Top 5 Zanzibar hotels to relax in after your safari

Kenya and Tanzania have long been favourites for those looking for a safari and beach holiday, with the vast plains of the Serengeti, Masai Mara and other reserves offering what many consider to be the ultimate safari experience. Wherever you go on your safari in East Africa, Zanzibar is the most popular choice for a beach extension, and it’s easy to see why given its beautiful beaches, warm waters and choice of wonderful hotels.

Zanzibar is a relatively small island, only 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, set the in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean about  25 miles from  the coast of mainland Tanzania. The Island is easily reached by plane from either Kenya or Tanzania, and the vast majority of hotels can be reached within 90 minutes of the airport.  There are some beautiful beaches all around the Island, although some on the East Coast in particular can be very tidal.  Many of the very best beaches are found on the North West Coast around Kendwa, and the best diving and snorkelling are at Mnemba Atoll, just off the North East Coast.

Here are some suggestions for relaxing in Zanzibar as part of your safari and beach holiday.

AndBeyond Mnemba Island

If diving is your passion then this may well be your perfect paradise. AndBeyond Mnemba Island is an award-winning private beach lodge set in the heart of the Menmba atoll, Zanzibar’s premier diving and snorkelling site. This exquisite private island, with its white coral beaches, is renowned as one of the most romantic ocean destinations in the world, offering a privacy and rustic exclusivity unparalleled on the African coastline.

Mnemba Island Lodge

The 10 beach-side rustic bandas are tucked into the tropical foliage on the edges of the magnificent white sand beach and overlook the gently rolling waves and pristine coral reef.  Although rustic in design, the well appointed bandas have a spacious bedrooms  with a four poster bed swathed in mosquito netting and cooled by gently whirring fans, an elegant dressing area, and a covered walkway leading to a shuttered en-suite bathroom with a huge glass-beaded shower curtain.

The service here is a blend of  local charm and warmth, and the understated excellence that is a typical of the safari lodges that AndBeyond operate across Southern and East Africa.  The combination of stylish, rustic accommodation,  excellent service, and a truly magnificent island setting make this one of the very best beach destinations to add to a top-drawer safari holiday.

Xanadu Villas

Xanadu Villas is one of the most beautiful hotels on Zanzibar and offers a truly exclusive experience for the most discerning 5* clients.  There are just 6 beautiful villas set in a tropical garden by one of the finest beaches on the south-east coast of Zanzibar.

Xanadu Villas

The beautiful setting, fine food and unpretentious service make it difficult to leave the retreat, however sunset dhow cruises, snorkelling, paddle boarding and tours of the island can all be arranged on request during your stay.

Zuri Zanzibar

Having opened only in the summer of 2018, Zuri Zanzibar is a recent addition to the Zanzibar coast at Kendwa, however it is already drawing rave reviews for its wonderful rooms, service and food – and it’s easy to see why.  The location on the west coast is superb, and this amazing setting provides guests with a stunning white-sandy beach, turquoise waters and unforgettable sunsets.

Zuri Zanzibar

The property itself has 55 stylish and beautifully appointed rooms set among spice gardens, with the majority of rooms offering stunning views over the Indian Ocean. There are three restaurants, a stunning infinity pool, a water-sports centre and dive centre.

If you are including a trip to Zuri as part of your honeymoon (or if you are just an old romantic at heart) then be sure to ask about dinner on the beach – there is nothing as romantic or atmospheric as enjoying a candlelit beach dinner with a private bonfire under the starriest of skies.

Baraza Beach Resort & Spa

With just 30 villas, and located along the beach that was named as one of the top 30 in the world by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller magazine, Baraza is one of Zanzibar’s most exclusive boutique resorts.

Baraza Beach Resort & Spa

Baraza offers some of the most luxurious accommodation on the Island of Zanzibar,  with Swahili arches, intricate hand carved cement decor, beautiful antiques, handmade furniture and intricate brass lanterns.  This beguiling fusion of Arabic, Swahili and Indian design is complimented by excellent service and fine food and wine.  The beautiful beach here is very tidal and so not really suitable for swimming, however  the diving and snorkelling are excellent on this part of the Island, and there is a fantastic swimming pool with plenty of space to relax and soak up the sun in between swims.

Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar offers a stylish blend of Middle Eastern style and Scandinavian minimalism, and has a relaxed barefoot and back-to-nature feel.  The hotel is comprised of a series of white-domed pavilions which are all set in 50 acres of lush tropical gardens on the North West coast of the Island.

