Zanzibar vs. Seychelles

Choosing between the sun-kissed lands of Zanzibar and Seychelles is like picking between two precious jewels. Each shines with its unique sparkle, each carries a story steeped in a deep past. Zanzibar, a lively palette of culture and history, whispers tales of a vibrant trade heritage. Seychelles, on the other hand, sings the song of a peaceful, isolated paradise. Intrigued to know which one suits you best?
Zanzibar vs. Seychelles

Table of Contents

Are you ready to embark on a journey of exploration? Are you wondering where your next trip will be? Do the bustling markets of Zanzibar entice you, or do the tranquil beaches of Seychelles call your name? Whichever path you choose, you’re sure to uncover a world of wonder. Stay with us and uncover what these incredible destinations have to offer.

History & Culture

Peeking into the history and culture of Zanzibar and Seychelles is like flipping through an old, well-loved book. Both islands have a rich narrative that flows deep within their roots. While they share a common background of trading and colonial influences, each offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and historical complexity.

Zanzibar, fondly referred to as the “Spice Island”, is a melting pot of cultures. Its historical tapestry is woven with threads of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences.

Zanzibar’s strategic location made it a major stop along ancient trade routes, impacting its culture significantly. Here, you’ll find grand architecture reflecting its diverse past, from the Stone Town’s winding alleys to the grand Sultan’s Palace.

Meanwhile, Seychelles offers a more serene historical setting. Its story begins with its discovery by Portuguese explorers, followed by its colonization by the French and later the British.

The Seychellois culture is a harmonious blend of these European influences and the traditions of its African, Indian, and Chinese settlers. The Creole language, spoken here, is a testament to this cultural mix.

While Zanzibar thrums with the energy of its past, Seychelles moves to a more gentle, laid-back rhythm. Zanzibar offers you the chance to immerse yourself in a vibrant history, while Seychelles provides an opportunity to connect with a more tranquil yet equally engaging cultural legacy.

To wrap up, the vibrant history and diverse culture of Zanzibar offer an intoxicating blend for those who crave historical exploration. Seychelles, with its quiet charm and mélange of cultures, provides a peaceful cultural retreat. Both are treasure troves of stories waiting to be unearthed. Which tale will you choose to be part of?

Attractions & Activities

Both Zanzibar and Seychelles are abundant with unique attractions and activities, offering more than just stunning vistas and sun-kissed sands. Whether you’re an adventurous spirit seeking an adrenaline rush or a history buff with a love for the past, both of these dreamy destinations have something to suit your preferences.

Zanzibar is an island where history comes alive. One of its most compelling attractions is the ancient Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking through its narrow labyrinth-like streets, you’ll witness history etched in every corner, from the ornate wooden doors to the old Fort and the House of Wonders.

For a deep dive into nature, you might want to explore Jozani Forest, the last indigenous forest on the island. It’s home to the rare Red Colobus monkeys, a treat for wildlife enthusiasts!

On the other hand, Seychelles presents a different kind of adventure. Vallee de Mai on Praslin Island is an attraction you can’t miss. This primordial forest, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the coco de mer palm and its enormous double coconut.

Bird watchers should head to Cousin Island, a special reserve known for its bird populations, especially the Seychelles warbler and the fairy tern.

For those with an adventurous spirit, both Zanzibar and Seychelles offer thrilling water activities. In Zanzibar, diving around Mnemba Atoll reveals a vibrant underwater world with coral reefs and diverse marine life. Seychelles, though, takes diving to a different level with unique granite formations beneath the waves, providing a unique backdrop for marine exploration.

To sum up, both Zanzibar and Seychelles offer a unique blend of attractions and activities. Zanzibar, with its rich history and vibrant wildlife, serves as a haven for culture lovers and nature enthusiasts. Seychelles, with its unique ecosystems and remarkable diving experiences, promises an unmatched natural adventure. Where will your adventure-seeking heart lead you?


What could be more inviting than the sun-warmed sands of an exquisite beach? Zanzibar and Seychelles, both revered for their stunning coastlines, offer a different slice of paradise to beach lovers.

Zanzibar’s most famous beach, Nungwi, offers an expansive stretch of white sand along with warm, turquoise waters. Nungwi, located about 35 miles (or roughly 56 kilometers) north of Stone Town, is cherished for its breathtaking sunsets. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, with the Indian Ocean gently lapping at your feet.

