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If you've been to Zanzibar, I'd really appreciate some tips on great resorts you stayed at (ones to avoid) or packages you booked?

If you've been to Zanzibar, I'd really appreciate some tips on great resorts you stayed at (ones to avoid) or packages you booked?

Separate_Jaguar_8804

Do the spice tour to an Plantation if you are into that. Scuba diving off the north east side of the island was amazing. Book trips yourself as the "broker" at the resort was a rip off.


BlakeSA

Spice tour is a must. It’s my most memorable experience from visiting 13 years ago. Want to go back just so I can do one again.


Suzie_not_Cands

Spice tour - check! Thank you


pfazadep

Chumbe is something unspoiled and special if you'd like to splash out a bit (but not on a Mnemba Island scale) - https://chumbeisland.com/


db720

Went there for our honeymoon, Coral Rock is an absolute gem on the eastern side, cant go wrong there. Owner is an saffa I think, well priced and beautiful place. We did a 1 night stay in the old town first, and then off to the beach resort for the rest of the stay.


db720

https://www.google.com/travel/hotels/s/63j2t


Suzie_not_Cands

Thanks very much!


db720

No problem - enjoy, it is beautiful there, really idyllic. My wife and I are seriously considering moving back there and opening a hotel once the kids are done with education and out the house


AnomalyNexus

Not that expensive either. hmm...need to check out flights to Zanzibar


db720

The guys at checkout travel had a good package. You must check out the spice tour if you head over there.


Suzie_not_Cands

It's really a great option for us South Africans. There are amazing deals.


CarpeDiem187

Was there in 2018 for 8 days. Stayed at Azanzi beach resort on upper east coast. Its now sold and named Kena Beach Hotel. Amazing place that also has a dive center no site which we used for snorkeling. Was a saffa that owned it. Not so tourist dense like the north. From there we travelled around. North is packed with Europeans and some Russians. Allot more busy and locals bug the shit out of you on the beach and stall's. Everyone wants a piece of foreign money. Where we stayed on upper east coast was allot quieter and the locals are allot more welcoming where the North felt like you at a robot in SA with 3 begars at your window. They do however know not to approach if you in front of resort or restaurant. But going for a stroll through the markets became frustrating. In terms of packages, we contacted the resorts our self and asked for rates. We ended up booking directly after shopping around. The rate was about 10-30% less when talking with resorts directly, especially smaller ones. We then booked our flights accordingly. We paid 7k for flights per person and 8k for resort, all inclusive for 7nights including air port transfer. We were upgraded to luxury rooms as they decided redo the roof of the normal rooms (storm or something tore one roof). We also used about 5k-6k spending money for some trips, small items to bring home and visiting a few local restaurants and bars etc.


Suzie_not_Cands

Wow, that helps a lot! Thank you. I called around today and there are some really good, all inclusive packages, available now as they stimulate tourism again.


CarpeDiem187

Try and plan some excursions before you go over. Unless you want to wing it or maybe just chill at the resort. But I think if you want to see some places, Research them now already so when you are there you can more easily choose. Some trips are cheaper not booking through the resort, but rather just letting them get you a driver and you pay the driver. That way you pay the resort less of a cut and can tip the locals a bit more if you feel they provided something extra. Also, take note of the places where you stay and sea urchins! Make sure you can atleast splash in the ocean a bit. Going deeper they encourage boots depending on where you are on the island. Our resort provide some slip on booties free of charge and we walked all the way to edge of the reef. A guide came with us though and can only be done on low tide.


