ZANZIBAR is only 22 miles from Tanzania mainland and is easily accessible from Dar-es-Salaam. Zanzibar and its sister island, Pemba grow over 75% of the world's cloves. The narrow streets and Arabic architecture of historical Zanzibar Stone Town are exceptionally mystical. The more pristine coral reefs off Zanzibar offer a superb diving or snorkeling experience. Islands off the Zanzibar mainland include:
PEMBA Located 16 miles north of Zanzibar close to the Kenya coast, Pemba is well known for scuba diving and deep-sea fishing in the Pemba channel.
MNEMBA A romantic, private island located 2 miles from the Zanzibar mainland. Only guests of the exclusive island lodge are allowed.
MAFIA A short charter flight from Dar-es-Salaam, the island has some of the best big-game fishing in the world.
CHUMBE Located 6 miles by boat from Stone Town, this nature reserve offers forest and marine nature trails, over half a mile of protected reef, great bird watching and snorkeling.
Best time to go: Jan-Mar, Jul-Dec
LAMU situated off the Kenya Coast, Lamu is usually reached by a scheduled fligt from Nairobi. Narrow, winding streets and a maze of alleyways add to the timeless atmosphere.
Best time to go: Feb-Mar, Jun-Dec
SEYCHELLES the individual islands of the Seychelles have a unique charm that provides a perfect add-on to the end of your safari. By island-hopping, you can combine both granite islands (Mahe, North, Praslin, La Digue, Felicite, Fregate, Silhouette, and Cousine) with coral islands (Denis, Bird and Desroches) that are unspoiled. Each island has a charm all of its own and is magnified by the friendliness of the Creole people, who are very hospitable.
An island-hopping vacation may include a variety of accommodations, from luxury and/or resort hotels to small lodges and guest houses. You can book scuba diving and snorkeling excursions from various islands and experience interesting flora and birdlife, as well.
Best time to go: Apr-Nov
MOZAMBIQUE off the mainland is the Bazaruto Archipelago, which includes the islands of Bazaruto, Benguerra and Margaruque. The island lodges have a barefoot-type of atmosphere. They are accessible using scheduled charter flights from Johannesburg.
Best time to go: Apr-Dec
MAURITIUS the combination of a cosmopolitan atmosphere, luxury resort hotels, virgin white beaches, crystal clear waters and exquisite cuisine makes this a top international destination. Scuba diving, snorkeling, sunbathing and big-game fishing are popular.
Best time to go: Apr-Dec