|Click image to enlarge.|
The coast of Tanzania is probably best known for the Zanzibar Archipelago - a cluster of islands that saw the growth and survival of Swahili civilisation and trade until the mid-twentieth century. Zanzibar is an enchanting and beguiling land of oriental mystique, its name immediately associated with the Spice Islands and dhow trade; exotic sultans and palaces built of limestone. The Zanzibar coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world on the east coast where waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, with low tide revealing small pools of starfish, silvery minnows and waving anemones. The north, being less susceptible to the tides, offers superb ocean swimming and smooth, white sanded beaches, perfect for lazy days soaking up the sun.
But there is more to the islands of Tanzania than just Zanzibar - throughout the Archipelago, deserted islands abound. Some have slave caves and colonial graves; others host the ruins of Sultans’ palaces and stately plantations.
In Pemba, villages steeped in culture and tradition, preserve the Swahili way of life, almost oblivious to the world around them. On the islands of Mafia, old trading towns line the walkways to abandoned ports and the gentle sea.
Throughout the Swahili Coast, diving, swimming, and snorkelling offer superb vistas of thriving coral and marine life. Whether you are content to stay on the mainland coast, or want to venture off into the atolls and islands of the Indian Ocean, the Tanzanian coast is a place of untouched beauty and pure enchantment.