling, Zanzibar is your destination. There you will find amazing beaches, vast coral reefs, relaxed atmosphere and seafood dishes that will make your holiday a memorable one.

Here are 20 reasons why you should visit Zanzibar, so you need to start planning now.
1. Unique Cultural Mix

Zanizibar reflects the cultural mix of people that emerged from eras of trade relations with different countries. Africans, Arab, Indian, Persian and European influences have taken root in copious chapters of Zanzibar’s history.

Cultural Mix in Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
2. Full of life, joy and laughter

Zanzibar is a destination for all, it is a place where you meet the astonishing people you never thought existed – a mix of friendly, fun, calm, philosophical, extreme, wonderful and lovely people who are so full of life. Every day you spend in Zanzibar, you’ll be at peace with yourself, make friends, laugh and enjoy life to its fullest.

Zanzibar people 1024x642 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
3. Fascinating History and Vibrant Culture

Zanzibar is a special place steeped in rich history and vibrant culture. The archipelago has been inhabited for over 20, 000 years and its position has made the island a major port. When you visit this beautiful destination, you will learn a lot about its intriguing  history.

The old castle in Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
4. Pristine and Scenic Beaches

Zanzibar offers scenic and pristine beaches, which makes visitors to get comfier. There are so many beaches to choose from. The beaches are clean and exquisitely beautiful. You will definitely enjoy the peaceful lagoons, go surfing, relax by the beach or explore the surroundings and you will surely love the perfect temperature of the water, refreshing and soothing.

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5. Super Romantic

Zanzibar is a romantic destination, especially for those who desire to spend quality time romancing with their sweethearts. If you are planning to get married, honeymoon or to renew your vows, Zanzibar is an amazing place to do everything.

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6. Unspoiled Weather and Climate

Zanzibar has ideal holiday weather all through the year. There is such a comfortable weather, even when it’s hot; the cold breeze from the coast cools the temperature. The islands are warm throughout the year. An average of about 7 hour sunshine occurs in Zanzibar daily. Zanzibar weather is just perfect and you will love it.

Zanzibar Weather Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

7. Dhow Safaris

Enjoy Dhow Safaris by cruising and sailing in a Swahili boat. Discover the best vantage points in Zanzibar via Dhow Safari. The boats are hand-crafted and are operated by trained and professional crews.

Dhow safari1 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

8. Spice Tour

Another interesting thing to do in Zanzibar is to go on a Spice Tour. Zanzibar cloves and spices are the source of its agricultural wealth. Discover a blend of colours, smell the blend of flavours and taste the spices – nutmeg, cumin, ginger, turmeric, curry and pepper, also learn more about why spices are important in Zanzibar.

Spice Tour in Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
9. Culture Musical Club

This is the best place to enjoy the real Zanzibar Taarab music. Culture Musical Club is one of the most creative orchestras played in Swahili style. You will always get to see several performances with a lot of people gathered to enjoy the music. The club is located at Vuga Road, next to Florida Guest House in Zanzibar.

Culture Musical Club Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
10. Beautiful and Luxury Accommodation

Accommodation in Zanzibar is no problem. There are lots of hotels, guest houses and self-catering apartments that will suit your preference. Zanzibar has some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts, campsite retreat and beach rentals for every choice.

The Residence Luxury Hotels and Resorts Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

11. Stone Town

Stone Town is known as the cultural heart of Zanzibar. When you arrive at this town, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘ancient’. However, the city looks old with lively bazaars, winding alleys, primeval mosques and magnificent Arab houses but it is also a very interesting place to visit. There are so many things to see in this ancient city; from the Old Fort to the beautiful beaches in the city. You will definitely have a swell time.

Zanzibar sultan palace Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
12. Museum and Galleries

If you have weakness for discovering the history and culture of places, you will surely be glad to visit the historic museums and galleries in Zanzibar. There you will learn about bygone cultures and present context of Zanzibar. You can visit places like; Zanzibar Gallery, Palace Museum, Peace Memorial Museum and so on.

Peace Memorial Museum Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
13. Coffee and Tea

Enjoy Africa’s best coffee in Zanzibar. The best coffee in Africa is from Kilimanjaro and you will find coffees with different flavours in Zanzibar.

Coffee in Zanzibar 1024x682 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
14. Shopping

If you are a shopping freak, you will love Stone Town. Stone Town is a shopping dreamland with heaps of goods such as jewellry, bags, accessories, clothes, local crafts and many more. Zanzibar has something for everyone!

