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NAMIBIA SPECIAL

13 nights guided safari $1830 here

 

ZANZIBAR SPECIALS 

ZANZIBAR LOW SEASON SPECIALS

$ 1000 for 7 nights' half board in an en-suite room with 12 dives click here

$ 1505 for 7 nights luxury accommodation half board and 12 dives, a saving of $370 click here

Pay for 4 nights and stay for 7 at Fundu Lagoon one of Africa's top beach lodges - click here

See the Tanzania page to find out why you should go there

 

ZANZIBAR DIVING, BEACH HOLIDAYS AND HISTORICAL STONE TOWN

Zanzibar diving

Northern Zanzibar form the airZanzibar island has some good diving spots around Kendwa, Nungwi, and Mnemba Atoll, with a range of accommodation options to suite every pocket and taste. We have a selection of rooms ranging from 50 to 100 dollars a night, up to, well, an eye-watering $1500 a night on Mnemba Atoll itself.

The west coast reefs around Tumbatu island, Hunga, Kichafi, and Hadji have excellent fishlife, Mwana is a turtle hotspot with multiple sightings on many dives, and Shamzi is home to a number of rarer finds including weedy and Mauritius (aka paddle-flap) scorpionfish and seahorses. There are good photographic opportunites for  wide angle and a plethora of macro subjects. Mmemba Atoll round to the east coast has some drop offs and walls, and Leven Bank out to the north can provide an exhilharating fast drift dive. 

Diving images here

 

Zanzibar beach holidays

If you don't dive, the east coast has some some excellent white sand beaches around Makunduchi, Jambiana, Paje, Uroa, Pongwe, Pwani, and Matemwe. Swimming isn't possible on the east coast at low tide, but there are some lovely long beach walks along almost empty beaches, and everywhere we reommend on the east coast also has a pool. Kitesurfing from Jambiani is excellent from June to September and December to March. The Jozani Forest and its Red and Black Colobus monkeys is close by. 

Zanzibar has a multitude of beach resorts, from all-inclusive large hotels with 12-hour a day entertainment to smaller more intimate family-run establishments, The best swimming beach is undisputably at Kendwa, in the north-west. The east coast has super-wide beaches at low tide (and hundreds of metres of rock to walk over to get to the sea for a dip) that become narrow at high tide, but are great for long walks. If you are happy with a dip int he hotel pool at low tide, then this could be the place for you, less crowded than the more well-known Nungwi on the noerthern tip. Kendwa has the island's long est permament swimming beach and some nightlife at the weekends.

South of Stone Town there are a couple of small, decent, mid-range resorts for some rest and relaxation too. Contact us for more information, we can't put it all on this page!

Omani Fort Stone Town Zanzibar

Stone Town, Zanzibar

If you are interested in a bit of history or just want to visit a quite unique city, it is worth stopping off in Stone Town for the architecture and the laid back hustle and bustle. Once the capital of the east African slave and spice trades and ruled by the Sultans of Oman, today Stone Town is a vibrant mix of new and old. Despite the tumble-down apperance of much of the town, there are some exquisite hotels and wonderful aromas and flavours. Rooftop sundown drinks and nibbles at the night food market are a must. Again, there is a range of accommodation available.

Forodhani Gardens, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the heady scent of spices and multi-cultural history suffuses narrow streets full of the hustle and bustle of daily life, fish and spice markets, mosques, the old Omani fort and the Sultan’s palace. Exotic, charming, beautiful and small enough to explore mostly on foot Stone Town is an ideal base for a longer trip to explore the islands of Zanzibar or spend several days here to unwind and soak up the atmosphere.

For our clients we generally recommend the following hand-picked accommodation:

Emerson Spice Hotel: for those seeking true romance, opulence, something exotic and the best 360 degree birds-eye view of Stone Town, then nowhere can beat the newly opened Emerson Spice Hotel which has to be one of the most chic hotels in East Africa. Owned and renovated by the famous Emerson himself (he is one of Stone Town’s longstanding ex-pat residents, and co-founder of the renowned Emerson & Green Hotel, with many a tale to tell over a sunset cocktail, probably the strongest G & T you will try in Zanzibar), the hotel has exclusive individually styled suites and offers fine rooftop dining. Each of the suites is uniquely decorated following different themes and every room has a beautiful Zanzibari bed, huge bath, balconies and stylish touches. There are currently nine completed suites (there will be 12) – stay now before it gets booked up by celebrities as Matt Damon and Juliette Binoche have already visited. Dinner is served on the rooftop every evening and is a six-course menu of exquisite petite dishes. Zanzibari seafood, spices and fruit play central roles with menus including tambi prawns with grilled mango, passion fruit ceviche, coconut fish, squid ink risotto, lemongrass calamari with black pepper banana and sorbets of custard apple with saffron and mango with cardamom. Dinner is prepared and served on the roof by excellent staff and is a bargain at $25.

Room Rates: $175 to $250 per room per night with breakfast.

Maru Maru Hotel

Set in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage site of Stone Town behind the House of Wonders; Maru Maru is just a few steps from the city’s historical attractions, colourful markets and labyrinth of shops. Once a town house famous for its marble floors and tiles, it was recently lovingly restored to offer 44 bright rooms blending classic Zanzibar style with iconic design and modern luxuries. Its roof terrace offers one of the best views in the city with a 360° panorama and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink as the sun melts into the Indian Ocean. Combined with the 4 pm to 7 pm happy hours it’s worth a visit for the sunset views alone. The restaurant serves a mixture of Zanzibari, Indian, and western cuisine dishes. Four star accommodation at three star prices.

