This off-the-beaten-track safari and beach combo is ideal for experienced travellers and a safari without the crowds. Explore the romantic ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar and enchanting Stone Town; cross vast open spaces in the Selous Game Reserve; and enjoy post-safari relaxation on Pemba’s stunning white sands.
Suggested route & duration
10 nights from Zanzibar
• Stone Town: 2 nights
• Selous: 3 nights
• Pemba: 5 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this itinerary
• Lots of great photo opportunities in Stone Town and on safari
• Explore historic Stone Town
• Get away from the crowds and spot wildlife from hippo to buffalo in the huge Selous
• Chill out on white-sand beaches on the islands of Zanzibar or Pemba
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Zanzibar Start in UNESCO-listed Stone Town, the cultural heart of Zanzibar with snaking alleyways, ornate doors and Sultans’ palaces. Spices were first introduced here in the 16th Century by Portuguese traders – learn more and taste them for yourself by adding a half-day spice tour. Stay 2 nights at Park Hyatt, Stone Town.
Day 3: Selous Spend three nights in another UNESCO-listed site that’s four times the size of the Serengeti. Head out on bush walks, night game drives and boat trips along the Rufiji River. Spot hippo wallowing in the water plus wildlife including big cats. Stay 3 nights at Serena Mivumo River Lodge.
Day 6: Pemba island Fly back to Stone Town and onwards to Pemba Island. It’s all about incredible Indian Ocean beaches on Zanzibar’s smaller sister island – think reef-protected warm waters and palm-fringed shores. Snorkel around colourful coral and go kayaking and kitesurfing, or spend your days indulging in spa treatments and sunbathing. Stay 5 nights at Constance Aiyana, Pemba. We’ve based this itinerary on a stay in Pemba as it’s quieter and less explored, but you can easily go to the main island’s beaches instead – we love Nungwi at the northern tip, and Bwejuu on the south-eastern coast.
Unwind on pristine powdery sands lapped by turquoise waters on Zanzibar’s quieter sister island
Discover weathered buildings, old forts and a former slave market
Zanzibar Spice tour
Explore small rural farms which grow everything from cloves and vanilla to nutmeg and cardamom
In the vast and wide open Selous, you can go wildlife watching without the crowds on bush walks, night drives and boat trips
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
Park Hyatt, Zanzibar is in the heart of Stone Town, right by the key sights. It contains a 17th-Century Mambo Msiige mansion and contemporary Zamani Residence Wing. Serena Mivumo River Lodge sits deep in the Selous Game Reserve overlooking the Rufiji River.
You can add some great experiences to this itinerary, like a private guided walking tour of Stone Town, a half-day spice tour or a trip to see colobus monkeys.
We recommend spending no less than 3 nights in Selous, but you can easily spend another night here to slow things down. The beach stay on this itinerary is based on Pemba but Zanzibar is also a great option – you could add extra nights in either destination.
For a safari away from the crowds, stop at Ruaha National Park in south-central Tanzania, a 1½-hour flight from Selous. It’s known for its rugged bush country, rocky outcrops, sandy river tributaries and diverse wildlife including birds, African wild dog and antelope.
Good to know
When to go
• Tanzania in January is hot and dry – the hottest months are October to February
• Zanzibar is hot and humid with an average daytime temperature of 30°C, but from June to September there’s a welcome sea breeze
• Safari lodges in Selous are closed in the rainy season from April to May