Shopping in Zanzibar 1024x768 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

15. Food Markets

The Darajani market is the traditional food market in Stone Town. There you will find vegetables, seafood, spices and fruits. The most enjoyable food market is the Forodhani Night Food Market located at Forodhani Gardens. The best place to enjoy a healthy dinner. There you will find different types of tasty foods such as seafood kebabs, grilled meat, fried potatoes, chapatis, salads and many other delicious meals. The market has a celebratory atmosphere, you’ll surely enjoy yourself.

Night Food Market Zanzibar Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
16. DalaDala Rides

DalaDala are public transport minibuses – a truck with benches. One may see this type of transportation as ‘dangerous’ but it is actually one of the memorable things to do in Zanzibar.

DalaDala 1024x682 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
17. Red Colobus Monkeys in Jozani Forest

Zanzibar’s well-known National Park – Jozani Forest is famous for its indigenous red colobus monkeys. Discover the red colobus monkeys and explore other varieties of wildlife.

Red Colobus Monkeys in Jozani Forest Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

18. Delicious Seafood

Zanzibar is known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes for any taste, from prawns to lobsters. You will enjoy the flavours of different types of fishes and have an incredible nutritional edge-over.

Delicious Seafood in Zanzibar 1024x768 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar 
19. Internet Service

Of course, internet service is available in Zanzibar. There are few internet cafes in Stone Town. You can easily send emails to your friends and families or browse the web.

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20. Giant Tortoise at Prison Island

Take a boat trip to Prison Island, 20 minutes ride from Zanzibar and see the giant tortoise. These tortoises are gigantic and you can get close to them. Some of these tortoises are said to be about 300 years old. It’s definitely a place to visit.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise on Changuu 1024x682 Why You Should Visit Zanzibar

 If you are looking for a place to go for an enjoyable vacation, Zanzibar is the best place to visit and you will definitely enjoy the experience.

 

Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna

African Adventure Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Each day, the drama of the animal kingdom plays out across the forests, jungles, savannah plains, and rivers of Africa. This is a place like no other, where you can see elephants on patrol, cheetahs on the prowl, crocodiles lying in wait, and wildebeests on the stampede. And Nature Bound Africa knows just where the action’s at, so when you’re with us, there’s no better seat in the house. You’ll feel like you’re truly part of the action. 
Welcome to Africa!

Baby Cheetah in Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya Africa 1 Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

There’s nothing in this world like waking up as the sun crests over the plains of the African savannah, hearing the chips of the birds overhead, listening to the hoots of monkeys in the trees, and the thunder of hooves on the plain knowing you’re in for a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Check out our wildlife tours to East Africa Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to see how these experiences and many more can soon become a reality.
 
Elegant Accommodations

Mashatu lodge Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

With fascinating ambiance and unique African charm, the accommodation you’ll find with Nature Bound Africa is both elegant, and personal. You’ll be staying in historic hotels converted from former palace guesthouses, ancestral mansions, wild safari tented camps, or merchant town houses typical of the East African coast. 
Africa’s Central Highlands

Dawn on Lake Victoria Uganda Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Rwanda and Uganda are two of Africa’s undiscovered jewels. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Victoria, discover unspoiled island paradises on the Indian Ocean, experience fantastic snorkeling and diving, explore the intriguing colonial history, and get up close with the abundant wildlife in the national parks. It’s all here. Where are you? 
Get to Know Our Primate Cousins

Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Tracking Tours Gorilla Watching Congo Be Part of the Adventure Action in African Savanna!

Climb into the misty cloud forests above Central Africa as you go in search of our closest relatives, monkeys, chimpanzees, and the elusive mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda’s mountainous highlands. There’s nothing quite like looking into the eyes of these great primates, and watching as they play with their young, forage for food, and swing between the high branches of the great jungle trees to truly understand just how connected we are with the animal kingdom.

How to Take Children on an African Safari

How to Take Children on an African Safari

children on walking safari How to Take Children on an African Safari

Despite all the warnings, a trip to Tanzania with a toddler and an 8-year-old turned out to be a dream vacation for the whole family

A LITTLE AFTER dawn, our safari guide headed to the less-explored eastern part of Serengeti National Park. He slowed the Toyota Land Cruiser at a patch of green that interrupted the straw-colored Tanzanian landscape, so barren that it made our mouths feel dry.

“There’s a hyena under that tree,” he said.

