TRAVEL DIARIES: BEACH HOPPING IN ZANZIBAR

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Going to Zanzibar is truly escaping the modern world. This is an island that is so tucked away, so rich in ancient tradition and culture, so beautiful and exotic — that it feels like another world altogether. The beaches are covered in sand as soft and white as snow; the water is clear and warm enough to soak in for hours. Palm trees with thin trunks sway in the island breeze; seafood is fresh and in plenty. The island is bustling, yet calm and serene at the same time. It’s like no place I’ve ever been.

We spent five blissful days exploring as much of the island as possible; beach (and hotel) hopping from one beautiful region to the next. Our first day, we took an old local boat to a tiny, untouched sandbar where we snorkeled and then feasted on freshly caught lobster.

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During our time on the western tip of the island, we stayed at a hotel called Kisiwa on the Beach. Just steps from our beautifully decorated private bungalow, were miles upon miles of white sand beach and hundreds of brightly colored kites in the sky. The hotel had an amazing, hospitable staff, immaculate landscaping, the perfect pool overlooking the ocean, delicious food, cold drinks on stand-by, and such a calming, relaxing vibe. It was perfect.

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Up next, was one of the most memorable days of the trip: a visit to The Rock Restaurant, which you can reach by foot when the tide is low, or by boat when the tide is high. Regardless of where you’re seated, there’s an incredible view of the sea and coast. Having cocktails and the freshest seafood any of us had ever eaten, underneath a huge, blue African sky — was pretty unforgettable.

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On New Years Eve, we headed to Sea Cliff Resort, and were once again blown away by the beauty and amenities. There was a huge pier that jetted far out into the ocean, providing the perfect spot for sundowners on the last day of 2014.

Every detail of our time exploring this hidden gem off the coast of Tanzania was magic.

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