Getting away from it all in Zanzibar

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all, only to arrive at your chosen destination and find that all have just arrived as well, or even worse that all are already there and all will be staying for some time yet? Yes, it does happen, and these days without a bit of intelligent holiday planning, it is more and more likely to happen.

So, if you really want to get away from it all, a little lateral thinking is in order, or else all will have a horrible habit of turning up just when you do. So, thinking laterally while looking at the continent of Africa, look at Tanzania, and then cast your eyes into the ocean off the coast. There lies the island of Zanzibar, one of the original Spice Islands, far away from all’s thoughts, and a real get away from it all island. And here you really can get away from all.

Zanzibar is the original trading island. Amongst the first visitors to Zanzibar were Arab traders who arrived in the 8th Century to trade gold, silks, ivory, spices, animal skins and slaves. A whole array of other nationalities arrived later, and many stayed and intermarried with the locals to form a culture that is uniquely diverse, and producing a race of people who regard hospitality to strangers as a sacred duty.

Zanzibar has lots of activities associated with its waters. Swimming, snorkeling and diving are all part of the norm. There is also deep sea fishing, windsurfing and sailing in the traditional Arab dhows.

Food is of the highest standard with seafood being amongst the best in Africa. The Indian Ocean has plentiful populations of fish, all of which are served up fresh, in various mixtures and combinations. The infiltrations of so many different cultures mean that food is exotic and delicious.

On the island of Zanzibar itself, I recommend two locations, the Palms Zanzibar, which contains the Sanctuary Spa, and Matemwe Bungalows, composed of 14 thatched bungalow suites in a stunning setting.

If you really want to get further away from it all, I recommend Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island, which forms part of the Zanzibar archipelago. Here there are 16 spacious rooms with wonderful ocean rooms. Another recommendation is the Mnemba Island Lodge on a tiny atoll off the north coast of Zanzibar. Here is the ultimate in barefoot luxury, surrounded by some of the best diving and fishing in the whole of Africa.

So if you really want to get away from it all, Zanzibar offers an exclusivity and style only available to the discerning few….

Gerard Moxon is Founder of Luxury Hedonist.

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