The Complete Guide To Planning A Zanzibar Honeymoon : Are you considering the perfect Zanzibar honeymoon holiday? Here is our professional complete guide to the best places to stay and destinations for your Zanzibar honeymoon.
We believe that when it comes to honeymoon destinations, Africa is incredibly underrated. And if there was one place to show it was worthwhile, it would be Zanzibar. This archipelago, which is not far from Tanzania’s coast, is home to tranquil beaches, lush tropical forests, and a vibrant culture. Although it’s a wonderful destination for vacations, how about a honeymoon in Zanzibar?
For honeymooners looking for a dreamy combination of cultural exploration, water sports, and white sand beaches, Zanzibar is quickly gaining popularity. Located in the Indian Ocean, 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, is this picturesque archipelago. It is made up of four major islands, including Unguja, also called Zanzibar Island, and Pemba Island, along with a number of smaller ones that are located close to the coast.
Zanzibar, also known as the “Spice Islands,” has long been regarded as one of the world’s top suppliers of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. The islands are renowned for their rare wildlife, including the red colobus monkey, as well as their immaculate beaches, warm waters, and clear skies. It’s a real treat to explore the waters surrounding Zanzibar because you’ll come across a wonderland of vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
Zanzibar makes a great honeymoon destination for newlyweds who want to avoid the more generic beach destinations. We’ve put together a guide with all the information you need to know about organizing your Zanzibar honeymoon to help you start your marriage with a truly memorable trip.
ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON: WHY ZANZIBAR IS A GREAT HONEYMOON DESTINATION
The fact that these islands have something to offer everyone is one of their main attractions. There is top-notch scuba diving, calm water, and less crowding on Zanzibar Island’s north coast. Beautiful beaches and windier weather for kitesurfing can be found on the east coast. On the west coast, there is the well-known Stone Town, as well as an outstanding culinary scene and encounters with jellyfish, dolphins, and green sea turtles. Couples can choose from a variety of spice tours on the southern coast, which will fully immerse them in the region’s fascinating culture.
Over the past 20,000 years, Zanzibar has been home to a number of civilizations, resulting in a population and landscape that are diverse and have been influenced by many different cultures, including the Portuguese, British, and ancient Persian traders. The old part of Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fascinating mix of mosques and homes in various architectural styles, making it especially appealing to explore its historic, cobbled streets. The variety of boutique resorts dotted along Zanzibar Island’s coastline adds additional appeal for honeymooners seeking a tranquil getaway.
ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON: WHEN TO GO TO ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON
There are benefits and drawbacks to both the two peak seasons and the two rainy seasons that occurs at this honeymoon destination. From June to October, the first high season, which is pleasant with temperatures in the 80s, is in effect. Since there is almost no rain during this time, there are more people present because many tourists who are in Serengeti National Park to see the Great Migration also visit Zanzibar for the beaches. The less crowded northern coast of the island of Zanzibar is a great place for honeymooners to go and try an activity like scuba diving.
The second peak season is from December to February, when temperatures soar to the 90s and there is also more wind. This makes it perfect for kite surfers, but less so for people who want to relax on the beach and read a book.
Since it can rain for weeks at a time, many resorts close during the “long rains” season, which runs from March to May. But if you don’t mind the rain and want to experience almost no crowds and cheap rates at the few resorts that are still open, this might be a good time for your honeymoon in Zanzibar.
The “short rains” season, which runs from November to December, is a nice blend of the high season and the primary rainy season. It’s possible to have a few isolated showers throughout the day, but it’s less typical to get a full day’s worth of rain. This time of year offers more affordable lodging costs, agreeable weather, and conditions perfect for combining beach time with cultural tours.
ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON: HOW TO GET THERE?
Take advantage of the numerous direct flights from cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, or Milan to Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport for the utmost convenience. Some honeymooners opt to fly into Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport before boarding a ferry or domestic flight to Zanzibar Island. Book a seat on one of the four ferries that travel from Dar es Salaam’s main port to Zanzibar each day if you want to save money. Each way, the ferry ride takes about an hour and 45 minutes.
It’s also important to remember that a visa, which costs between $50 and $100, is required to enter Tanzania and Zanzibar. When you arrive at the international airport in Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, you can purchase the visa in advance online or in person. (For residents of the US, the fee is $100.)
