To avoid the rainy seasons, go to Zanzibar from December to Feb included or June to August included. We zent in December and the weather was amazing!
What to do?
We stayed 5 days at Dolphin Safari Lodge in Kizimkazi, a small village at the south-west bottom of the island. The lodge was actually 15 min from the village by car through a dirt road. With a stunning view and a private beach that place is a little hidden paradise. Accommodation is basic: a bed, a mosquito net and a fan but right in the middle of a beautiful nature. We could even see a Zanzibar bushbaby at night.
We shared diner with the owners and other guests every night and had a few drinks around the fire prepared by the Masai who looks after the place at night..The concept is unusual and not for everyone but we loved it as the place has kept the spirit of Africa. Just don't expect to go party as there is nothing around apart from the friendly place next door Promised Land with plenty of hamacs to chill and reggae music.
Other beaches to visit :
Nakupenda beach (West, Stone town)
Paje beach (East, Kite surf beach)
Nungwi beach (North)
Kendwa beach (North)
Wherever you go on the island, the beaches are stunning, white sand with crystal clear water so it's hard to pick a best one! You can go snorkeling in many places, the hotel will lend you the equipment. There are big tides in Zanzibar so go swimming when it's high tide. At low tide I loved to go walking and watch the wildlife, birds, crabs...and people collecting animal shells and seaweed.
There is so much to do there and my favourite part was to get lost in the narrow streets and admire Life, colours and pretty carved Zanzibari doors with a meaning behind each of them!
Visit the Old fort, the House of Wonders (was closed when we went), the Slave Market and Freddie Mercury's house.
Where to stay?
Warere Town House is a beautiful building 15 min walking from the centre of the old quarter, with a nice rooftop where you will enjoy having breakfast, the staff was a bit sleepy and not very smily but still efficient as we booked Spice tour and Prison island tour through them and both were amazing!
Where to eat?
Emerson Spice Rooftop Tea House, you have to book a few days before as this is a very popular place, a stunning building of the 18th century. One of the best and highest place to be for sunset. Go really hungry as this is a 5 courses menu. Lots of different flavours and extraordinary place.
Jafferji House and spa, local restaurant with tables and cushions to lye down. We loved to rest in the aircon during a hot afternoon and taste some beautiful food.
Baboo Cafe, a little simple place to go during the day under the trees with a direct view on the sea and boats, close to the 6 degrees Bar/restaurant
Tamu For ice-creams, not very local but we were literally going everyday to break from all this walking and taking hundreds of photos :)
To buy fruits or vegatables, go to the vibrant Darajani Market during the day and from 6pm to Forodhani gardens, you will find lots of stalls and open-kitchens where you try the local cuisine.
Where to have a drink?
6 degrees Tea House Terrace, open from 5pm, This is the best place we found for sunset.
Mercury’s bar/restaurant; this restaurant pays tribute to Freddie Mercury who was born in Zanzibar in 1946. they had a live band when we went.
Still an amazing half-day trip that you won't forget!
Red colobus monkeys can only be seen in Zanzibar. The tour was worth it because we could get so closed to the monkeys. I even saw one jumping from one tree to another, just over my head !