Room Rates including breakfast: $119 singles, $181 queen double or twin, $214 king double or twin, $324 family room (2 adults and 2 children). We also have a range of packages with half-board, excursions and transfers included for 2 to 4-day stays

 

Tembo House Hotel is located in a great position on the beach yet close to all the central attractions in the centre of the town. It has an African Colonial feel and is an historic hotel which was the American Consulate in Zanzibar (1834-1884) then the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners. Mahatma Ghandi stayed here in 1930, whilst as a rising new star Freddie Mercury and his family frequently retreated to what is now the “Marashi” apartment. Next to Tembo House Hotel is what used to be the British Consulate, where in 1874, Dr. Livingstone’s body was brought before its long journey back to England.The Tembo does not serve alcoholic drinks, though the bar next door does.

Room rates: $135 for a prime double with sea or pool view with breakfast or $160 for a deluxe suite. $160 for a triple, $105 for a single.

 

 

Stone Town Café is a friendly and clean place which has eight lovely rooms and is centrally located on a wide street within the UNESCO-listed Stone Town. The building is still owned by the Swahili family of the Arab merchant who built it 111 years ago. It has been lovingly restored to maintain its original charm, with added modern touches to ensure your comfort.The café serves delicious banana-bread, breakfasts, lunches and spicy Swahili coffees and teas. The best "budget" accommodation in town.

Rates:double/twin room from $80 with breakfast.

The Dhow Palace Hotel

The Dhow,being the heart beat of the East African culture, has been carrying people, goods and treasures to and from Zanzibar for hundreds of years. 
Today, the Dhow Palace serves as a meeting point for people and cultures from all over the world amidst a decor and artifacts from a time gone by. Dhow Palace was originally the home of a rich merchant, Sheikh bin Mujbia. Bin Mujbia and his descendants kept the building for more than three centuries before it was sold. 
The Dhow Palace building, being right in the heart of Stone Town, has bore witness to many events taking place in Zanzibar. The Dhow Palace does not serve alcoholic beverages.

Room Rates: $80 singles, $110 double or twin suites, $120 deluxe double suite, $150 Presidential suite including breakfast.

 

Activities and Sights: The heart of Stone Tow consists of a maze of narrow alleys lined by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. Stone Town's architecture has a number of distinctive features resulting from Arab, Persian, Indian, European, and African traditions intermingling. Strolling around and exploring is a key pleasure in itself. Other activities range fromshopping for spices and crafts to learning about Zanzibar’s slave and spice trades activities or finding a spa and trying a Pemban Clove Scrub.  After unwinding you can choose from the following places of interest to visit:

  • The House of Wonders (or "Palace of Wonders", also known as "Beit-al-Ajaib") its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.
  • The Old Fort ("Ngome Kongwe" in Swahili), adjacent to the House of Wonders, is a heavy stone fortress that was built in the 17th century by the Omanis.
  • The Old Dispensary (or "Ithnashiri Dispensary")was built from 1887 to 1894 to serve as a charity hospital for the poor, but was later used as a dispensary.
  • The Palace Museum (also known as the "Sultan's Palace", "Beit el-Sahel" in Arab) is another former sultan's palace, also located on the seafront, to the north of the House of Wonders.
  • The Anglican cathedral of Christ Church or the Roman Catholic cathedral of St. Joseph.
  • The Hamamni Persian Baths.
  • David Livingstone's House.
  • Tippu Tip's House is another large, historical house of Stone Town. It was the house of the infamous Zanzibari slave trader Tippu Tip.
  • The High Court of Justicein Kaunda Road designed by British architect J. H. Sinclair.
  • The Aga Khan Mosque is a large mosque with an architecture that combines Islamic and gothic elements. The Forodhani Gardens.
  • The Darajani Market is the main bazaar of Zanzibar.
  • The Peace Memorial Museum.
  • The so-called "Big Tree" is an old and massive landmark fig tree.

Prison Island is a small island offshore Stone Town with a small colony of Aldabra Giant Tortoises.

 

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Upcoming Shows

DEMA, Las Vegas, 16 - 19 November

Salon de la Plongée, Paris,  6-9 January

Madrid, 4&5 March

Beneath The Sea, NY/NJ, USA 24 - 26 March


Dedicated Papua New Guinea site

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Escorted photographic safaris

Papua New Guinea - Highland and Coastal Tribes, 7 to 18 September, $3195 

Africa - Namibia 30 May to 11 June, 13 days special offer 1830 USD.

Sardine Run 19 to 28 June from approx $2595 USD

Liveaboard Specials

9-night Spirit of Niugini escorted cruise: Milne Bay and southern islands, 18th to 27th September 2017 from $2640 click here

Loads of great new offers with big savings around the world here

5 days' liveaboard diving in the Bahamas for under $1100 / £700 

Email us your enquiry and we'll let you know what we can find.

 

Underwater photo workshops

Come an learn to take magazine-quality images with a point-and-shoot or a DSLR

PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 2017

September 18 to 27, Milne Bay and the southern islands from $2640

 

Sharks galore!

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Schooling hammerheads for the fraction of the cost of the Galapagos, Cocos, or Malpelo, with tiger sharks, bulls sharks, oceanic blacktips and ragged-tooth sharks to boot. From  Click here

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