If you plan to leave your resort for day trips after you arrive, you should rent a car. Many resorts can assist you in setting up transportation from the airport if you don’t intend to venture outside.
ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON: HONEYMOON ACCOMMODATIONS IN ZANZIBAR
There are many resorts in Zanzibar, all of which provide seclusion, luxury, and breathtaking views. However, each resort has distinctive qualities that set it apart from the competition. Here are our top picks for Zanzibar honeymoon resorts:
The Residence Zanzibar
The Residence Zanzibar is a popular honeymoon destination for couples looking for the utmost privacy during their romantic getaway. It is situated on 80 acres of tropical gardens that end in a mile-long beach on the southwest coast. The Residence Zanzibar’s 66 brown-tiled brick bungalows are elegantly understated, with furnishings drawn from the island’s African, Omani, and European heritages. Natural coconut body products in the bathroom and freshly baked truffles placed on pillows each night as part of the turndown service are examples of luxurious touches. If you choose the honeymoon package, it comes with a Kitenge, a sarong-like fabric from East, West, and Central Africa.
Each bungalow also features a large wooden deck, a plunge pool, and gardens where you might get lucky and see the endangered red colobus monkey. You can enjoy some of the best dishes from African, Omani, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures, whether you choose to book a table at The Dining Room or The Pavilion or reserve a private dining experience for two.
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa
This five-star beach resort’s modern design and neutral color scheme allow it to blend in perfectly with the powder-soft sand that surrounds the villas and public areas. On the subject of villas, this is the kind of lodging you should splurge on for your honeymoon. Each villa has two units that are connected by a garden with a terrace and a private pool and face the ocean. High-ceilinged living and dining areas are found in one unit, while a king-size bedroom and bathroom with an outdoor tub are found in the other.
When you’re not relaxing in your own private tub with your partner, you can take a nap in a hammock on the beach, eat something at the outdoor bar or restaurant, sip champagne on the resort’s rooftop, or meet new people by the pool. With only 11 villas and three guest rooms, the resort prioritizes privacy, so don’t expect to see a lot of visitors.
The resort is located on Paje Beach, a gorgeous stretch of sand on Zanzibar’s east coast that offers great weather for kite surfers. Other distinctive features of Zanzibar White Sand include breakfast that floats in the pool, safaris that feature uncommon animal sightings, and a spa that offers treatments like the Indian head massage, the Zanzibar spice massage, and a cellulite treatment that uses coffee, cinnamon, and orange.
Baraza Resort & Spa
This five-star, all-inclusive hotel on Zanzibar’s east coast is one of the island’s most coveted resorts and was created with Arabic, Swahili, and Indian influences. The end result is a regal oasis that sparkles with Swahili arches, rich woods, marble, custom furniture, one-of-a-kind antiques, and intricate brass lanterns. The resort earned a spot on Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the 60 best new hotels in the world thanks to its exquisite ambiance. If price is not a major consideration and you want to experience the best Zanzibar has to offer, this is where you should stay.
The Baraza Resort & Spa offers lessons for the game bao, a traditional mancala board game, as well as instruction in palm weaving, coconut harvesting, and Swahili cultural cooking to help visitors fully immerse themselves in the Zanzibari culture. If scuba diving is on your list of things to do on your honeymoon, this is also the place to stay. The only PADI five-star Gold Palm and RAID diving-certified dive center in Zanzibar is the on-site Rising Sun Dive Center.
The upscale Zanzi Resort is located on Zanzibar’s western coast and is the perfect place for eco-conscious tourists. In addition to having gardens where adorable bush babies, two families of monkeys, elephant shrews, and various birds live, the resort also grows its own food. Zanzi Resort is only 9 miles from Stone Town and 30 minutes from the airport, making it incredibly accessible.
Consider booking this resort’s low-season package if you’re searching for a less expensive honeymoon location. You can benefit from discounted nightly rates, a free daily breakfast and dinner, and a one-hour Japanese hot stone treatment called ganbanyoku from November 1 to December 20, when sporadic showers are typical. Lying on sizable heated stones helps the body detoxify and improve circulation during this treatment.
Zanzi Resort excels at creating romantic experiences because it frequently hosts newlyweds. The resort can fuel your romance in a number of ways, including a private beach trip, a paddle in an Ngalawa (a traditional fisherman’s boat), and a candlelit dinner on the beach.
