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.

10nights INDEPENDENT TOUR

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.

Recommended highlights

Pemba island

Unwind on pristine powdery sands lapped by turquoise waters on Zanzibar’s quieter sister island

Stone Town

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

The Selous

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.

Unique experiences

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.

How long

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.

Another stop

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