Zanzibar, its the idyllic and rustic little Island with a lot of Character situated a few km’s off the Zanzibar coastline. Over the past few years, the Island boomed and a number of hotels have popped up on its shores at quite an alarming rate. It’s my understanding that especially the South African market has grown significantly due to people having to find alternatives to Mombasa and Malindi due to the very unfortunate events that brought the Kenya tourism industry to its knees in 2011. Kenya kidnap attacks by Somalis drive terrified tourists out of paradise islands. Thankfully things are slowly returning to normal but unfortunately, the damage has been done and Kenya have yet to receive the influx of tourists that it used too.
Back to Zanzibar the little gem of Tanzania – surrounded by beautiful unspoiled coral forests and obviously long strips of unspoiled and beautiful beaches. Some beach areas are better than others and for the first time visitor, it can be a bit of a shock if the travel agent did not advise then that the beach you are visiting will only be looking like the pictures on tv for half of the day. I’ve stepped into that little trap quite a few times when I started off selling Zanzibar packages 5 years ago.
What’s the Deal?
Ok so in short – typically pictures you see on tv or the internet of bottle blue water and white powdery sand ever so romantic and lush isn’t always the case in Zanzibar. However, it doesn’t make it less beautiful. It’s all about managing your expectations. The flip side of the coin is that many of the beaches on the Island look exactly as you have seen on TV, just not for the entire day.
Ok, Kids, we are booking a holiday on a tropical beach – just like the ones we see on TV! Plus they have a special running! We are going to Zanzibar!
Bright eyed and bushy tailed the family rocks up in Zanzibar at their resort at low tide.
Maybe we boarded the wrong flight!!!
This can be a shocking experience for people and it’s pretty much not something you can explain away if you have not advised your clients accordingly.
The Tide Phenomenon
A large part of the magical spice Island is influenced by what is widely known as the tide phenomenon. The Island is protected by a coral reef and due to its proximity to Tanzania and some other moon magic’s the Island is affected by this phenomenon. But it’s a different kind of beautiful. When this happens large parts of the coral forests are exposed and you are able to go out and explore and witness Mother Nature at its best. Even in here especially in high summer creatures have found wonderful ways to adapt and you are able to witness nature at its best. The upside is that it doesn’t look like this permanently and once its high tide again you are able to enjoy your blue beach just as you wanted and just as you see on tv. Take a look at the photos below.
The difference is quite extraordinary. This little building on a rock, by the way, has been voted one of the top 10 places to visit before you die. The Rock Restaurant The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar. It’s a must see and a must visit.
My next post will be a more comprehensive guide to the areas and beaches of this magical place. Take a look at Helen`s post on Zanzibar on her great comprehensive travel blog Not Without my Password Island Life in Zanzibar
Our website will be up and running soon with some great package holidays to Zanzibar and we hope to see you soon!