Zanzibar – It’s not just another island.
Horse riding through waves, cycling through coconut plantations, and dipping into calm cool waters…Zanzibar is an affordable breakaway from the rat race – additionally, you’ll be able to keep in very good shape, with this islands lifestyle too.
An unequivocal highlight of our fitcation to Zanzibar, was the horse riding offered by qualified riding instructor, Rosa Stander (@rosastander or #ridingwithrosazanzibar on Instagram).
She runs a professionally managed stable yard, and welcomes riders at all levels for beach rides, sunset rides and out-rides. Most notably, as a testament to the good work done here, the horses are visibly fit and very well cared for.
I absolutely loved galloping through the waves as high tide approached – capturing a Rom-Com movie moment after a canter along a trail, around and over a nearby golf course, and down to the beach.
Consequently, it was one of the closest things to island magic here!
Other activities that kept us in shape while holidaying in this tropical paradise, included:
- A game of tennis
- Nine holes of golf
- Sailing a hobie cat, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and/or cycling (enquire at your hotel about renting the necessary equipment as well as preferred suppliers)
- Quad-biking (which was a disappointing experience for us – read more below); and
- A wander on foot, through the Zanzibar capital, Stone Town, with its awe-inspiring architecture, colourful markets and quaint museums.
Sustainable Tourism for the Win
Our quad-biking experience with The Cool Quads was a disappointment because we discovered that locals don’t earn as much as a TZS shilling out of the tour’s village stops.
Endorsed by TripAdvisor, this outing is supposed to provide a visit to local villages to show tourists authentic rural life in Africa – with its unique cultures and traditional homesteads. We paid $130 per ticket; not cheap for tourists on the SA Rand.
In an age where sustainable tourism is of the essence, it seems archaic to support a tour that relies on the exploitation of people and their resources. This Giraffe is of the thinking, that this tour group will need to alter its modus operandi, and begin to uplift the villages through which it passes, or face dwindling public support in this tourism revolution.
For our island Fitcation, we stayed at the Sea Cliff Resort & Spa – which has been recognised by the acclaimed Couture Travel Company for excellence in hotel accommodation, service & hospitality.
It provides luxurious rooms, lush tropical gardens, and a plethora of outdoor activities.
This resort takes its name from the landscape on which is it perched.
It features makuti roofs and glowing Arabian towers, and encourages peaceful relaxation when you come off the waves, golf course or tennis court.
Dining takes place at one of two restaurants, the Kobe for light lunches from 12h00 to 18h00pm; or the Mangapwani, where you can expect themed nights and live entertainment in the evenings. Read more here.
Lie back… and RELAX
I highly recommend a treatment at the Sea Cliff’s Mali Spa, ranging from a Signature Facial Ritual to a Body Exfoliation Treatment, a Ritual of the Lower Arms and Hands, a Ritual of the Lower Legs and Feet, a Holistic or Warm Stone Massage – or, probably their signature offering – an African Deep Tissue Stick Massage.
Alternatively, if you’re still feeling energetic after trying out all the above (wow!), pump up your muscles with a workout in their well-equipped gym.
After all that wellness & fun, stretch out with your fitcation travel companion on a comfy pool lounger, for a holiday read (or a snooze) in the shade of an umbrella, or the tropical palm tree.
You deserve it!