Rustic & Romantic Zanzibar Itinerary: A Tropical Island Retreat

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Jared and Kimberly are a married couple in their mid-40s who wanted to take a one-of-a-kind trip to celebrate a special anniversary. Over the years they’ve embarked on many trips to Europe and Asia, but this time they wanted to travel to a region they had never visited before.

The couple reached out to Project Kaif for help selecting a destination and planning their dream vacation. Their biggest request was that they wanted to travel somewhere tropical, beautiful, and off-the-beaten-path; they mentioned that they had been dreaming of palm-fringed beaches and turquoise seas.

With all of this information in mind, Project Kaif sent Jared and Kimberly on the ultimate romantic getaway to Zanzibar.

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Destination

While Zanzibar is often thought of as an island nation, it is actually a semi-autonomous archipelago made up of several large islands and many smaller islands, located just off the coast of Tanzania. The largest and most visited island, Unguja, is often referred to as Zanzibar Island or simply Zanzibar.

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However, there are numerous other islands - like Pemba and Mafia - just waiting to be explored. Whichever island you venture to, you’ll find powdery white-sand beaches, calm tropical waters, plentiful sunshine, abundant aquatic life, colorful coral, and sleepy-yet-vibrant towns and villages.

Jared and Kimberly started off their adventure in captivating Stone Town, Unguja’s main city and the heart and soul of Zanzibar’s history and culture. They navigated the winding cobblestone streets and explored the bustling bazaars and spice markets before venturing on to their ultimate destination: Mnemba Island.

Step 2: Where to Sleep, Eat, Drink, and Play

Stay: &Beyond Mnemba Island

Mnemba Island is your ultimate “Robinson Crusoe” fantasy come to life. Just 20 minutes north of Unguja by boat, this private island resort accommodates a handful of guests in a gorgeous tropical setting.

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Upon arrival, Jared and Kimberly checked into their room: a rustic palm-frond “banda,” nestled between the lush jungle and serene beach. Natural details meet luxury inside this dreamy open-air bungalow, which features high thatched-roof ceilings, plush seating, a spacious veranda, a stone shower, and panoramic beachfront views.

When Jared and Kimberly weren’t out exploring the island, they enjoyed feeling the balmy sea breeze wafting through their banda and imagining that they were the sole inhabitants of a beautiful untouched island.

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Eat: Starlight Dinner on the Beach

&Beyond Mnemba Island features a handful of thatched-roof dining and sitting areas, where you can watch the sun sink over the horizon while enjoying fresh caught crab, lobster, prawns, and other seafood. For a refreshing afternoon snack, order a heaping pile of tropical fruit, served on a beautifully carved wooden platter.

As a romantic surprise for Jared and Kimberly, we arranged a private candlelit dinner on the beach, complete with the sound of waves lapping the shore and the full moon and stars sparkling in the night sky.

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Of course, before they departed Zanzibar we also arranged for the couple to have dinner at The Rock Restaurant on Unguja. Situated on a rock in the shallow waters just offshore (and only reachable during low tide) this restaurant has been named one of the most unique and memorable in the world.

Do: Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving

Aquatic adventures abound on Mnemba Island! The resort has its own PADI dive school, which offers a variety of scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. Jared and Kimberly spent their days leisurely exploring the beauty of the underwater world, and were lucky enough to spot sea turtles and dolphins during their outings.

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When they weren’t taking advantage of the world-class diving and snorkeling, they spent their time swimming in the calm waters on the secluded beach near their banda and walking along the shoreline. Towards the end of their stay, the couple also indulged in a relaxing in-room massage.

Step 3: Booking the Right Travel Arrangements

Because of its remote location, reaching &Beyond Mnemba Island is an adventure all on its own. First Jared and Kimberly traveled 90 minutes by car from Stone Town, through lush spice plantations to the northern coast. From there, they waded knee-deep into the warm sea and boarded a waiting boat, which took them on a 20 minute crossing to Mnemba Island.

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Project Kaif ensured a smooth transport process through every step of the way, from the moment they touched down at Zanzibar International Airport until the moment they were boarding the plane to return home.

Dreaming of a romantic escape of your own? Contact Project Kaif today to start planning your perfect getaway.