Africa: hopeless love
For those who already been there, going back is almost an obligation. For those who have yet to experience Africa, it would be a pity to live without ever having been in paradise. Seeing many smiles printed on the children’s faces, notwithstanding their minimal living conditions, helps to make peace with the world and to understand that in the end happiness may reside in the most simple of things. Touching survival situations, some of which can be extreme, can help us to revalue our goals, removing a little anxiety and fear for the future. We work in the belief that a trip to Africa will contribute towards self-improvement, discovering an interior richness of which we were not aware.
DIVING AND SNORKELING
Zanzibar is well established with its quality of scuba diving and the richness of the coral reef which, surrounding the two main island of Unguja (Zanzibar) and Pemba, ensures an abundance of marine life. Good visibility (25 - 40 metres) and an average yearly water temperature of 27°C, are sure to guarantee enjoyment. The best months are from September to March with November offering particularly clear waters. Shallow waters set the scene for many tropical fish as well as a extensive variety of indo-pacific marine life such as scorpion fish, sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones, starfish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters as well as snails and shellfish, octopus, nautilus and seafood.
The deepest waters hide real coral gardens where barracuda, manta rays, napoleon fish, tuna and wahoo hunt together with unicorn and parrot fish, moorish idols and blacktip reef sharks, turtles, groupers, clown fish, eels and sea snakes.
Dolphins are wonderful creatures. A special bond unites us which drives us to communicate with them, beyond the conventional methods of communication: their behavior is sometimes very surprising, for example, it can happen that they lead back to the boat a pregnant woman found in water after the second heartbeat is detected.
In Zanzibar, you can meet both the dolphins of the bottle-nose and humpback family. The greatest number of sightings and interactions occur with the first group. The bottle-nose dolphins are in fact known for their friendly and playful behavior, whereas the humpback, more reserved, tend to keep their distance. They are organized into groups, within which there are social hierarchies. They hunt in groups, in the morning and late afternoon, forcing the fish into the shoals towards the beach where they will be an easier catch. These are the best times of the day to observe them from close up in their natural habitats. To locate their prey they use a kind of echo-probe so that the sound bounces when hitting the object, whilst to flush them out they intervene by issuing a series of ultrasound at intervals. They feed on a variety of fish and cephalopods such as octopuses.
Zanzibar offers rich seabed and deep sea fishing among the best in Africa. Fishing has two distinct seasons, closely related to the monsoon: the yellowfin tuna season which runs from august to november and the marlin season, which runs from november to mid march. Depending on the period of the year you can expect to fish striped marlin, blue or black marlin, the giant trevally, istriofori, tuna, dorado, wahoo, barracuda, and shortbill spearfish broadbill, kingfish, redsnapper and more.
For fans of fishing, fun is 100% guaranteed.
You will sail on a Ngalawa, the typical boat used by local fishermen when fishing small fish near the reef. Those who accompany the fisherman but do not fish can take the opportunity to enjoy snorkeling.
You will reach Kizimkazi by car and from there you will boat in open sea on a fiberglass powerboat and start trawling fishing. You can expect to fish dorado, tuna, marlins, Kingfish ...
The fish should be divided with the captain and your catch will be cooked on the charcoal or in the traditional Swahili way.
WALKING TO THE BARRIER REEF
The times of low tides offer the chance of beautiful walks towards the reef, first meet the starfish (there are several species, beige with red heights that form a kind of double order drawing, greenish, azure -blue and blue-purple), then we see the first corals and the first tropical fishes. The barrier is never fully reachable by feet and at some point we will proceed by boat. If you go out without a guide, remember that when the tide starts to come back it is time to return to the beach. If you stay still where you are, the water that just before lapped the thighs will rise to the abdomen and swimming back will be quite demanding.
Zanzibar is the spice island. In past centuries, achieved fame and fortune thanks to their trade and became the capital of the entire omani empire. A visit to a plantation is certainly very interesting for the variety of spices and fruits grown there, including cloves, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, citronella grass, saffron and curious fruits like tope tope.
SPICES TOUR + STONE TOWN
Spice plantations are inland, where rains are more abundant and not far from Stone Town. Among our proposals, most valued by travelers is the spice tour in conjunction with the visit to the capital city for some town shopping and a drink at sunset. Lunch will be at the plantation.
Stone Town is the old city and cultural center of Zanzibar island. Despite the abandonment following independence, the urban layout is intact and is probably the best example of Swahili merchant settlements in East Africa. Most of the buildings were built in the XIX century when Zanzibar, under the influence of the omani empire, was one of the most important trading centers of the Indian Ocean, together with the island of Lamu, Kenya. The narrow winding streets of the city recall the arab and north african medinas but the fusion of different styles is evident. The buildings are characterized by large windows, sometimes inlaid with tinted glasses, by oggias, balconies and verandas typically colonial and by the wonderful wooden doors, whose style is of finely crafted indian-arabic origin. The Swahili culture is the result of the evolution of bantu culture with the assimilation of different cultures such as the European cultures (Portuguese, French, German, British), the Persian Shiraz, Indian, Arabic. To quote the ONU definition, that in year 2000 has entered Stone Town in the World Heritage, the city is a unique material expression of cultural fusion and harmonization.
