The stunning island of Zanzibar must be one of the most magical settings on earth for romantic destination weddings and honeymoons, with its pristine white sandy beaches, warm azure waters and breath-taking tropical sunsets
Zanzibar is a beautiful tropical island just 38 km off the coast of mainland East Africa. It is the largest of a number of islands of a Tanzanian archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Away from its gorgeous beaches and charming resorts, Zanzibar has a rich history and culture, which begs to be explored.
Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, is a World Heritage site. This fascinating town was a historic trade centre with Swahili and Islamic influences. Stone Town is atmospheric and vibrant, and is rather similar to the Medina of Morocco with its winding lanes, carved doorways and 19th-century landmarks such as the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace. Exploring its quaint streets is a must.
The earliest visitors to Zanzibar were Arab traders who are said to have arrived in the 8th century to trade primarily in ivory, slaves and spices.
The earliest building that remains on Zanzibar is the Mosque at Kizimkazi, which dates from 1107, and is still an impressive tourist attraction. Zanzibar is now predominantly Islamic, and the main language is Kiswahili – English is also widely spoken, as is Arabic.
For couples looking for the perfect location for their weddings and honeymoons, one of Zanzibar’s biggest selling points is its idyllic climate for most of the year – except in April and May, which is its rainy season, and it can also be a little showery in November, though they are usually short showers. Being close to the equator, the islands are warm all year, however a pleasant breeze keeps temperatures from becoming too hot.
If you enjoy swimming and water sports, Zanzibar has a plenty of activities to satisfy even the most adventurous couples. Mnemba Island is an atoll off the northeast coast near Matemwe, which is excellent for drift diving and is a breeding ground for turtles, which are often seen gliding by along with dolphins and huge schools of fish. Kite surfing is also becoming a popular sport. For relaxation take a dhow sunset cruise or visit the hotel’s luxury spas for top-to-toe pampering. For further information log on to: www.purezanzibar.com