The exotic spice island of Zanzibar is a wonderful laid back beach option for families with older children
Baraza is a stunning breath of fresh air which lies along the award winning Bwejuu Beach on the South Eastern Coast of Zanzibar, it is characteristic of all classical Swahili architecture, infused with Arabic, Swahili and Indian designs so elegantly and richly, that you will feel as if you have stepped back in time to the era of the Sultan’s. Although this sounds far too sophisticated and luxurious to have children there – it’s actually perfect for families!
Suitable for: Families with children of all ages.Read more about this Hotel
Breezes is set on a beautiful, white sandy beach on the East Coast. Being more of a small beach hotel than a lodge it has the advantage of an excellent range of facilities including a wonderful spa, large free form swimming pool, tennis court, watersports centre, dive school plus a choice of bars and restaurants. With more to do than most of the ‘beach lodges’ on Zanzibar this is probably one of the best options for families with older children who might otherwise get bored at a small lodge.
Suitable for: Families with older children.Read more about this Hotel
Ras Nungwi is a fantastic beach lodge that offers great accommodation, excellent food, a relaxing atmosphere and some stunning diving opportunities. This lodge is ideal for families whose kids are happy to occupy themselves and let the parents relax!
Suitable for: Chidlren who don't mind entertaining themselves.Read more about this Hotel
Standing atop a coral cliff with fantastic views across the powdery-white Kiwengwa Beach, Shooting Star Lodge is owned and run by a wonderfully charismatic gentleman called Elly and his lovely wife Lesley. From the warm welcome you receive on arrival to the fond farewell upon your departure, everything in between is faultless. The lodge has a great atmosphere, relaxed yet social, the rooms are comfortable and the food is tasty – all in all it’s a great lodge to spend some quality time with family and indulge in some much needed R&R!
Suitable for: Children of all ages who can entertain themselvesRead more about this Hotel
Zanzibar has a lovely tropical climate. Being near the equator there is little temperature difference between summer and winter, with temperatures ranging from about 25C to 30C all year round. Being coastal it is normally hotter and more humid than inland Tanzania – particularly over our winter months.
The rains are the same as mainland Tanzania with their ‘short rains’ coming around November and the long rains between the beginning of March and early May. The ‘short rains’ are typically quick bursts of rain and the skies then quickly clear but during the long rains these downpours can last several hours and days can be very cloudy. For this reason we don’t recommend travel at that time of the year. You will also find that after the end of the long rains the beach lodges take up to 4 weeks to renovate their hotels ready to open for their high season.
As with all of East Africa Zanzibar is a malaria area and therefore not recommended for young children who struggle to take anti-malarials. For older families it is a lovely beach destination with great diving, some of the best deep sea fishing in the world and lovely beaches. Main of the lodges are focused towards families. Due to their size the hotels and lodges (the ones we would recommend) are more limited in their family friendly facilities compared to other destinations i.e they don’t have kids clubs but they can organize babysitters if you need them. Most activities here are water or beach based although you can spend some time exploring the island. Zanzibar is a great beach destination to combine with a safari in Tanzania or Kenya.
Flights: British Airways, Virgin, Kenyan Airways to Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam (BA and Kenyan only) before onward flight to Zanzibar. The easiest flights are with Kenyan Airways via Nairobi due to timings.
Zanzibar is a group of 50 islands with the biggest being Zanzibar Island. Pemba and Mafia islands are the next two largest islands but the main island has the best beaches. The most exclusive island is Mnemba Private Island, a short boat journey from the main island. Pemba and Mafia need onward flights from Zanibar Island.
There are a true confusion of hotels on the island. From the huge horrors loved by the Italian and German markets to the tiny very simply beach lodges. We have explored most of them and have selected our favourites. The huge hotels are worth staying well away from but we have tried to find something for everyone. For families wanting more to do the more ‘hotel’ like options of Breezes and Ras Nungwi work perfectly whilst anyone wanting their own villa style hotel would be most suited to Baraza or the new Residence (sister hotel to the stunning Residence in Mauritius). For ultra luxury Mnemba ticks the boxes. Please do ask us for some advise as to which option will best suit your needs.
For anyone wanting to try something a bit different and to explore the culture of Zanzibar then the old slave capital of the African East Coast is great fun for a couple of nights. Old narrow streets and crumbling facades ooze history and fascinating stories. But be warned – the ‘rustic’ nature of Stone Town is for the adventurous only. If you don’t want to be too immersed in the gritty side of Stone Town then stay in the wonderful 5* Serena Inn, on the edge of town, and explore by the day.
Being an island there is a strong emphasis on fish. Menus are international as the local cuisine isn’t that inspiring. Hotels will happily cater for younger palates.
Please find below a range of activities available in Zanzibar.
We know it is often difficult, with the huge number of hotels out there, to know which one to go for, which combines with which and what sort of costs they are going to be. Here we have put together a few of our favourite options to give you a starting point. Any of these options can be changed, tweeked or added to so please do ask. The prices are per person and include international flights and private transfers. As the rates at all hotels change a great deal from their High Seasons (i.e the most popular times of the year to be there) to their Low Seasons (they often have great discounts at this time) we have based the 'From' costs on a good time of year to be in the country, the dates are included in the text at the bottom. Please do call us for a quote based on your dates.