The Zanzibar Archipelago has lured travellers to its pristine, white beaches for centuries, and continues to be the drawcard for sun-seeking, beach-loving tourists from all over the world.
The main island of Zanzibar (correctly named Unguja), has a plethora of accommodation options, ranging from rustic beach bungalows to large and glitzy resorts, and can offer something to everyone's taste. Sandy beaches run the length of the coast, shaded by green palm trees, and caressed by turquoise waters.
The lesser-known islands of Pemba and Mafia, north and south respectively of Zanzibar, are still able to offer the quieter, and less touristed options, with fewer resorts, and far less infrastructure.
These islands contribute to the many assets Tanzania owns as a safari destination, as they create the easy "bush and beach" combination so sought after by modern travellers.
After the rigours of safari, flights to Zanzibar direct from most national parks make it simple to add on a tropical beach break, and allow some total relaxation before the return journey home.
All day long, dhows sail peacefully off the coast of the islands, with the winds being masterfully employed by local sailors.
You can jump on board some of the dhows for day excursions out to the reefs or sandbanks, and enjoy picnic lunches or seafood barbecue.
Enjoy sunset cruises or fishing trips, and make the most of the island lifestyle.
The tropical rainforest, Jozani, on the inland of Zanzibar is a beautiful, lush home to red colubus monkeys (only found on Zanzibar), as well as other interesting wildlife such as elephant shrews and bushbabies.
Take a guided tour through the forest to learn about the fauna and flora decorating this stunning eco-system.
The marine life and coral formations are excellent and vibrant off all 3 islands, although it is little-known that Mafia Island claims the best diving spots of the region. But from wherever you stay, excursions can be arranged for snorkelling and diving, and padi courses are available at a number of resorts.
Long being known as the "Spice Island", Zanzibar's spice plantations are well worth a visit when holidaying on the island.
Started around 1870, these plantations have been producing beautiful smelling herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and black pepper since then. The botanical species found around the plantations are diverse and lush, with vegetables and fruits growing freely.
The capital of Zanzibar is Zanzibar Town, in which Stone Town is a bustling, energetic and fascinating ancient part. With narrow mazes as streets, and intricately carved doors decorating the white-washed buildings, Stone Town invites you to explore its inner zones, and many an hour can be spent taking it all in.
The sights and sounds, and the spicy smells, somehow remind you of a time long ago, and on exiting the web of alleys you feel as if you have left behind another world in another age.
The title says it all.