Zanzibar. Its name alone inspires romantic visions of mythical seafaring tales and indigo ocean vistas. Spend the day taking in the local Swahili culture and enjoying the beach – whether swimming, snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing at the resort. The reefs and coral offer exquisite views, including an immense diversity of vibrant aquatic life: butterfly fish, emperor angel fish, dolphins, lion fish, green turtles, and manta ray are a few of these amazing creatures. Along the beach, you might also see Zanzibari fishermen and sea merchants carving or readying their dhows: these are old Arab-African sailing vessels that have been used to navigate between East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for centuries. Once a hub for the vast Indian Ocean trading network, Zanzibar became a home for Africans, Arabs, Persians, and Indians alike. The island was the main slave market of the East African Coast and an important center for ivory trade, as well as a home to many clove and spice plantations. Today, fishing and trade by sea remain the backbone of Zanzibar’s economy, along with tourism.
This morning, we will hop on a plane for a quick flight to Zanzibar, our home for the next four days. We will then head to our resort hotel for an afternoon and evening of relaxation. Take in the views of fishermen on the horizon sailing in their distinctive, hand-crafted dhows. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear waters or even go on a snorkeling adventure. A massage at the hotel is never a bad idea.
Each evening, we will meet up before dinner for a drink and casual talk by our academic host Adam Tooze who will paint the historical backdrop of this island—from the Age of Exploration when the Portuguese Empire was the first European power to gain control of Zanzibar to the country falling into the hands of the Sultanate of Oman, to the Arab slave trade, to the British Empire, to the Zanzibar Revolution all the way to today. Adam’s talks will inform our understanding of the culture and architecture all around us.
We will tuck into dinner as a group after our first beachside history lesson. Once at Zuri, all meals will be included in the trip. You’ll have no reason to want to venture elsewhere: the ingredients from the local garden make each dish a delicacy.
ZURI ZANZIBAR HOTEL & RESORT (B, L, D)
There’s no denying it - Zanzibar and Zuri are heaven on earth, and the days in this haven are yours to enjoy as you wish without schedules or alarm clocks. Do as much or as little as you like. Take your pick of activities including boating, snorkeling or diving. We will be more than happy to help you arrange everything in advance. If lazing about is the order of the day, there are few better places on earth to relax as the pristine beaches of Zanzibar, whether hanging out on a comfy lounge chair with a good book or swaying in a hammock under a palm tree. Be sure to take a stroll along the white sand beaches or lay back by the pool, cocktail firmly in hand. Indulge in the hotel’s wonderful spa services, which can be booked directly with the Zuri, or we can book them for you.
Choose to have your lunch today whenever suits best and spend the afternoon at leisure. We will meet up this evening for our casual history-by-the-beach talk with Adam Tooze. Dinner as a group will follow.
ZURI ZANZIBAR HOTEL & RESORT (B, L, D)
Time to see historic Stone Town with its striking architecture. This morning, we will leave Zuri for and transfer to the bustling center of Stone Town where you will relax at the hotel during the heat of the day and enjoy the resort surroundings. In the early evening, we will set sail for a sunset cruise in a traditional wooden dhow. A very special way to spend out last sunset on this fascinating island. In the cool night air, explore this historic seaside city center on your own. With its labyrinth of narrow streets, white-washed Arabesque buildings and mosques, sprawling markets and palm tree-shaded courtyards, there is something to see at every turn. Join Dana for a stroll to the Forodhani Gardens night market brimming with outdoor stalls selling fresh fish dinners of all sorts. Lunch and dinner are on your own, so you’ll have a chance to explore and try some local delicacies.
PARK HYATT ZANZIBAR (B)
Day 7 - Morning tour of Stone Town then chartered flight to the Eastern Serengeti. Safari, here we come!
Travel to Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem; Guided bush walks with grazing mammals; Maasai boma visit; Night infra-red drive to see nocturnal animals
Safari in Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem; Giraffic park; Enjipai Women’s Group visit; Maasai storytelling
Travel to Serengeti National Park; Safari & wildlife viewing
Safari in Serengeti National Park; the Great Migration & the Big Five
Travel to Ngorongoro Highlands; Wildlife viewing; Day at Gibb’s farm
Wake up at Gibbs to the delightful chorus of songbirds from your verandah: the twee-wee trill of the yellow-throated long claw, the bell-like boo-boo of the tropical boubou, and the soft warble of the scarlet-chested sunbird. You’ll be served coffee and tea on your verandah as you listen to nature’s morning symphony.
After breakfast we will take a guided tour of Gibb’s garden, a sloping 10 acres of vegetables and fruit gardens, growing everything from artichoke to zucchini and providing most of the ingredients for the delicious organic meals we will share at the farm. Our guide will teach us about the sustainable practices at Gibb’s as we take a tour through a pig and dairy farm where we will have the chance to try our hand at milking a cow. We will end by taking a leisurely stroll through the famed coffee bean fields that gave the farm its start over 80 years ago. All of this will give real meaning to delectable farm-to-table lunch.
The afternoon is for you to enjoy on the farm. Need some ideas? Get a few laps in at the pool or lounge poolside with a book. Immerse yourself in the healing and relaxing services of the African Living Spa, including massages and treatments as developed by a third generation traditional Maasai healer (additional fee). Meet with the artists on Gibb’s Farm; the company sponsors East African artists, from botanical illustrators to Makonde carvers, to live at the farm and develop their work. In fact, it is their sculptures, paintings, and artwork that adorn the many luxury cottages and facilities at Gibb’s. Stop into the workshops and learn more about the artists’ work, inspiration and techniques.
Enjoy a relaxing denouement to the day: with a view of the coffee farms and forests that surround Gibb’s Farm, take in the accompanying aromas and sounds as you have afternoon tea on the verandah and unwind.
GIBB’S FARM (B, L, D)
Ngorongoro crater; Tembo fire at Gibb’s Farm