Located in the Indian Ocean, 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania and comprising two large islands fringed by many more, the Zanzibar Archipelago vies with the Serengeti as Tanzania’s most precious natural asset, able to mesmerise even the most jaded traveller into meditative contemplation.Undoubtedly, one of the jewels in East Africa’s crown, Zanzibar (Unguja) can only be described as a slice of tropical heaven. Turquoise blue waters gently lap palm-fringed beaches, which stretch for miles; traditional white-sailed wooden dhows sail on warm sea breezes; bustling spice markets fill the air with a heady mix of Middle Eastern and African scents that leave you breathless.
Known as ‘The Green Island’ in Arabic, Pemba Island lies 31 miles (50km) to the north of Unguja, the largest island of the Zanzibar archipelago and together with Mafia Island forms the ‘Spice Islands’ of Zanzibar. Separated from the mainland of Tanzania by the Pemba Channel, Pemba Island is an untouched slice of paradise. Boasting footprint-free white sandy beaches and healthy coral reefs, lush mangroves and tranquil lagoons, hilly, fertile terrain lined with fruit and spice trees, Pemba is an idyllic and secluded island escape.
Mafia Island is the southernmost island of the three Spice Islands and a secluded untouched paradise far from the touristy crowds of Zanzibar’s larger islands. The largest of a score of islands, atolls and tidal sandbars that make up the Mafia Archipelago, Mafia Island is approximately 31 miles (50 km) long by 9 miles (15 km) across, and is surrounded by a barrier reef teeming with marine life. With a small fishing community of laid, back friendly locals, warm sea and air temperatures year-round and pristine beaches and coral reefs within the protected Mafia Island Marine Park, Mafia Island is the perfect post-safari or honeymoon destination.