How Many Days in Zanzibar – Visiting Before or After Safari?

When we planned our safari in Tanzania, we saw that Turkish Airlines flew into/out of both Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport. As we were flying on the airline due to winning tickets at a conference, and that domestic flights on Tanzanian carriers were rather cheap, we knew we had to spend some time in Zanzibar during our trip.

But, much like we struggled with how much time to go on safari in Tanzania, we had the same question for Zanzibar. But not only did we struggle with how many days you need in Zanzibar, we also had another challenging question to answer too- do you visit Zanzibar before or after safari?

So in this one, we thought we'd share more about our thought process and how we settled on five days in Zanzibar before going on our safari.

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How Many Days Do You Need on Safari in Tanzania?

You've decided to go on a safari in Tanzania. Excellent, you are going to have an amazing time! Now you are left with a much harder question- how many days should you go on a Tanzanian safari?

To us, this is probably the hardest question of all because there is simply far too much to see in this country. How much time you decide to spend on your visit has many caveats worth thinking about.

While the best answer is simply “as much time as you can possibly give”, simply stating that and walking away would be doing you a disservice. So in this one, we thought we'd break down some of the most important elements you may want to consider to ensure you have enough time to enjoy your safari around Tanzania!

  • Note: We are only discussing minimum nights required in this analysis. If you want to increase your odds of spotting a rare animal, like a black rhino at Ngorongoro or a river crossing in the Serengeti, you may want to add on more days in those respective locations. We got lucky on both, but many others did not. But on the flip side, it took us dozens of game drive outings over six countries to spot a leopard and cheetah. Nothing is guaranteed on safari and the more time you can allow yourself the greater your odds of success will be.

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Jambiani Villas Review – A Perfect Stay in Zanzibar

When we booked our trip to Tanzania and added a stopover in Zanzibar for a little beach time, we were faced with a challenge- figuring out where to stay.

We had several questions to research when deciding on this. Do we stay near Stone Town to have proximity to the sights there (and the airport)? Do we stay at the chain resorts on the north side of the island to make use of our branded status? Do we stay on an eastern beach to be close to experiences like The Rock? Or do we pick a semi-private beach in the middle of nothing to simply hang out and relax?

These were all cases that we had to evaluate before even looking at the hotel options at any given location.

Ultimately, we settled on Jambiani Villas on Jambiani Beach on the eastern side of the island for a few key reasons- the beach is somewhat centrally location (apart from hitting the extreme north everything was within ~90 minutes drive), the villas are simply stunning (and at a reasonable price), and the beautiful beach supposedly had quieter vibes all around. 

Suffice it to say, we enjoyed this one so much that when we return to Zanzibar there is no question where we'd stay- we'd book Jambiani Villas again in a heartbeat. 

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Learn Why Zanzibar is The Spice Island on a Spice Farm Tour

One of our top priorities for our recent trip to Zanzibar was a spice farm tour. Even if you're not obsessed with cooking and gardening like we are, a spice farm tour is a great way to get a feel for this important aspect of Zanzibar's history and its distinguished Spice Island nickname.

There are a myriad of options for these types of tours, but they are all very similar and take place on one of the farms just to the northeast of Stone Town.

We hired a driver and booked our spice farm tour through our hotel, but numerous companies offer these types of tours along with transportation. We stayed on Jambiani beach and our driver took us to Bahama Spice Farm where we were greeted by our tour guide. We soon learned that this spice farm wasn't actually a farm (none of the tourist experiences take place on true farms), but more of a demonstration garden for tourists. That said, the area was beautiful, lush, and amazing.

So let's dive into what the experience is like once you arrive!

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