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Zanzibar Island is actually called Unguja Island, which together with Pemba and Mafia islands, constitute the Zanzibar Archipelago. Don’t worry too much though; nearly everyone calls it Zanzibar Island.
As for somewhere to stay, we’d recommend the chilled-out ambience of Zanzibar’s quieter north-east coast. Matemwe Bungalows and Shooting Star Sea View Cottages offer great beachfront accommodation.
And don’t forget that Zanzibar is not all about beaches: Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town offers the inquisitive traveller the chance to explore the twisting alleys, mosques and markets that make up this fascinating old town.
Scattered around Zanzibar are tiny islands, off the main tourist route, and home to some seriously idyllic resorts and hotels, not to mention incredible scuba diving.
Chumbe is an uninhabited island 12km south of Zanzibar Town. Chumbe has a shallow coral reef that is remarkably pristine – and thankfully protected. Chumbe Island Coral Park is the official title to the private reserve and ecotourism initiative on the island.
Chumbe is a day trip for most people, but to really experience its wonders, you’ll want to stay overnight in one of the Chumbe Island Coral Park Eco-bungalows.
Mnemba Island lies a kilometre north-east of Zanzibar Island. A tiny island paradise, Mnemba is the epitome of exclusivity and privacy. The reef around Mnemba makes for the best diving and snorkelling in Zanzibar.
As for accommodation, well there’s only the idyllic luxury of Mnemba Island Lodge on its private, hopelessly romantic beach – sorry.
Pemba Island is only 50km from Zanzibar and has long lived in its shadow but those who do travel to Pemba, however, are seldom disappointed.
Hilly, fertile and largely untouched, it’s still early days for tourism to Pemba – which makes it perfect for people looking to explore on their own terms.
For accommodation not much beats Fundu Lagoon, a superb off-the-beaten-track lodge offering access to one of the world’s top 5 dive spots.