Ok-Honeydew7703

Second this. We went in 2017 for our honeymoon. We booked all the tours before hand with the places directly. It's a lot cheaper! Like 50 dollars - 100 dollars cheaper. Up north on the eastern side you will find the best beaches. Karafu beach resort is nice and has cheap all inclusive packages. Don't spend your money on a big room. You will hardly spend time there. There is a lot to do. Make sure to read reviews and check what the beach is like. Always wear booties on the beach. We both got nasty sandworms in our feet. April - May is rainy season. When i say rainy i mean RAINY. The rain will come down in sheets and you will not be able to do anything. We went in April for 7 days but luckily it only rained for one day. The locals are super friendly. They are poor but happy. And they won't beg for money or harass you. Expect for the beach boys who try to sell you tours. Be careful of those they can be scammy. The hotels also have entertainment in the evenings. Take small change so you can give them tips. We also did a sea safari with a beach barbecue and saw dolphins. It's a bit pricey but it was super fun. The spice market is also cool. Take a trip to stone town to see Freddy Mercury's house. There is also a market there which was quite an experience of its own.


AcEADwiT

We went about 16 yrs ago and loved it. Take a whole lot of pens and note pads to give the local children down south.


pepe_za

I'm going there next month. I haven't seen anything about vaccines being required but they do need a PCR test at most 72 hours prior to arrival and an on-arrival antigen test. The thing I'm most concerned about is the negative PCR required to return to SA. I'm not sure how quick the test takes there but you may have limited access to test centres. If I get any more info, I'll keep you posted


Suzie_not_Cands

Thanks, I'll also let you know. I'm seeing an agent tomorrow.


pepe_za

Thanks. That will be a great help!


F1_Guy

The resorts know the turnaround times and they want to get rid of you, they'll make sure your PCR test is ready in time. It's usually a 24hr turnaround. Although they can make more money off you if you're PCR comes back positive by keeping you at the resort and forcing you to pay full price for 14 days, it's not really a good look on the country or the resort. Been through the whole ordeal last month flying out of the country and back in. It's a breeze. Just make sure you have copies of the PCR. Rather have more than less


pepe_za

Thanks! Seems like the process is working well then. Did it still take 24 hours over weekends? Due to bad flight times, I actually need to take my PCR on a Friday morning.


F1_Guy

Yeah. They ensure you get your tests within 24 hrs weekends or weekdays. Take a pen with you to the airport. They make you fill in a very stupid covid form before entering security, which I'm pretty sure they throw away. You fill in the same dumb form when returning. The airline should give you one on the flight.


Practical_Knowledge8

Montoi marine. How adventures are through? DM me if you are and ill spill the beans on making it on a tight budget with a very different experience


pigs_do_fly_in_2020

Ocean paradise resort. Stayed in the bungalows in the sand. There are guys selling water in the tents on the Beach so you can stock up there, smokes too. We did half board and only paid for lunch. Best service and food and hotel.


TerminalHopes

Don't go to the north of the island where all the resorts are. I made that mistake it was just Italians in budgie smugglers (although, who know how many are there now with the 'Rona). West of the island is more backpacker vaabs. Stone Town is awesome.


Gaiaimmortal

We stayed at Reef and Beach Resort, I think. Food was AMAZING. I have never eaten so much. Lots of local cuisine, and then less exotic for the picky eaters. Unlimited drinks (non alcoholic and certain alcoholic drinks), staff were friendly, rooms were nice. They also had a Masai evening where there was dancing and singing, also very interactive and quite a cultural experience. 10/10 would go back. You HAVE to go to the spice route, whatever you do. We walked through the villages one day to see how they live, and it was a fantastic experience. If you're a woman, do try to cover up - while they won't be outright rude to you, they are far more welcoming. We paid someone to give us a "dinner" experience - they caught fish and octopus, and cooked it up for us. We also took a drive in the *dala dala* which is their taxi. You'll see their public transport is... Interesting. We did a lot of non traditional tourist things, which the locals seemed to love. Sure, they were getting a tip for it, but honestly they seemed pretty excited to show people their lives. Speaking of tips... Take a lot of tips, good grief. Everybody wants a damned tip. Barter within reason - they know you're a tourist and will happily tack on $50 to their price at no loss to them.


SweetPoison1982

Try Kasha Boutique Hotel... went 2 weeks ago, had an excellent stay.


violetviola2

I wonder if Emerson House is till there. We had many magical meals on the roof, watching the sun go down and listening to the generators start up…..