Spice up your life – Zanzibar


Situated off the coast of Tanzania and washed by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is a tropical archipelago comprised of several scattered islands, the largest two being Unguja (Zanzibar Island) and Pemba. Despite its sinister slave trading past, the name Zanzibar nowadays conjures up images of spice markets, palm-fringed beaches and white-sailed dhows on a turquoise sea, all kissed by the spice-laden East African trade winds – and happily the reality doesn’t disappoint.

Our holiday actually started before we’d even reached the island. After a long day’s travel and some delayed flights, we reached Dar es Salaam, once a fishing village, that has grown to be Tanzania’s largest city, its financial hub and commercial port on the Indian Ocean. Despite its name, which means ‘abode of peace’ in Arabic, Dar es Salaam is a large and hectic city. The drive from the airport was slightly hair-raising, our driver had us on the edge of our seats with his erratic lane changing manoeuvres, but when we pulled up with a screech of tyres at the door of The Slipway Hotel our holiday really began.  A late dinner of seafood, wood-fired pizzas and huge sharing platters, on the promenade, right by the sea was the perfect start.

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, on the exclusive Msasini Peninsula just to the north of Dar’s city centre, The Slipway started life as a boatyard, but is now much more than just a hotel. Set within an attractive seaside complex, the restaurants, cafés and cocktail bars are buzzing at weekends and its souk and galleries are ideal for last-minute souvenir shopping. And with the palm trees swaying in the breeze, fishermen wandering up and down the…

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