Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba

A visit to one of the islands of the Zanzibar archipelago is the perfect end to any Tanzania safari. What better way to relax after climbing Kilimanjaro, canoeing down the Rufiji River or gazing at grazers on the Serengeti plains, than on the endless white coral beaches these islands are endowed with?

For most people the name Zanzibar conjures up an exotic vision of turquoise sea, white sand and palm trees, and indeed these are present in abundance. Visit Zanzibar for yourself during your Tanzania safari, however, and you will see just how much more there is to experience. If you can tear yourself away from the idyllic beaches, you will find ancient Arabic culture, endemic Red Colobus monkeys, traditional dhows, aromatic spices, quaint alleyways, and bustling markets vying for your attention.

The archipelago consists of 3 main islands - Unguja, Pemba and Mafia.

Unguja

Unguja is the Swahili name for the island that is commonly known as Zanzibar Island. The capital, Stone Town, consists of a maze of narrow alleyways, with ornate carved Arabic wooden doorways, hidden cafes, street markets and roadside stalls. Head away from town to Jozani Forest and you will see the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus, or take in an unmissable Spice Tour to learn about the trade that put Zanzibar on the map! Finally end up on the white coral sand beaches, where you can find a secluded spot to relax and watch the waves. The snorkelling is sublime and the diving superb - a number of dive operators now offer PADI and NAUI courses so if you don't already dive, what better place to learn?!

Pemba

Pemba lies just 50 miles to the north of Unguja, but is very different in character. Most visitors never make it this far and Pemba has a sleepy feel to it that makes a good antidote to the bustle of the crowds who flock to Unguja. The landscape is hilly and forested, the people immeasurably friendly and the culture rich. Unlike Unguja, Pemba is on a separate continental shelf, so deep-water fish abound and the diving here is world-reknowned. Currents can be strong so we don't recommend diving here to beginners.

Mafia

Mafia, south of Unguja, is just opposite the Rufiji Delta. A short flight from Dar es Salaam or the Selous Game Reserve, it provides a sanctuary from the busy life of the mainland and Unguja. The diversity of marine life around Mafia is staggering, with sharks, rays, dolphins, whales, turtles and even dugongs found here, not to mention the countless species of colourful reef fish. From here you can take a traditional dhow to Kilwa and other spots up and down the Swahili coast, or just relax and enjoy the untouched beaches.


  • The programme was excellent and we saw masses of game, less a leopard! So, entirely happy customers. Thank you for your efficient handling of the whole trip.

    Christopher Lee

    United Kingdom, Jan 2013

  • Thank you very much for the organization of our Safari. We were really happy with our guide Henry and our cook. Everything was great. Henry was a wonderful guide, always on time.

    Cline Gardiol

    Switzerland, Jan 2013

  • We had a fantastic trip. Your excellent organisation, your guide - Max, was exemplary in every way, were major contributors to this. Many thanks for making ours, a trip of a lifetime.

    Richard Goldberg

    United Kingdom, Jun 2013

  • I'd like to say that our entire trip was truly amazing and a great once in a lifetime excursion. Everything was very well setup and we had no problems with any of the trip. Thanks to Wild Things.

    Katye Vytal

    United States of America, Jun 2013

  • We had a really great vacation on the Southern Circuit in Tanzania and wonderfully facilitated by our driver/guide Salim who was really first class - a great representative of Wild Things.

    Steve Wallis

    Belgium, Oct 2013

  • We had an excellent time and the trip was very well planned, the guides (and vehicles) excellent. Thank you very much for arranging it all!

    Jackie, David and Sarah

    Australia, Oct 2013

  • A very exciting adventure

    Andrew Bird

    United Kingdom, Jan 2014