Palm lined white beaches and turquoise ocean you can find in many places of the world. On the islands that lay just off the coast of mainland Tanzania these ingredients for a dream beach holiday are spiced with a vibrant swahili culture. The sultans of Oman once ruled the islands and coast lines and left palaces, mosques and ancient traditions. Three islands that could not be more different, make the perfect ending to a safari or mountain adventure: Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba. Zanzibar is the most famous for many reasons and the numbers of visitors show it. For those seeking more tranquility and authenticity Mafia and Pemba are the first choice. The latter is famous for its clove plantations and the diving grounds of its coast. Mafia offers tiny islands where you can see turtles hatch, a marine sanctuary with virgin dive sites and – with a bit of luck – snorkeling with whale sharks. Contact us for ideas how you can leave the world behind.
The ‘Spice Island’ offers the widest variety of accommodations and impressive remainders of the Omani sultans in Stone Town. Here you find the perfect honeymoon hotel and activities that speak to romantic souls. Imagine a picnic on sandbank in midst the turquoise ocean or a sun set cruise with a dhow, the traditional sailing boat, still used by Zanzibar Fishermen. The top end of the beach hotels satisfies those guests who really want to spoil themselves. Think of private plunge pools, butler service and refined cuisine. If you rather want to get away from it all we recommend Mafia and Pemba island because they attract far less visitors.
Do not come here if you seek chic resorts and beach entertainment. Mafia island stands for authentic island life, a couple of low key lodges (that nevertheless offer all comforts) and clean waters teeming with fishes. Visit Juani island – a part of the Mafia archipelago – on the right day and you may witness the hatching of turtles guarded by former poachers turned rangers. Dive in the marine reserve of Chole Bay and enjoy the healthy reefs and great variety of fish and the fact that you are indeed the only one on the dive site. Set over to Chole Island and find not only one of the last remaining intact island forests, but also a lodge with tree houses facing the sea and a couple of trees bustling with thousands of fruit eating bats.
Pemba was for a long time not on the wish list of any traveler. Farming rice, coconuts and cloves provided the sole income for the inhabitants. Only recently, as the number of accommodations and visitors in Zanzibar started to increase, those seeking more solitude discovered Pemba. The farming continues, but now a couple of unique lodges offer an alternative income. There is an icon of barefoot luxury offering diving and deep sea fishing and a lodge that offers one of the very few underwater rooms worldwide. We offer sailing trips from Dar Es Salaam to Pemba and return on a crewed luxury catamaran with glorious food and very decent wines. Flights to Pemba go via Zanzibar or Dar Es Salaam.