Zanzibar is magical: the spice-scented, quintessential Indian Ocean idyll. Tropical, turquoise waters lap miles of palm-fringed, sandy beaches.

For hundreds of years, traders and travellers have eulogized about Zanzibar’s intoxicating aroma of spices, its beautiful beaches and the bustle of its Moorish capital, Stone Town. It’s name alone – as evocative as Timbuktu, Casablanca or Kilimanjaro – is alluring enough for many to dream of visiting.

Just a short hop across the water from mainland Tanzania – of which Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part – is this lush array of islands. It’s impossible not to be enchanted as you approach from the air: clear, sparkling waters, darkened only by patch reefs, and punctuated by the billowing triangular, white sails of passing dhows.

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