My husband, Nitin, and I stood up in the vehicle and instinctively shushed our groggy children, Naya and Riya, then ages 8 and 1. Looking through binoculars at the tree, we saw only a blur.

“Hey!” the baby shouted. “Hello? Hello?”   “Shhhhhh!” we scolded.

And suddenly, there was the hyena—headed straight for us. Creatures like these see young animals (including humans) as easy prey; once you get over the creepy factor, this can make for a cool wildlife-viewing experience—at least from the relative safety of a getaway car.

Months earlier, when we’d told friends that we planned to take our children to Africa, they mostly admonished us. The water’s not safe. The bugs are vicious. The kids will get bored on long drives. They won’t remember any of it.

Their doubts only emboldened us. We’d lived in India through my eldest daughter’s toddler years and considered ourselves seasoned travelers. The three of us horsebacked across Kashmir, rode elephants into the grasslands of Assam, took a palanquin into the caves of Ajanta. Then, in 2008, we moved back to the U.S. We bought a house. We had a second child. Vacations became three-day weekends in the Catskills or Berkshires, beach rentals up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Our Facebook photos started to look like everyone else’s.

I missed adventure and wanted to expose my children to more. Tanzania felt like a logical destination. Its pleasant dry season runs from June through October, overlapping with the kids’ summer holiday. My college roommate lives in Dar es Salaam, so we had an in-country contact in case of an emergency.

 African safaris are attracting a lot more families these days, including some with very young children, according to tour operators. When planning our trip, which included stops in Istanbul and Zanzibar, I requested safari quarters where little ones would be welcome (many lodges bar children under 12). To our surprise, we were offered high chairs, baby cots and special kid-friendly meals as we made our way around Tanzania.

We started in Tanzania’s most populous city, Dar es Salaam, took a day to acclimate and continued to Kilimanjaro, where we embarked on six days of safari. The Serengeti ecosystem, which straddles Tanzania and Kenya, is known for the largest migration of mammals in the world, but they were on the Kenyan side by the time we arrived. We stuck mostly to the central Serengeti to catch better views of lions; we saw plenty of zebras and wildebeest in the lesser-known Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania. Ngorongoro Crater, an immense inactive volcano caldera, gave us a chance to see all these animals in one place. Feeling cramped from days of driving, we also took a memorable hike around its rim.

Safaris, it turns out, are a dream vacation with and for kids. There is nothing like the amazement on a child’s face when giraffes and zebras are so close that you can smell them. Teachable moments abound—about nature and evolution, power and the world order. And though safari travel tends to be luxurious and sheltered from reality, having children along facilitates interaction with locals. Everywhere we went, Tanzanians wanted to hold our baby, pinch her cheeks, make her laugh. They gave our older child candy and pats on the head and encouraged her attempts to speak Swahili.

THE LOWDOWN: SAFARI WITH KIDS IN TANZANIA’S SERENGETI

Getting There: Dar es Salaam and Nairobi are the most common entry points for visitors to the Serengeti. From there, you can take shorter flights to Arusha, Kilimanjaro or Seronera to get closer to the parks. Visas can be purchased for cash upon arrival ($100) but if you want to avoid lines, do it in the U.S.

Staying There: Tour operators generally book safari lodging, and Duma Explorer planned our trip (dumaexplorer.com). In Arusha, Arumeru River Lodge is a serviceable first or last stop, with great food and views (from about $270 a night, arumerulodge.com). Its restaurant has high chairs and will accommodate children’s whims. Rhino Lodge near Ngorongoro Crater is bare-bones, but animals wander right onto the property in the morning and evening (from about $270 a night, including meals, ngorongoro.cc). Tarangire Safari Lodge, inside Tarangire National Park, recently added a spa, with a massage table that overlooks the river (from about $400 a night, including meals, tarangiresafarilodge.com). Duma Explorer’s tented Chaka Camp in the Serengeti offers king-size beds, hot showers and private porches (from about $690 a night, including meals, chakacamp.com).

Eating There: In tent lodges, cooks whip up whatever is freshest. You can request special meals for children, such as pasta or rice. Maasai-raised beef is not to be missed. Pack nonperishable snacks for long car rides; tour operators provide bottled water.

Spending There: Tanzania is largely a cash economy, so bring at least $1,000 for tips, souvenirs and incidentals, or plan to stop at ATMs outside the park entrances.

