Where else can you go to experience a land full of natural beauty, stunning beaches, exotic culture, and spicy food?
This exotic destination in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a unique blend of African and Arab cultures, steeped in tradition, fascinating stories, and colorful history.
Upon arriving in Zanzibar, visitors are instantly taken back by the beautiful architecture and warm atmosphere of this tropical paradise. Everywhere you look there is something special, from the lush green vegetation to the vivid blues and greens of the waters. Of course, no trip to Zanzibar is complete without taking some time to enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful beaches and stunning scenery.
The island also has a unique culture that sets it apart from other African destinations. Its vibrant music, traditional dances, and welcoming locals add to the appeal and help make the visit truly memorable. Not to mention the flavorful food - Zanzibar is home to an array of exotic dishes, some of which you can only find in the area. It's hard to capture in words the feeling of being in Zanzibar, the allure that pulls travelers back again and I am already planning on going back after returning in December as it was paradise.
On my last visit, I took a trip to Jozani National Park in Paje. It was an amazing experience to spot the rare colobus monkey. Afterward, we took a boat to go snorkeling around the reefs in the crystal clear waters, it was the most amazing day. The day after I visited 3 of Zanzibar's most famous islands which included Prison island and a dolphin tour where we got to see dolphins up close - this made the whole experience unforgettable.
For the duration of my stay, I stayed in a hotel in Stone Town where I spent most of my nights, however, most days I spent in Paje due to the beautiful beaches and the cocktail bars along the coast. Stone Town is famous for its Arab, Persian, and African heritage and architecture which includes the labyrinth of narrow alleyways, and I recommend if you have the chance, visiting and going to the Darajani market where you can pick up spices, woodcarvings, and handmade jewelry. There are also plenty of incredible local restaurants, shops, and galleries to explore.
I have to say my favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to travel to Paje and spend most of my time there. It is a small fishing village on the East African coast, just south of the city of Zanzibar. I found the locals to be incredibly welcoming and warm, and the place had a real sense of community and hospitality. One of my favorite aspects of Paje was the beauty of its coastline. White sand beaches stretched for miles, with crystal-clear waters and turquoise hues. As we went snorkeling, we were able to observe the abundance of fish and sea life just beneath the surface.
On land, the views were no less spectacular – the reds, yellows, and blues of the roofs of traditional homes against the vast backdrop of the Indian Ocean. The atmosphere of the town was amazing – always vibrant and filled with life. Whether it was people selling fresh fruit on the street and beach, groups of locals gathered to play traditional African drums and dance on the beach, or visitors enjoying the sea and setting Paje was alive with energy and excitement. I truly enjoyed being able to immerse myself in the culture of this unique place.
I can’t recommend visiting Paje, Zanzibar enough – the beauty and charm of this place are impossible to describe in words and the sunsets were unbelievable! The locals welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home, and I left with memories that will last a lifetime.
By Maddie Cole
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