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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.

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.

Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

Africa’s Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

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A continent of 54 countries, 2000 languages and over 3000 tribes, Africa has a staggeringly diverse array of cultures. It’s no surprise that Africa is home to some of the best cultural festivals on the planet – everything from food and music to art and film – in some truly spectacular locations, such as isolated deserts, medieval cities, on the shores of a lake or on a tropical island.

Here’s a round up of 8 of the best cultural festivals Africa has to offer. Add these to your bucket list!

1. AfrikaBurn, South Africa

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Based on the famous US festival Burning Man, AfrikaBurn is the continent’s most alternative arts festival. Everything that happens in Tankwa Town (the temporary settlement where 10 000 festival goers gather in the Karoo desert) is up to the creativity of participants. There is no entertainment organised – instead the participants of the festival create their own art works, their own music and their own performances. You have no idea what to expect each year, but you’re guaranteed an experience that will blow your mind.

2. Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco

If you love the idea of music festivals, but aren’t into sleeping in a tent or stomping around in a muddy field, then the Fes Festival is probably your cup of tea. Each year the medieval Moroccan city puts on a festival of sacred music from around the world – expect everything from whirling dervishes from Turkey, dancers from Bali and chanting Sufi mystics from Iran – in stunning venues such as centuries-old palaces and atmospheric garden courtyards.

3. Zanzibar International Film Festival

sauti za busara Africa Top 8 Largest Cultural Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival takes place every year on the tropical island of Zanzibar. Films from around Africa are screened in venues across the island, culminating in an awards night on the final night of the festival, while the music performances, DJ sets and dancing create a carnival atmosphere.

4. Lake of Stars, Malawi

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The Lake of Stars festival has been named one of the world’s best by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, and it’s easy to see why. The music festival takes place on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi, with local Malawian musicians playing side by side with bands and DJs from around the world – many of whom play for free just for the chance to get involved in this feel-good event. There’s a range of music on the line up, from electro to Afro-pop, and while you’re taking a break in between checking out the acts, you can swim in the lake, laze on sandy beaches, or get involved in one of the festival’s community projects.

 
5. International Festival of the Sahara, Tunisia

You probably couldn’t think of a more exotic location for a festival than an oasis in the Sahara Desert. Douz, a place where palm trees outnumber residents, swells in population by 50 000 each year when people arrive to share in a four-day celebration the art, traditions and culture of the people of the desert. Expect to see camel marathons, displays of horse riding, a Bedouin marriage, lively dancing, music performances and a poetry competition.

6. Bushfire, Swaziland

Each year the tiny country of Swaziland draws 20 000 people for its three-day Bushfire festival – an arts event that encompasses film, theatre, poetry and visual arts performances, as well as music and dance in a beautiful valley. All of the profits from the festival are given to NGOs and charities, so just by attending you contribute to Swaziland’s development.

7. Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar

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For 10 years Zanzibar has been host of the “Sounds of Wisdom” festival – a celebration of the best music from across the African continent. Each year there’s a diverse line up of acts, covering genres such as Zimbabwean rap-rock, Senegalese reggae and Rwandan Afro-pop. In addition to music performances, during the festival you can also catch fringe shows of drumming, music documentaries and traditional dancing.

8. Gnaoua World Music Festival, Morocco

The coastal 18th century town of Essaouira rings out with the sound of music at this annual festival which sees traditional Gnaoua musicians (descendants of slaves from sub-Saharan Africa) joined by jazz, pop, blues, reggae, hip hop, Sufi, Latin and rock musicians, attracting around 500 000 people. The performances (many of which are free) take place on the town’s beaches, historic sites, public squares and beaches as Essaouira is transformed into a musical oasis.

 

How to travel responsibly

How to travel responsibly

How to travel responsibly, being a responsible budget traveler Tourism in developing countries can be both a blessing and a curse – each individual leaves his or her mark upon a place.

Small decisions that we make along the way as travelers insure that future travelers find a place as welcoming and magical as we did.

Travel and tourism should be planned and executed as a means of individual growth and development. When practiced with an open mind, it is an awesome source of self education, mutual tolerance and for learning about the diversity and wonderful nuances that make our planet such an interesting place.

Everyone has a responsibility for creating and promoting responsible travel and tourism. Governments, business and communities must shoulder their share of the load, but as a budget traveler you can support this in many ways that make a huge difference:

  1. Open your mind to other cultures and traditions. It will transform your trip and you will earn respect and welcome of the local people. Be tolerant and respectful, making sure to observe social and cultural traditions and practices.
  2. Respect human rights. Exploitation in any form conflicts with the fundamental purpose of travel.
  3. Help preserve natural environments. Leave things the way you found it – or better.  Protect wildlife and habitats and do not purchase products made from endangered plants or animals….this includes animal products, novelty insects, etc…
  4. Respect cultural resources. Activities should be conducted in a way that respects the artistic, archaeological and cultural heritage of a place.
  5. Support the local economy – they need it. Purchase local handicrafts and products using the principles of fair trade. Bargaining for goods should reflect an understanding of a fair wage – don’t fall victim to traveler scams, but that merchant probably needs the difference more than you do.
  6. Get up to date about the destination’s current health situation prior to departure and be assured that your health and personal security will not be threatened. Make sure that you have the means to remain healthy and happy before you arrive in a new place.
  7. Learn as much as possible about your destination and take time to understand the customs, norms and traditions in an effort to avoid accidentally offending the local population.
  8. Learn the local laws so that you do not accidentally break them. Refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species and products or substances that are dangerous or prohibited.

Responsible travel is not complicated.  Getting into the mindset that you are going to leave a place in better shape than you found it by doing your part and encouraging others, will ensure that the doors will be kept open for future budget travelers!

provided by StepUpTravel.org

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