Zanzibar Honeymoon Travel Guide
Discover some of Tanzania’s best beaches on a honeymoon or romantic getaway to Zanzibar – a unique honeymoon destination and the perfect respite after a hot and dusty game safari on mainland Africa.
Encircled by snow-white beaches, gin-clear turquoise waters and lush coral gardens, the exotic and welcoming ‘Spice Islands’ of the Zanzibar Archipelago are just a hop, skip and jump from the Tanzanian mainland.
Once ruled by sultans and slave traders, Zanzibar was an important base for European missionaries and explorers planning expeditions into the African interior.
It was from here that David Livingstone planned his last foray into Africa, describing Zanzibar as: “ ... the finest place I have known in all of Africa”.
It is also the location where journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his search for Livingstone and from where Sir Richard Burton began his search for the source of the Nile River.
Unwind on a choice of palm-fringed, powder-soft beaches, go diving above offshore coral reefs, hike through pristine rainforest and soak up the island's heady mix of Arab, Persian, Indian, European and African traditions.
Explore narrow labyrinthine alleyways crammed with Arab-influenced architecture in the atmospheric old capital of Stone Town – the cultural and historical heart of Zanzibar and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Discover bustling bazaars, mosques, palaces and grand Arab mansions decorated with ornately carved brass-studded doors and enclosed wooden verandas that closely resemble the medinas of the Arabian Peninsula.
Check out the castellated battlements of the 16th century Arab Fort, the marble-floored rooms of the Beit-el-Ajaib (House of Wonders), the sultan’s personal artefacts at the Beit al-Sahel (the Sultan's Palace) and the wooden balconies at the sumptuous four-storey Ithna’asheri Dispensary.
Elsewhere, tour famous spice plantations dotted with the remains of Omani palaces, hike the Jozani Forest, home to the indigenous red colobus monkey and take a fast-ferry to some of the offshore islands such as Mnemba Atoll and its world-class diving reef.
Zanzibar also boasts several small offshore islands — Chumbe, Pemba, Misali, Mnemba Atoll— that are perfect for day trips, including several islets just a short boat ride from Stone Town. These include Bawe and Prison islands, both featuring excellent snorkelling.
Zanzibar Island offers a good range of honeymoon accommodation options, from luxurious 5-star resorts to charming beachfront guesthouses.
Live like a sultan among antiques and Persian rugs at the Zanzibar Serena Inn, located on the waterfront in Stone Town. Alternatively, head to Pongwe Beach and the luxurious Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort or try the Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel, set on the shimmering white sands of Nungwi Beach.
Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar City
Prices: from AUD465 per room
Description: Featuring a seafront location in Zanzibar City, Park Hyatt Zanzibar offers an outdoor pool and a restaurant. This air-conditioned hotel comes with free WiFi access and has a spa and wellness centre. All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. Private bathrooms comprise a bathtub, free toiletries, a hairdryer and a bidet. Views are provided from all rooms. Guest staying at Park Hyatt Zanzibar are also offered a fitness centre, a tour desk and a luggage storage. Activites like snorkeling, diving, golf and various other can be enjoyed on site or in the surrounding area. The Hotel is 43 km away from Jozani Chwaka National Park and 11 km from Masingini Forest. Abeid Amani Karume International Airport is 8Km from Park Hyatt Zanzibar. Zanzibar Ferry Terminal is 1 km away.
Zanzibar Serena Inn
Location: Kelele Square, Stone Town
Prices: from AUD398 per room
Description: Located in Stone Town, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of Shangani Beach, Forodhani Gardens, and Old Fort. House of Wonders and Anglican Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. All 51 individually furnished rooms feature free WiFi and 24-hour room service. For a bit of entertainment, LCD TVs come with satellite channels, and guests will also appreciate thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers. Catch some rays on Zanzibar Serena Hotel's private beach or spend the day relaxing at the full-service spa. Then enjoy a meal at one of the hotel's 2 restaurants.
Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort
Location: Pongwe Beach, Pongwe
Prices: from AUD842 per room
Description: Offering an outdoor pool with waterslides, Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort is located in Pongwe, 27 km from Zanzibar City. The resort has a private beach area with beach service. The modern and elegantly decorated rooms are fitted with a private terrace, minibar and Nespresso machine. Some units feature a seating area where you can relax. Certain units include views of the sea or garden. Every room is equipped with a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. Extras include bath robes and slippers. The resort boasts an a la carte all inclusive concept with respect to individual taste and wishes. Guests can choose an extra free service or activity per day, ranging from a one-way airport transfer to a private picnic. A range of free activities can also be enjoyed on the island, including snorkelling, and use of the bicycles, kayaks and water slides. Car hire is available. Nungwi is 36 km from Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort while Kendwa is 34 km from the property. Kisauni Airport is 29 km away.
The Residence Zanzibar
Prices: from AUD729 per room
Description: Surrounded by gardens and on its own stretch of white sand beach, this luxury spa resort is a 55-minute drive from Zanzibar City. Guests can enjoy 2 on-site restaurants as well as a butler service. Each of the spacious villas at The Residence Zanzibar has an elegant style with views out onto the gardens. Some of the villas have ocean views, and all include a small private pool, free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. The Residence Zanzibar has a glass-walled swimming pool and fitness center, and spa treatments can be booked on site. A Kid’s Club features children’s activities, and adults can enjoy a relaxing drink at the Jetty Lounge Bar. Area activities include snorkeling, visits to the Jozani Forest Reserve and dolphin safaris. The village of Kizimkazi is only a 20-minute drive from the property.
Prices: from AUD481 per room
Description: Located along the coast, Melia Zanzibar offers uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. The 5 restaurants and luxury accommodation are set amongst tropical palm trees, landscaped gardens and an infinity pool with bar. All accommodation features high quality bed linens on carved 4-poster beds and a seating area with cable TV and minibar. Some have partial ocean views and private pool. Sports facilities include tennis court, beach volleyball, kayaking, a dive centre and kite surfing lessons. The spa features a lap pool, massages and fitness centre with sauna. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby and the rooms have wired internet. On an all inclusive basis, Melia Zanzibar offers 5 restaurants and 4 bars to enjoy a great culinary experience. Zanzibar International Airport and Stone Town are less than a 50-minute drive away.
Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel
Location: Nungwi Peninsular
Prices: from AUD313 per room
Description: Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel, situated on the northernmost peninsula of Zanzibar, overlooks a white sand beach and the shimmering Indian Ocean. It features a lush tropical garden, a spacious sun deck, pool and a spa. All rooms are furnished with handcrafted four-poster beds draped in mosquito nets. Each air-conditioned room has a balcony and comes equipped with tea-and-coffee-making facilities and a minibar. The private bathroom includes free toiletries. An English breakfast is served daily at Ras Nungwi. Ubora Restaurant serves an array of seafood dishes using local ingredients such as fresh coconut and spices, and refreshments are served at Jahazi Beach Bar. The wide and thriving coral reef fringing the beach offers guests an opportunity to explore with activities such as fishing and snorkeling. A tennis court is also available for a game of tennis. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas of the hotel. Zanzibar Airport is 65 km from the property and Stone Town is 58 km away.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels in Zanzibar at TripAdvisor.
The best time for a Zanzibar honeymoon is any time between June and February, with an average daytime high of 30°C.
From December to March are the hottest months, with a high of 32°C. There are two rainy seasons in Zanzibar: occasional short but heavy showers in November and December, with more pronounced rain during the ‘green season’ in April and May.
For more climate info: Zanzibar Weather Guide
Zanzibar is located in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and separated from the mainland by a 35m-wide channel.
Zanzibar is just a 20 minute flight from Dar Es Salaam International Airport. By ferry, Zanzibar is 2-hour trip from the mainland, depending on sea conditions.
Find out how to get to Zanzibar…
Latest update about Zanzibar honeymoon destination: 20 February, 2017