Plan an Unforgettable Honeymoon in Zanzibar

Surrounded by the blue-green waters of the Indian ocean, and ringed with powdery beaches (off which long sandbars appear and disappear with the tide), this archipelago off the east coast of Tanzania was once a key trading, shipping and spice-growing hub, earning it the “spice Island” nickname. Today, it’s a paradise beloved by honeymooners who come to soak up the postcard-perfect setting.

Trading Places

Zanzibar’s location and natural harbor made it an important stop on the trading routes of yore. You can get a feel for the island’s multicultural past and its vibrant mix of Arabic, African, Indian, British, Omani and Portuguese influences in Stone Town, the historic part of Zanzibar City. A walking tour through the winding streets will take you to the spice and food markets, artisan and antique shops, past churches and mosques, the Sultan’s Palace, the Old Fort and the slave trade memorial.

Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Get Spicy

Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, green peppercorns — all are exports from Zanzibar. Head to the countryside on a spice farm tour and learn how they are grown and harvested, as well as their role in herbal medicine traditions. You’ll also get to taste the fresh-grown spices while on the plantations — be sure to pick up some to bring home.


zanzibar street
Photos courtesy of Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Sea World

The impossibly clear waters of the Indian Ocean are also impossible to resist. Companies like Audley Travel arrange everything from snorkeling in the coral-reef filled Menai Bay Conservation Area and scuba diving, to scouting for humpback whales. For an unforgettable experience, hop on a small motorboat at the picture-perfect fishing village of Kizimkazi on the south coast, and a short ride later you’ll be surrounded by dolphins all around — and under — you.

zanzibar fishing boat
Photo courtesy of Elawana Collection

Dynamic Duo

In Stone Town, the Park Hyatt Zanzibar has 67 rooms and suites in two oceanside buildings, one of which is a 19th-century Omani mansion, decorated in a contemporary style accented by Zanzibari textiles and woodwork. There’s also an Anantara Spa, pool, terrace restaurant and extensive gardens. Room rates start at $350 a night.

park hyatt zanzibar
Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Kilindi is an intimate beach resort on the northwest shore with just 15 domed pavilions. In addition to a plunge pool and open-air bath, each comes with a butler who arranges daily meals (lunch in the 35 acres of gardens or dinner on the torch-lit beach) and activities like catamaran or dhow (a traditional wooden sailing vessel) cruises. Room rates start at $650 per person, per night.

kilindi zanzibar
Photo courtesy of Elawana Collection

Tip: Bring an extra suitcase so you can take home gorgeous textiles, brightly saturated Tingatinga paintings (a painting style common in East Africa), woven baskets or intricately carved miniature chests inlaid with brass and mother of pearl.