Africa Travel News

Spend part of your Tanzania safari on the beach

When most individuals envision themselves on a Tanzania safari, they likely picture time spent huddling in the back of a jeep and staring at exotic lions or gazelle as they romp across the Serengeti. Although there is no shortage of wildlife to take in while visiting this vast African nation, there are plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation to be had as well. Those vacationers looking to spend the day kicking back on some sparkling sands during their stay in Tanzania will definitely want to make a point to visit the beaches of Zanzibar, one of the most immaculate coastlines on the continent.

Also known as Unguja, Zanzibar is a small archipelago off the coast of Tanzania that has long been celebrated for its spices thanks to its important role in the region's clove trade. Thanks to its relatively temperate climate, which benefits greatly from the cool sea breezes stemming from monsoons to the Northeast, Zanzibar is also home to a number of rare and endangered animal species such as the red colobus monkey, the servaline genet and the Zanzibar leopard.

Chief among its many cultural attractions is the ancient historical site known as Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This attraction is an abandoned city comprised of long, winding streets and a number of unique stone structures that blend the many cultures that have come through the region over the years. Visitors can spot Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian and African influence in the buildings, artwork and curios sold along the city streets.

Other notable attractions include the Forodhani Gardens, a local marketplace that offers some of the freshest - and often tastiest - endemic foods around. The area also boasts merchants selling more traditional souvenir items, though visitors should be prepared to haggle for a fair price.

Of course, most people head to the island of Zanzibar during their tours of Africa to explore the sandy shores of the country's beaches.  A good place to start is Ras Nungwi at the northern tip of the island. This white sand beach has a steady tide and lively atmosphere that make it a popular destination for active beachgoers. In the southeast is the beach known as Paje, which offers a nice selection of restaurants and beach bars, as well as a thriving SCUBA scene. Travelers looking to relax, meanwhile, may want to stick to sleepier beaches like Bwejuu, which boast all the beauty of their busier counterparts, with fewer tourists to compete with for spots on the sand.

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