© Zuri Zanzibar Hotel

Finally long distance travel again - Zanzibar

The kingdom of spices is strongly influenced by Arab culture and is a natural paradise with endless beaches and crystal blue waters. Highlights include visiting ancient turtles or seeing the babies hatch and throw themselves into the waves.

1 July 2022

Good to Know

Best time to visit:
June to October, late December to mid-February.

Flight duration:
From Vienna to Zanzibar about 10.5 hours with one or two variable stops.

Covid-19 measures:
A negative PCR test 96 hours prior to arrival is mandatory, as is online registration before entry.

Zanzibar is strongly Muslim, accordingly, you should respect Ramadan in public and dress appropriately.

Don't miss it:
Nakupenda Beach attracts divers and sun worshippers with sparkling waters and white sand.


A name that sounds like the Arabian Nights: Zanzibar. Once famous for its spices, the semi-autonomous state of Tanzania is still a place of longing today. A Zanzibar vacation, by the way, can be ideally combined with a safari in Tanzania , after which you can spend a few days relaxing on the beach. The water is warm all year round; the locals are friendly. On the streets, you are greeted with a "Jambo" ("Hello" in Swahili) or "Karibu" ("Welcome"). The islands are Muslim and strongly influenced by Arab culture. In Zanzibar City, the capital, this is also evident in the architecture. The magnificent Sultan's Palace Beit-el-Ajaib ("Palace of Miracles") once served as the seat of the British and Zanzibar governments and was the first building in all of East Africa with electricity and running water.

Most of the houses in the city are built of coral stones and mangrove wood. However, the main reason to come to Zanzibar is the dreamy beaches. Kendwa Beach was an insider tip for a long time, but now word has spread about how colourful the sunsets are and how crystal blue the water is. The Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel turns into an epicentre of young party people in the evening, but the more luxurious resorts are located further north and south. The beach at Paje is good for kite surfing, but there are also reef walks when the tide is out. Paje is well visited. If you prefer total peace and quiet, you are better off on the actually uninhabited island of Mnemba.

©Illustration: Blagovesta Bakadjieva by carolineseidler.com

The luxurious Mnemba Lodge, which is also popular with celebrities, is an exception; diving grounds can be found directly in front of the villa because the area is part of a marine nature reserve. Prison Island also looks like paradise; only the name still bears witness to the fact that it was once a prison island for slaves. In the meantime, the small island is famous above all for its giant turtles. There are more than 100 specimens, the oldest of which is 192 years old. The baby turtles hatch from February to May - an incomparable experience when thousands of them run into the sea and let themselves be carried away rocking in the waves. For this reason alone, a vacation in Zanzibar is worthwhile.

Related: Best of Zanzibar - The best hotels, restaurants and souvenirs 

©Relais & Châteaux White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa

Text: Karin Cerny, Marion Genetti and Christina Horn

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Spring 2022.

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