Kilindi Zanzibar

The Main Pavilion has a bar which overlooks the large infinity pool and the sparkling warm waters of the Indian Ocean beyond, and the 15 guest Pavilion Suites each have a private pool, day pavilion, sun terrace and magnificent ocean views.  The property is laid out in such a way as to ensure guest privacy and a feeling of being at one with nature, and from your room or private terrace you are much more likely to see monkeys, birds and lizards than a fellow guest.

The private beach is just a short walk downhill and offers comfortable loungers and beds, plus paddle boards and kayaks which are available for guest to borrow.

Paul Campbell is a Co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers. Travel Butlers are specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (12)

  1. Ivor Hunter says:

    Zanzibar isn’t just an add-on after a safari. It is a fascinating destination in its own right. Well worth s visit.

  2. Steve says:

    My great irrelevant trivia comment on Zanzibar, whenever someone mentions the place, is to to tell them that Freddie Mercury was born there. There must have been grey days in London when he missed the sunshine of his homeland!

  3. Claire Smith says:

    I’d been doing some research on Zanzibar for an early October getaway. Europe is beginning to get chilly, South East Asia has too much rain and you’re in danger of storms in the Caribbean so Zanzibar is a contender. When I saw the picture of Kilindi Zanzibar I knew I had a place that I could be happy. The sand are so white and I’m a big fan of Scandinavian minimalism. A relaxed barefoot and back-to-nature feel is exactly what Iooking for.

  4. Krisan Sablaon says:

    Beautiful resorts! I liked Xanadu Villas the most. So nice to find a post like, as there are tons of accommodations in Zanzibar. Would love to the costs of a stay in these heavenly places. I might have seen Zuri Zanzibar in a Youtube video, and it looks as magical. I’d surely consider these resorts for honeymoon hopefully soon lol Anyway, loved your post and pictures! Keep it up.

  5. pawan kumar says:

    Amazing resort I ever seen this kind of resort in my is very beautiful and located in wonderful place. I really that.

  6. Lorna says:

    Yes please, I’d happily go to any of these! I love the location of the Zuri Zanzibar being right on the doorstep of that gorgeous beach. It looks like something straight from a magazine, with the white beach, lush green palm & perfectly blue ocean. Being in the top 30 for the Conde Nast Traveller mag is an impressive achievement for the Baraza Beach Resort, it looks like the ideal place to relax and indulge yourself. It’s good there’s such variety in terms of what kind of experience you want, from contemporary luxury to something more authentic and natural like at the Kilindi Zanzibar. The pavilions are certainly quite an interesting alternative to a hotel!

  7. Samantha says:

    Jambo Paul! Thank you for this article and nice description of the chosen places. We’re planning our honeymoon in Clove Island (Makunduchi) – our friends spent a great time there a few months ago and really recommend this place. We still have some time so I’m checking the options.

  8. Bob Brown says:

    There’s not a lot of info out there on Zanzibar. Perhaps that comes from being last in an A to Z of world travel? By the time writers get to Z they may have lost interest?

    Anyway I was thinking of adding Zanzibar on to the end of a safari so this has been very educational.

    Many thanks, Bob

  9. Jean Hall says:

    My friends would laugh hilariously at that title. I take a lot of stick from them when I talk about tacking on a holiday, a few days of relaxation, after a safari. The trouble is that none of them have ever done a safari and they don’t appreciate how tiring it can be.

    You are up early in the morning for sun rise game drives and then you are up late for night game drives or increasingly for Dark Skies experiences. I often find on a safari that I’m getting less sleep than I do at home going to work. You can snooze by the pool mid-day but that doesn’t help that much. A safari is a great experience but those beach days are essential.

  10. Bradley says:

    My personal favourite is Clove Island Villas & Spa, already mentioned in the comments. Greetings!

  11. Ashley says:

    I’m going on a first time safari in Tanzania and wanted to add on a beach vacation. While I’d love to go to the Seychelles, Zanzibar was recommended because I have limited time and it wouldn’t require an overnight in Nairobi. A travel agent recommended Zuri or the Palms in Zanzibar. Any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks so much!!

Leave a comment

Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published

Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Comments such as "Nice post. Thanks for sharing." do NOT add value to the discussion! Homepage links (not deep links) are allowed in the 'Website' field only - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details and we will be happy to help.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…