Zanzibar Islands Guide
Strictly speaking Zanzibar consists of three islands, Unguja, Pemba and Mafia islands which are collectively known as the Spice Islands (not to be confused with the Indonesian Spice Islands!). Unguja is usually referred to as “Zanzibar”. There are dozens of much smaller islands, some inhabited and some not, all of them are exciting to explore and most offer some of the best snorkelling and diving anywhere in the world. If you have the time while you’re on Zanzibar, consider the following …
Pemba is 50 Km north of Zanzibar: this island is more fertile and more undulating compared to Zanzibar and there is a lot more farming activity compared to Zanzibar. Trivia of the day: more than 3,000,000 clove trees grow here! Imagine the scents at harvest time! (Late July and August).
Ngezi Forest in the middle of Pemba Island is a primary forest (i.e. the trees have never been felled) is home to such goodies as the flying fox (a fruit bat); red colobus monkey; blue duiker and Scops owl.
This is a hidden gem! It’s a tiny island lying off the west coast of Pemba, completely surrounded by a pristine coral reef. The IDEAL picnic and snorkel/dive trip.
Chapwani is a private island 2 Kw north-west of Zanzibar. The lodge here has an infinity sea-water swimming pool, home-grown veg and home produced eggs which make this a genuine eco-paradise! Surprisingly affordable for such a special little spot.
12 Km southwest of Zanzibar. Probably the best example of an eco-island that we know. Surrounded by coral, no diving and no fishing allowed, only snorkelling. Great to visit – not sure it’s the best place to stay though!
Mnemba is privately owned by “& Beyond” (formally known as “Conservation Corporation” and previously “Wilderness”) . A fantastic lodge focussed precisely on top of the market luxury. Only guests of Mnemba Island Lodge are allowed to set foot on the island. Very private; big budget destination.
250 Km south of Zanzibar, Mafia is surprisingly big with 40,000 people living here. There’s a variety of resorts, including the stunning Chole Mjini, perched on an islet, complete with tree-house accommodation! Absolutely ideal for families who like being outdoors. A dream come true with service and ambience to match.