JOZANI AND MANGROVES FOREST
This guided forest tour is an interesting alternative to the sea. The Jozani protected forest covers an area of 10 sq km between Chwaka bay and Uzi bay of on a bed of paleo coral. Along with expanses of mangroves to the north and the salt marshes to the south, is a rich set of different natural habitats of the island. Walking along the paths meet its enormous examples of red mahogany, oil palm, pandanus rabaiense whose amazing aerial roots act as a support of the heavy plants and provide oxygen even when during the masika, the monsoon season, the forest is flooded and populated of many small animals like the water beetle, dragonflies and ditischi. There is the palm raphia (raffia farinifera), whose fiber, derived from the leaves is used for a myriad of purposes, both in textiles and in other areas. The ficus sycamore tree stand tall against the sky. Even here the roots have a strong supporting role.Mmore ficus, known as strangler (ficus natalensis) are woven tightly to the trees of the forest: It is not a collaboration between plants but rather a struggle for survival. Here and there, cardamom clumps, mint and other wild fragrant spices grow. Also Todalia lianas, typical plants of tropical countries belonging to the same family of asian Rattan, exploit tall trees to climb toward the light. Emerging from the silence of the forest comes birdsong jozani: Akelat (erithacus gunning, a robin on the east coast) the green babul of Zanzibar (pycnototus zanzibaricus virens), the crowned hornbill (tockus alboterminatus) and sounds and animal calls of jozani: the whistling of the zanzibar red colubus (precolubus kirkii) and the recall of penetrating vervets; fangs of patacomero (a distant relative of the boar ) that scrape the ground to dig up roots and tubers, the noise produced by black pygmy frogs jumping in puddles. In total, more than 40 migratory and sedentary species. The forest is then extended to an area of casuarina equisetifolia: all these plants have been planted by man in 1980 after a fire had destroyed part of the forest. All efforts are intended to bring the disaster areas to its original condition, while protecting and preserving the remaining natural forest.
JOZANI FOREST, MANGROVES AND BUTTERFLIES
It is possible to extend the visit to the nearby Butterfly center, created for the conservation of endemic species.
JOZANI FOREST, MANGROVES AND ZALA PARK
Fans of chameleons can extend the visit to the center of chameleons and snakes.
JOZANI FOREST, MANGROVES, BUTTERFLIES AND ZALA PARK
This is the total offer which includes the visit to the forest of tall trees, the mangrove forests, the center of chameleons and snakes and butterflies center.
The small islands a few kilometers off the coast of stone are numerous, among them is Prison Island [Changu Island]. This tour allows you to combine the charm of snorkeling in a shallow reef and to visit the giant tortoises. Once the turtles turned freely in the island but have now been locked in a protected area because of attacks by poachers who sold the shells to the tourists. The island has historical significance and you can visit the remains of old buildings in which were hidden and held slaves, whose trade continued even after the abolition of slavery.
WILD TOUR OF THE NORTH
Day dedicated to the visit of the island from South to North. Zanzibar is composed of distinct habitats: the east coast, a little less rainy, has a less luxuriant vegetation and is substantially more arid. Especially palm trees and baobabs are found there. On the contrary, the center and the western section of the island are very green and lush, many palm trees, banana, fig, mahogany, rice paddies, fruit trees and spices. While the coast has undergone a remarkable development of tourism, the island interior has remained authentic and travelling along the white roads we meet small villages with mud houses included in the dense vegetation where the lifestyle has remained virtually unchanged. The excursion includes a visit to the dhow manufacturing site and to the place where the beautiful Zanzibar doors are manufactured. We will tehn raech Nungwi for visiting the aquarium of sea turtles and finally the young Kendwa beach for a drink when the sun sets into the sea.
Located offshore Stone Town, Chumbe Island is a private island and was the first marine reserve of Tanzania. It boasts one of the most beautiful reefs in the world for snorkeling and a pristine coral reef. It is possible to arrange snorkeling trips to the island (diving is not allowed), however, daily access depends on the number of people present on the island (the island is also a multi award winning resort) and this is given only a few days in advance.
This resort is located about 20 km north of Stone Town. In addition to a charming small beach there are many natural caves near the beach and a few others hidden in dense vegetation and in the past used as a hiding place for slaves. The excursion can be combined to the visit of Stone Town or can be done separately for a romantic evening since this beach is still very little known. There is a little restaurant and you can stay until the sun sets into the sea.
Safari from Zanzibar
Studied for those who are already in Zanzibar and do not want to miss the opportunity to visit the famous parks of Tanzania. These are short duration safaris that include a visits to one or more national parks in the north such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro and depending on time of year, Lake Manyara or Tarangire , or to explore individual parks in the south such as Selous and Ruaha, the latter especially interesting from July to October.
The safaris are conducted with 4x4 safari jeep for your exclusive use (only you and your guide). In this way, in compliance with the regulations of the parks, you will enjoy the maximum freedom during the safari.
A safari offers you the opportunity to explore Tanzania, one of the most fascinating places in Africa. The endless savannahs and the famous Serengeti migration; the magnificent crater of Ngorongoro; Kilimanjaro; the mythical mount Meru; the great salt lakes, the national parks of Ruaha and Selous in the south; the Udzungwa Mountains; the mountains of Mahale and Katavi in the West; Gombe and the Jane Goodall chimpanzees; the magnificent coastline facing the Indian Ocean; Mafia Archipelago and its precious marine park ideal destination for divers; the island of Pemba refuge for pirates of the past will make this land the destination worth for an African safari.
No other country in Africa can compete with Tanzania in terms of wealth, conservation of species of flora and fauna: parks and reserves cover a total area of 22 million hectares and represent 23% of the country. Tanzania is an extraordinary succession of habitats and breathtaking landscapes. There is no better destination for those wishing to embark on a real safari. Visit our website, evaluate our offers for: sea, safari only or sea + safari, inclusive of intercontinental flight. Possibilities and variations of itinerary are endless ... please contact our Excursion Office for quotes and holiday trips that we can build custom tailored for you.