On the eastern side of Zanzibar, you’ll find Paje Beach. It’s roughly 30 miles (about 48 kilometers) from Stone Town. Known for its shallow waters and consistent winds, Paje is a paradise for kitesurfers and offers a quieter beach experience than Nungwi.

In Seychelles, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island is often regarded as one of the best beaches in the world. Its soft golden sands and crystal-clear waters, surrounded by granite boulders, create a picture-perfect setting. Anse Lazio is around 6 miles (or about 9.6 kilometers) from Praslin’s main village, Baie Ste Anne.

Another Seychelles gem is Anse Source D’Argent on La Digue Island. With its unique pink sands, clear shallow waters, and the backdrop of large granite rocks, it is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. It’s a short bike ride, approximately 1 mile (or roughly 1.6 kilometers), from La Digue’s main jetty.

In conclusion, whether you’re dreaming of the white sands and breathtaking sunsets of Zanzibar or the unique pink sands and granite backdrops of Seychelles, these islands promise an unforgettable beach experience. So, will you choose the vibrant vistas of Zanzibar or the unique paradises of Seychelles for your next beach getaway?

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

A trip is never complete without indulging in local cuisine, sipping unique drinks, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife. Zanzibar and Seychelles, each with their own culinary traditions, refreshing beverages, and lively night scenes, ensure you have unforgettable gastronomic and social experiences.

Zanzibar, also known as Spice Island, offers a feast for your senses. Its cuisine is a tantalizing fusion of Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, and British influences. Don’t miss out on trying the Zanzibari Biryani, Urojo soup, or the sweet and spicy Zanzibar pizza.

Seychelles, on the other hand, offers a blend of African, British, French, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. Seafood lovers will rejoice in the fresh octopus curry, grilled fish, and deliciously spicy shrimp rougaille.

For a refreshing drink in Zanzibar, try the local brew known as “Mnazi,” made from the sap of coconut palms. Seychelles offers an array of locally brewed beers, with SeyBrew and Eku being popular choices. For a non-alcoholic option, a fresh coconut or a glass of refreshing “Bourzwa” (a local lime drink) is ideal.

As for nightlife, Zanzibar offers a variety of experiences from lively beach parties to calm and cozy spots by the ocean. Kendwa Rocks, near Nungwi, hosts a famous full-moon party each month.

Seychelles nightlife is a bit more laid-back but equally enjoyable, with most of the action centered around the capital city, Victoria. The Katiolo Nightclub, one of the oldest in Seychelles, promises a night of fun and dance.

In a nutshell, Zanzibar offers a fusion of flavors in its food, a unique traditional brew, and a vibrant beachside nightlife. Seychelles tantalizes with its seafood-centric cuisine, locally brewed beers, and a nightlife that’s both laid-back and exciting. So, are you ready to eat, drink, and dance your way through your trip?


Every traveler knows that shopping for local goods and souvenirs adds an extra layer of fun to any trip. In both Zanzibar and Seychelles, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to hunt for unique mementos and gifts.

Zanzibar’s Darajani Market in Stone Town is a must-visit. It’s an energetic place where locals and tourists alike shop for everything from spices and fresh produce to clothes and local crafts. For uniquely Zanzibari souvenirs, Gizenga Street is filled with small shops offering beautifully crafted jewelry, Tanzanian fabrics, and intricate Zanzibari wooden carvings.

Over in Seychelles, the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market in Victoria is the heart of the local shopping scene. It’s the perfect place to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and fish. For souvenirs, visit the Artisanal Craft Village located near the market. Here, you’ll find locally made goods such as coconut shell decorations, seashell jewelry, and Seychellois vanilla.

Zanzibar offers you the vibrant colors and flavors of Africa in its markets and souvenirs. Seychelles showcases a selection of local crafts that echo its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whichever you choose, shopping in either of these beautiful islands is an experience not to be missed. So, where will you start your shopping adventure?


Finding the perfect place to rest your head is a key part of any travel experience. Both Zanzibar and Seychelles cater to a wide range of preferences, whether you’re seeking luxury resorts, cozy beachfront villas, or budget-friendly guest houses.

