Do you want do you want from your honeymoon? White sands on secluded beaches, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees? Wandering the narrow alleys of a historic old town? Gazing into the clear sky at night to see a star studded sky? The exotic East African island of Zanzibar has all this, and more besides.
A real hidden gem just off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is every bit vibrant and exotic as it is secluded and romantic. Stone Town is the principle historical centre of the island and it’s well worth staying here even if it is just for a night or two firstly of your honeymoon. Even the architecture itself, ranging from huge white buildings, to large grey stone cathedrals, ornately-carved wooden doors and curving Arabic plasterwork, is without delay beautiful, fascinating and romantic.
A few of the perfect restaurants in Zanzibar are here, with Indian cuisine proving particularly influential since traders travelled across the Indian Ocean and settled here many centuries ago. Seafood dishes are in fact ubiquitous – lobster, crab, king fish, prawns, octopus and calamari feature heavily on most menus. Breakfast usually features fresh fruit in some form, whether freshly squeezed mango juice or passion fruit and pineapple platter.
After all of the excitement of Stone Town, you’ll probably want to take advantage of one of Zanzibar’s many white sanded beaches. There are many excellent boutique hotels which combine luxury with locality. Waking as much as the view the Indian Oceans waves lapping against the sand of a deserted white beach is calming for the mind and soul. If your feeling adventurous then your hotel should be capable of organise snorkelling, diving, deep sea fishing and sailing. In truth, you would be hard pushed to discover a water sport you can’t try in Zanzibar. Even if your a novice, the Indian Ocean’s waters are sometimes calm enough to try a bit of kayaking. For something more relaxing, try a sunset cruise. Watching the sun sink into the horizon from a wooden boat within the calm waters of the Indian Ocean is the right end to a romantic day in Zanzibar.
The islands surrounding Zanzibar offer even more hidden treasures. Changu, more commonly often known as Prison Island, was originally intended to be used as a (yes, you guessed it) prison. In reality, it was used as a quarantine zone for yellow fever and a spot to house slaves before bringing them to trade. Now, the island is mainly generally known as an awesome place to laze on the beach, swim in the ocean…and visit giant tortoises. The ruined prison buildings provide occasional relief from the sun to those fantastic creatures, a few of which were originally rescued from poachers or private collectors. You can even buy vegetables from the data centre to feed the tortoises with. A ship across to Prison Island takes about 40 minutes to at least one hour, and may be taken from Forodhani in the centre of Stone Town.