Head over to exotic Zanzibar this Christmas

Any traveller worth his salt would be familiar with the exotic and unexplored charms of Zanzibar, stepping on the same sand beaches where Freddie Mercury has spent his early childhood.

This East African archipelago is not only an intriguing mesh of cultures, but also has a past steeped in folklore and dare we say inventive myths. Zanzibar for centuries has had a tumultuous history and has seen the rise and fall of many kingdoms, be it the traders who only sought ivory,  the Omani sultans or even the British colonial imperialism. All this history coupled with its splendid beauty, makes Zanzibar a truly captivating destination. This exotic paradise is also a magnet during Christmas season, as who doesn’t like chilling on world-class beaches and take in the spectacular views of the Indian Ocean? Life here is decided by the cycles of the moon, making it one those few places left on Earth where Mother Nature precedes human whims and fancies.

Villas At Residence Zanzibar

Numerous international airlines have flights to Zanzibar, including Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, and South African airlines and the Kisauni Airport is also well connected to international airlines. The most convenient mode of transportation for tourists in Zanzibar are taxis and it is better to have your hotel book for it you. Speaking of hotels, check into the Residence Zanzibar to enjoy  five stars private villas that overlook the Indian Ocean and epitomize luxury and good living.

Zanzibar mainly has an Islamic population, however many  hotels offer traditional Christmas celebrations, making the sight of a brightly lit Christmas tree amongst swaying palms almost surreal. Your hotel will take care of all your Christmas preparations, so put on your exploration shoes and head out to the main island even though the beaches tempt you to just procrastinate.

Start your day by going to the famous Stone Town, which is a fascinating  labyrinth of  interlinked stone buildings that range from quaint shops, old Islamic styled houses, bustling bazaars and magnificent  mosques. The magical cobbled alleyways will keep you intrigued for hours and is a delightful mélange of history, architecture and culture. Since the Stone Town leads to Creek Road or the sea front, head towards Al-Shabany on Creek Road to sample some delicious local flavors like pilau and biryani.

The mysterious island is dotted with old buildings, museums and forts so brush up your history and do try to squeeze in some of the more important historical sites like the Beit el-Sahel (palace to the Sultan till 1964), the Old Fort (south to Beit el-Sahel) and the Kidichi Persian Baths.

Diving At Nungwi

Since there is so much to explore in Zanzibar, it is best to visit the historic sights first and then make time for fun stuff like scuba diving, snorkeling and of course sunbathing. Those enthusiasts about diving should just head to the East Africa Diving Centre at Nungwi on the northern tip of Ugunja. However, diving can take up a lot of time and it’s best to do a complete day excursion than just cutting corners. Before heading back to the heavenly villas of the Residence to sip some delicious mojitos, do try to fine dine at the Pongwe Bay, which is known for its sumptuous Italian food.

Zanzibar with its stunning beauty and exotic culture has enticed wanderers for centuries and this spice island is indeed the jewel of the Indian Ocean, making it the perfect place for a Christmas getaway.