Taking Children Along: Consult your pediatrician about vaccinations and medications. The Sit ‘n’ Stroll, a car seat that turns into a stroller, is a good investment for any globe-trotting family ($330, lillygold.com).

During a hike through a village outside Arusha, the largest city in northern Tanzania, the baby delighted in all the attention. “Mtoto, mtoto,” children chanted, using the Swahili word for baby as they ran after us and colobus monkeys swung over our heads. Our eldest grew silent when the children begged for her sunglasses and stroked her skin as if to determine if it was different from theirs. Later, at dinner, we reminded her that the poverty she had witnessed was much more the norm than the Tanzania we saw on safari.

Guidebooks warned of something else I might have to discuss with the children: Mating, notably among the lions. We didn’t see any mating, but in July, the landscape of short brown grass exposes other primal behaviors. One day in the Serengeti, we came upon a pride of lions, and watched them for nearly an hour. My youngest stared at the lioness, just steps from her car seat. The eldest fiddled with the binoculars.

When the lioness started walking differently, Ebeneezer Emanuel, the same guide who showed us the hyena, warned that we might be about to see a kill. He gestured at the children as if to ask, “Is that OK?” We nodded.

The lioness crept up behind a pack of dancing gazelles and waited. We waited. I prayed my children would stay quiet. And she pounced. A baby gazelle was dragged under a tree to be eaten.

“So the female lions are stronger?” my daughter asked Ebeneezer.

“Yes,” he said. “They are much better hunters.”

“That is so cool.”

Seeing the kill inspired more serious dinnertime conversation. “How can the gazelles dance around so much knowing a lion might eat them at anytime?” my daughter wondered.

“Perhaps that is precisely why they let themselves be so happy,” I said.

Between game drives, we returned to our lodge or tent and let the girls run around and get out their own wild sides. I had packed an iPad loaded with kids’ videos in case they grew restless, but we never needed it; the children were much happier watching natural dramas unfold before them.

Also unnecessary were the dozens of packets of instant macaroni and cheese we’d brought. As my daughters devoured roast chicken and cassava stew, I felt sheepish for brushing off our friends’ skepticism when I’d clearly had a healthy dose of it myself.

How to take the perfect holiday photograph

How to take the perfect holiday photograph

tree climbing lions How to take the perfect holiday photograph

Follow a few simple tips to eradicate blurred sunsets and headless family members in your travel snaps

Even the best holiday memories fade – but photographs never do. At least, not these days with digital technology enabling us all to keep those happy snaps forever. But what if you struggle to take pictures you’ll want to treasure? Do you always chop people’s heads off, or end up with out of focus landscapes? Read on and let a professional show you how it’s done.

Invest in your camera
Don’t scrimp on time or cash when choosing the right camera. Do your research whether you are buying a full digital SLR, a compact camera or even just using a smartphone as your main travel camera. There is no going back, so read the reviews and go into a store to ask questions face to face even if you later buy online.

Get all the gear
You’ve got your camera, but make sure to get all the other bits and bobs you might need on the road; that means spare memory cards, lens-cleaning cloths and, most importantly, a spare battery. Ignore this advice at your peril – you’ll remember it ruefully when a lion vaults over your safari truck just after your battery dies.

Stabilise that image
So many gorgeous sunrise and sunset shots, as well as many landscape images, work best with a tripod. You don’t need a huge man-sized tripod rig that takes out passers by as you turn corners. There are plenty of compact tripods these days and you can even buy tiny little tripods for smartphones.

Compose
Compose, compose and then compose some more. Don’t just snap dull shots of the Eiffel Tower. Think about closing in and shooting some of the detail, or adding some people for extra interest – and use whatever light you have. Put simply, the more effort and time you put into composition, the better your pictures will be.

People not ants
When you are shooting photographs that aim to sum up the spirit of a great holiday don’t have the stars of the show standing miles away. Even if the backdrop is dramatic the people are the main focus here and you want to capture their enjoyment, even if they are a little camera shy, so bring them into the foreground.

Tell a story
Home in on details to tell the story of a place. For a market, first shoot a wide shot from a distance to set the scene, then move in slowly, finishing with close-ups of food and dashes of local prices or language to add more colour. You should have everything you need now to make a great montage for your wall back home.

Get techie
If you have invested in an expensive DSLR don’t just rely on the automatic modes. Get creative and experiment with various combinations of ISO settings and different shutter speeds. This will enable you to take more sophisticated photographs, as well as meaning you can call yourself a “proper photographer”.

Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

sauti za busara 1 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Zanzibar wraps its reality around you like a lingering fairytale. This tiny archipelago of Indian Ocean islands that once lured sailors, Sultans and slavers to its far-distant shores is so charismatic that it sweeps you into its shadowy romantic past and sunlit present all at once, and finally sets you down, all sun-bronzed and laden with spices and island art, and memories of an exceptionally sparkling and colourfully abundant sea.
Zanzibar pic1 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
The main island is small and easy to explore, with glorious white sand, palm-fringed beaches rewarding you for just a couple of hours’ drive to the North coast and the same to the East, along mainly hopeless but endlessly fascinating roads flanked by simple homesteads, roads worn more by foot or bicycle and frequented by chickens.
 
There is a time warp here, this place where the past is so responsible for the present, where mobile phones, internet connections and television are all relatively recent, and where the history and culture is so imbued that you can simply stretch out beneath the dappled shade of the coconut palms and soak it up. Welcome to Zanzibar, and a world apart.
Zanzibar pic2 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Sailors and traders from the first century AD came to the lands of ‘Zinj el Barr’, the Black Coast, bringing beads, porcelain and silks to trade for gold, slaves and spices, ebony, ivory, indigo and tortoiseshell. They waited for annual monsoon winds to fill their dhow sails and bear them across the Indian Ocean; today’s visitors usually arrive in a small ‘plane or ferry from Dar es Salaam.

But these still afford a measured approach, allowing a breathtaking vision of sparkling cerulean waters over sandbanks and reefs, and then into Stone Town, the ancient island capital, still more of a town than a city, a maze of winding pedestrian streets in a hotchpotch of rooftops, a mass of corrugated iron overwhelming the historic stonework beneath.

Helplessly entwined in its own history, the people of Zanzibar are the Swahili, evolving from the influx of mainly Arabian and Persian immigrants who settled on the East African coast and islands to trade and escape the political upheavals of the Gulf two thousand years ago. Their cultural history was founded in sailing dhows, similar to those that glide by its shores today, boats that brought people, language and cultures and long centuries of power wrangling.

Zanzibar pic3 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
The Arab immigrants were overthrown by the Portuguese in the 15th century, until the Sultan of Oman finally saw them off for good in 1698 and started building the Stone Town of today; the Old Fort on the harbour was built on the remains of a Portuguese church dating back to 1600.
 
Visitors to Stone Town still encounter the grandiose vision and dominant architectural style of a confident young Sultan who transferred the seat of his sultanate from the contentious capital of Muscat to the breezier climes of Zanzibar in 1832, and then began palace building in earnest, and seeding the coconut palms and clove plantations which soon defined Zanzibar as the ‘Spice Island’.
Zanzibar pic4 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure

Driving through the island centre now, it is worth stopping to explore the spice plantations, where a guided walk for passing tourists is likely to be more lucrative than vast crops to export, but it is a fine sensual pleasure to crumble cinnamon bark straight from the tree, to breathe the scent of cloves drying in the sun, to taste and guess the spice from a handful of pods and powders.

These are well used by the chefs and kitchens in beach hotels, where fishermen daily bring the catch of the day to be grilled, baked, battered or blanched with assorted Zanzibar spice.The coast is dotted with hotels, self-contained beach hideaways that relish their privacy and provide various levels of style and comfort.

I have been to most and head north by choice, to the northernmost peninsula which is occupied by Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel. The name is a very literal Swahili translation, but it says nothing of how this beach is secluded and the coral sands are blanched very, very pale. It does not tell how the wonderfully translucent and clear the sea is here, where a coral reef surrounds the shore creating a shallow wide expanse to explore until the tide rises high and then turquoise waves crash onto the beach. It is a naturally beautiful place.

Zanzibar pic5 Exploring Zanzibar Tropical Island Adventure
Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs when the moon is full, and the surrounding reefs are a thriving colourful world to snorkel and dive. Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel is essentially respectful of its place, each room constructed from local wood and coral rag to create a number of thatched round houses along the beach, with lodge rooms in gardens behind.
 
Soft sand pathways link the central thatched and open-sided restaurant to the rooms, pool and dive centre, providing the comforts of a fine hotel with a rustic, beach hideaway style. This is a fine place to lie back and soak up Zanzibar, crack open a coconut, watch the dhows on the far horizon and look forward to spice-scented, star filled African night.
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