White beaches and a cristal clear lagune
Zanzibar is an island state within the United Republic of Tanzania. It’s a unique coral island, set in the crystal blue waters of the Indian ocean.
The island offers an amazing Indian ocean experience: palm-lined stretches of powder white beaches.
Below the waves, you will be surrounded by beautiful colourful reef fish.
From the turtles that nest here to the dolphins jumping around, there is always something unexpected waiting the diver and snorkeler.
Also on the island itself, one can enjoy abundant unspoiled nature. Although no large wild animals are present, the forest areas such as Jozani are abundant with wildlife: red colobus monkeys, bush-pigs, small antelopes and civet cats.
Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas.
The monsoons that blow across the Indian Ocean have allowed contact between Persia, Arabia, India and the coast of east Africa (including the islands of Zanzibar) for over 2000 year.
Together with Pemba and about 50 other islands Zanzibar originally was an independent country until 1964 when it was united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania under president Julius Nyerere.
The first Europeans were Portuguese looking for a trade route to India. They reached Zanzibar at the end of the 15th century and established a trading station.
At the end of the 17th century the Portuguese were ousted by the Omani Arabs. During this period Zanzibar became a major slaving centre. In 1840, the Omani sultan Said moved his court from Muscat to Zanzibar, and the island became an Arab state and an important centre of trade and politics. Zanzibar was a British protectorate from 1890 until 1963, when the state gained independence. In 1964 the sultan was disposed and the government was overthrown in a revolution. In the same year, Zanzibar and the newly independent country of Tanganyika combined to form the United Republic of Tanzania under president Julius Nyerere.
Presently, Zanzibar has its own president, Ali Mohammed Shein, and a degree of autonomy.
The capital of Zanzibar is Zanzibar Town, which is situated about halfway along the west coast.
During the colonial period, before the development of towns such as Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Mombasa, Stone Town was the largest settlement in the whole of East Africa.
On the west side of the capital you will find the oldest part of the town, know as Stone Town.
This is the more interesting section for visitors. It is composed of palaces, mosques and many fine houses with ornately decorated entrances and balconies.
You can spend many idle hours or days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow and shady small streets and alleys.
Numerous shops here sell almost everything under the sun.
Along the seafront you will find the old Sultan Palace (House of Wonder), the old fort, restaurants and the docks.
Stone Town was recently and deservedly declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. More information can be found at the UNESCO website.
Fishing and farming are the main economic activities. Zanzibar was once the world’s largest producer of cloves, and its economy was based on large incomes thus derived. Although cloves are still a major export article along with coconut products and other spices, tourism has been ear-marked as the primary foreign exchange earner, with more visitors coming to Zanzibar each year. At this stage, the numbers are still low and the potential for tourism is relatively untapped.
We are dedicated to responsible tourism that benefits both visitors and the community, without losing the romance and magic that is Zanzibar.
Europeans can buy their visa on arrival in Zanzibar ($50), but visa can also be obtained at the Tanzanian embassy in your home country.
For information on non-European countries and other inquiries you can visit:
The unit of local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh). US dollar in cash are usually accepted. For using credit cards mostly there is a surcharge of 5-10%.
Please note that ATM machines can only be found in Stone Town!
What do guests say about Blue Reef?
“Blue Reef is an amazing place to stay on Zanzibar! The rooms are really nice and tidy, the food (and drinks!) is very good. Delicious pancakes for breakfast everyday. The staff is also really kind and helpful if you need anything, but also just for a chat. The place has a fantastic atmosphere and the beach in Jambiani is very beautiful. We stayed two nights longer because it is such a nice place. Definitely coming back!”
“After hours of surfing on the internet looking for a nice place on the east coast of Zanzibar for our family holiday, I stumbled upon Blue Reef Sport & Fishing Lodge. We stayed there for four days and absolutely loved the relaxed atmosphere, good food, friendly staff, very approachable management, and wonderful activities. The team spirit and local linkages with the community is very noticeable and added to our enjoyment. My son brought home an 11 kg wahoo from our fishing trip, which we devoured in the evening. In terms of value for money, it doesn’t get any better! We know where we are going next time! Blue Reef is our kind of place.”
“11 nights of fantastic hospitality at Blue Reef. Very decent facilities, hygienic and superb catering plus extremely friendly and reliable staff. The location is perfect for those who like kite surfing, surfing, fishing, snorkeling amongst other activities. They have 2 locations within 150 meters of each other – the one with a large bar area and quite a buzz in the evening with the enigmatic and very friendly bar staff. The other offers a more low key, tranquil experience and they serve up the best stone oven pizza I have had since Italy! Really a very well organized and maintained resort”.
Our score 4.5/5 out of an average of 215 reviews on Tripadvisor.