A Guide to Your Family Holiday in Zanzibar

Family Holiday in Zanzibar

A family holiday in Zanzibar is an excellent investment. Spice Island has a tropical climate, clear aqua water, soft white sand, and native tropical flora and fauna. This island does not require any vaccinations. A family holiday in Zanzibar is awesome. It’s relaxed and safe, and there is ample for children to do. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect on a family holiday in Zanzibar.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the archipelago’s dry season, which runs from July to September and is extremely popular. However, most of the year is worth visiting, with temperatures ranging from 28°C to 34°C and lots of sunshine. Downpours are followed by blue skies during the short rains in November and December. Only during the peak of the long rains in April and May is it extremely wet.

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Best beaches for a family holiday

Family Holiday in Zanzibar

With most of the islands’ beaches protected by wide coral lagoons, splashing and swimming are possible all along the coast. Some resorts have large private dhows and provide exciting snorkelling excursions to offshore sandbars. These may need to be reserved in advance, but they’ll keep your kids entertained long after you’ve returned home. Paje Beach on Zanzibar’s southeast coast has everything a beautiful Zanzibar beach should have: vast stretches of white sand, palm trees swaying in the wind, blue waters, and spectacular sunsets.

Nungwi Beach, located on Zanzibar’s northwest coast, is one of the island’s most beautiful and popular beaches, having been named on TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2018 list of the Top 25 Beaches in the World. Nungwi is undoubtedly one of the island’s liveliest districts, with several beach resorts, hotels, restaurants, and pubs providing a diverse range of nighttime entertainment. However, Nungwi isn’t just for partygoers. The coral reefs off the coast of Nungwi are excellent for diving and snorkelling, and at certain times of the year, you may even see dolphins, green turtles, and whale sharks. Nungwi Beach, which faces west, has some of the best sunsets, and a sunset tour on a traditional dhow sailing boat is a must during a family holiday in Zanzibar.

Swimming, snorkelling, and diving are all popular activities at Kendwa Beach. This is one of the few beaches in Zanzibar where the tide does not fluctuate significantly. This Zanzibar beach also has colourful starfish that can be seen just offshore, but remind your children not to pick up these creatures or disturb them in their natural habitat.

Where to stay

There are excellent family resorts all over Zanzibar, but the main Zanzibar Island, Unguja, has the most options. Nungwi and Kendwa are both good options in the north, though the latter has a more party atmosphere. The beaches on the Michamvi Peninsula are generally quieter, with several upscale resorts that welcome families. Jambiani, located in the island’s southeast, is also worth visiting. It’s a laid-back beach with a variety of family accommodations.

The food in Zanzibar

When on a family holiday in Zanzibar and staying at an all-inclusive resort or hotel, food is served five times a day. Families should note that Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim, and the island is devoid of pork. Fresh fruit is widely available in hotels, while breakfast in budget hotels consists of scrambled eggs, pancakes with jam, and coffee. It is not difficult to eat on the island. Many seafood and fish dishes are served in Zanzibar cafes and restaurants, along with rice, french fries, couscous, and pasta. In general, the cuisine is European in flavour. 

Things to do with kids in Zanzibar

Family Holiday in Zanzibar

On a family holiday in Zanzibar, there is a wealth of opportunities for children to have fun. For those with an adventurous spirit, visit the tranquil Jozani Forest and check out the rare red colobus monkeys, as well as 50 various butterfly species and 40 species of birds. The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is located on the southern outskirts of Jozani Forest, about 45 minutes from Zanzibar Town. The centre is a must-see for children of all ages, with over 30 species and thousands of individual butterflies. 

For some fun in the sun, Mnemba Island is a true gem during a family holiday in Zanzibar. This green turtle refuge might be small but there is plenty to see and do with your children. The Mnemba Island tour offers kayaking, swimming, and even scuba diving and snorkelling for the older kids. Changuu Island, also known as Prison Island, is full of exciting activities for children of all ages. Families can take the Historical Tour and teach the kids about the rich history of Prison Island and the rebel prisoners who were held captive. Additionally, you can visit the giant tortoise colony imported from the Seychelles Islands or relax and have a picnic on the beautiful beach.

Finally, don’t forget to take a spice tour. They’re an excellent way to visit plantations outside of Zanzibar Town, talk to local farmers, and learn about the history of spices. Fresh coconut and seasonal fruit are also available for tasting, making it an excellent day out for slightly older children.

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