Zanzibar, also known as Unguja, is an island part of the United Republic of Tanzania, located about 20 miles off the coast of east-central Africa, in the Indian Ocean. This magical island is 2,462 square kilometers (950 square miles) in size, and is home to over 1.5 million people! There is much to be admired about this incredible island from its gorgeous powder-white sand beaches, to the dense palm & fruit-covered landscape, its rich & beautiful Swahili culture, gorgeous marine life, and the incredible warm-hospitality of the locals. Zanzibar is known for its dramatic tides, and it truly makes it such a unique & mesmerizing place.
Xanadu Villas & Retreat As soon as we arrived on the island of Zanzibar, we had a private 45-minute transfer to Xanadu Villas & Retreat. When you turn down the road to get to the villas, there is no signage, and it seems to be a road that leads to nowhere, which is perfect. You are surrounded by dense palms, that all of a sudden opens up to a hidden paradise. The sultan-like architecture took my breath away, the grounds were so perfectly manicured and so lush, and we were greeted immediately by our private butler, Adil. He took us to our villa, "Umande", and it was absolutely perfect. We were surrounded by lush greenery, had our own plunge pool, along with private access to the beach. Anything we needed, he was always there! Not only did he make our stay beyond special and one-of-a-kind, we also made a friend, along with many others at the villas! We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, warm, lovely place to stay!
Zanzibar is not known as the Spice Island for no reason! The Swahili cuisine is absolutely divine, with the chef at Xanadu making sure each dish is seasoned to perfection. Not only are the dishes delicious, they have such a beautiful presentation. Each location we dined was always decorated so elegantly, at different spots around the property, to make each dining experience so intimate!
Exploring Zanzibar I rented a car from Zanzibar Car Hire, and explored around the entire island! Some of our favorite spots were Mtende, Kizimkazi, Michamvi-Pingwe, Dongwe, Pongwe, and Nungwi! Dining at The Rock Restaurant is a DEFINITE, and exploring Stone Town, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see! We truly enjoyed exploring each village, and interacting with the locals. We gave out 600 pencils to the kids, and 2,000 fishing hooks to the fisherman, and the smiles were so gracious! Every mile we explored had us in awe with the unbelievable landscapes, and the raw beauty surrounding the locals & each community. What an amazing island!!