This beach hotel really excels in the culinary department, producing dishes that combine flavors from the Arab, Portuguese, Indian, German, British, and Chinese cultures. The best beverages are also served, including imported wines from South African, Australian, French, and Italian vineyards, along with regional beers and creative cocktails.
The Zanzibar beach hotel Elewana Kilindi boasts rounded, white structures that somewhat resemble seashells, which will appeal to those who love original architecture. These magnificent buildings, which are dispersed across a lush hillside overlooking the Indian Ocean, also provide breath-taking views. Because it was initially created for Benny Andersson, a member of the band ABBA, the resort is extremely eccentric.
The wide-arched, glassless windows in each of the 15 Eastern-style domed pavilion suites provide unrestricted views of the ocean. You can close the white wooden-slat shutters if you want some privacy. The pavilions also come with a butler, a private garden, and a pool. The main infinity pool is another feature; it is over 80 feet long and appears to merge into the water. Alfresco dining, a spa, and a waterfall bar are also present here.
ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON: WHAT TO DO DURING YOUR ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON HOLIDAY
Zanzibar offers a seductive fusion of adventurous honeymoon activities and culturally enlightening experiences. (Pro tip: Include a honeymoon fund on your registry so that guests can give you cash gifts that you can use to go on all the excursions on your wish list.)
Go dolphin-watching: Take a tour off the coast of Mnemba Island or Kizimkazi Beach to witness the gentle grace of dolphins if you’ll be in Zanzibar between January and February or June and October.
Look around the House of Wonders: The House of Wonders, which can be found in Stone Town, was one of the six palaces Barghash bin Said, the second Sultan of Zanzibar, built. The palace has a museum with artifacts from Zanzibari culture.
Go scuba diving: Scuba diving is one of the most popular honeymoon activities in Zanzibar because there aren’t many things more romantic than gliding through warm waters with your special someone. The water surrounding these islands is home to a variety of colorful coral reefs and sea life, making this activity even more alluring. Scuba diving and snorkeling hotspots include Menai Bay Conservation Area and Mnemba Atoll.
Dhow experience: Onboard a handcrafted wooden sailing vessel called a dhow, many tour operators offer romantic sunset cruises. Additionally, some tours include dinner and cocktails on board.
Hop on a spice tour: Go on a tour that takes you through spice plantations where clove, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chili, and black pepper are harvested if you want to learn more about Zanzibari culture in depth.
Walking safari in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park: You can learn more about the park’s numerous medicinal plants by taking a private, guided tour. You can also explore the park’s baobab and mangrove trees and look for animals like the Zanzibar Sykes’ monkey, the red colobus monkey, bush babies, 50 different species of butterflies, and 40 different species of birds.
Say yes to kitesurfing in Paje: While learning to kitesurf can be challenging, you’ll see that the effort is worthwhile when you and your partner are zooming across the calm waters of the Indian Ocean with the warm wind at your backs.
HOW LONG TO SPEND ON YOUR ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON
How long do you need to spend in Zanzibar, whether you’ve planned a Tanzania and Zanzibar honeymoon or spent your entire trip there? You will need at least one week on your Zanzibar honeymoon to take full advantage of your honeymoon resort, go on some epic hikes, and explore Stone Town, the island’s cultural center.
HOW MUCH DOES A ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON COST?
A honeymoon in Zanzibar typically costs between $3,000 and $5,000. If you want to see more of Tanzania, you’ll undoubtedly end up spending more money, so if you’re already traveling far, we advise seeing both.
ADDITIONAL ZANZIBAR HONEYMOON TIPS
Here are some additional suggestions to keep in mind as you plan to make sure your honeymoon in Zanzibar is everything you’ve dreamed it would be.
Keep the dress code in mind: In general, you can wear whatever you want at your resort, but it’s best to dress fairly conservatively when you’re out in public. Women are also expected to cover their legs and shoulders in public.
Shop wisely: You can find some truly unique souvenirs in Stone Town, including gold jewelry, handcrafted beads, antiques, textiles, spices, and wooden carvings. Don’t buy anything made from an endangered species, such as ivory or tortoiseshell, though.
Be prepared before renting a vehicle: You will require an international driving license if you intend to rent a vehicle. Renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle is also a good idea. For those who are not accustomed to it, driving in Zanzibar is done on the left side of the road, which can be a little confusing.