In Zanzibar, you’ll find a wealth of accommodation options. Luxury seekers can head to the northern beaches, where upscale resorts like the Zuri Zanzibar or the Diamonds Star of the East offer lavish rooms and stunning views. If you prefer something more budget-friendly, Stone Town has a range of guest houses and budget hotels with plenty of character.

Seychelles, too, caters to various tastes and budgets. High-end resorts like the Four Seasons Resort on Mahé or the Constance Lémuria on Praslin offer top-notch services and facilities. If you’re on a tighter budget, you’ll find charming guesthouses and self-catering apartments scattered across the islands, offering a more affordable way to experience Seychelles’ beauty.

In summary, both Zanzibar and Seychelles offer a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Zanzibar shines with its luxury beachfront resorts and charming budget-friendly guesthouses, while Seychelles impresses with its upscale resorts and homely self-catering apartments. Which one will be your home away from home?

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Traveling with family is a joy, and both Zanzibar and Seychelles offer a plethora of activities and attractions that are sure to keep the young and the young-at-heart entertained.

Zanzibar is a great destination for families. The island’s diverse wildlife offers ample opportunities for education and fun. Kids can enjoy spotting dolphins on a boat tour or visiting the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre. The Mnarani Natural Aquarium is another great place for children to learn about local marine life.

Seychelles, too, is a hit with families. The island’s safe and clean beaches are perfect for building sandcastles and gentle swimming. The Seychelles National Botanical Gardens in Victoria provides an educational experience, where kids can marvel at the giant tortoises and a wide array of exotic plants.

In conclusion, both Zanzibar and Seychelles are well-equipped to provide a memorable family holiday. While Zanzibar enchants with its wildlife-centric activities, Seychelles offers a blend of safe beach fun and engaging learning experiences. Where will your family memories be made?

Getting There & Getting Around

Ease of travel can significantly shape your holiday experience. Let’s dive into how you can reach and traverse through both Zanzibar and Seychelles.

To reach Zanzibar, the most common route is to fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, then take a short flight or a ferry to the island. Seychelles International Airport, located on Mahé Island, is the main point of entry for international visitors and has direct flights from many major cities worldwide.

Once you’re on the islands, getting around in Zanzibar can be done via dala-dala, a local mini-bus, taxis, or rental cars. It’s quite small, and you can drive from one end to the other in about 2 hours.

In Seychelles, public buses run regularly on Mahé and Praslin, while taxis and car rentals are also available. Keep in mind that Seychelles is a group of islands, so inter-island travel will often involve ferries or small planes.

In a nutshell, Zanzibar is easily accessible via Tanzania, with a variety of local transportation options available. Seychelles offers direct international access and a comprehensive public transportation system. Whether you favor the direct approach of Seychelles or the quick island hop to Zanzibar, getting there and getting around is a breeze.


Mother nature plays a pivotal role in shaping your travel experience. Understanding the climate in Zanzibar and Seychelles can help you decide when it’s best to visit these tropical paradises.

In Zanzibar, you’ll enjoy a tropical climate that’s warm throughout the year. From June to October, it’s typically dry with temperatures ranging from 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C). The cooler months are July and August, while the warmest are February and March. There are two rainy seasons: the long rains from March to May and the short rains in November and December.

Seychelles, on the other hand, enjoys a tropical rainforest climate with a fairly constant temperature year-round, averaging around 81°F (27°C). The driest months are June through September, while the rainiest are December to February. However, due to its geographical location, the weather can change quickly and rain showers can occur even during the dry season.

In summary, both Zanzibar and Seychelles boast tropical climates, but Zanzibar experiences more distinct rainy seasons. Seychelles offers a more consistent climate but with the potential for sudden changes. Which climate fits your holiday style?


Safety is paramount when choosing a travel destination. Both Zanzibar and Seychelles take pride in ensuring visitors feel safe and secure throughout their stay.

Zanzibar is generally safe for travelers. However, it’s always important to be cautious of your belongings, especially in busy areas like Stone Town. The local population is friendly and often willing to help if you’re in need.

In Seychelles, the crime rate is low, and it’s considered one of the safest destinations in Africa. Nevertheless, basic precautions such as avoiding isolated areas after dark and keeping an eye on your belongings are advisable.

In terms of health, both Zanzibar and Seychelles are free from many tropical diseases. However, it’s always wise to stay protected against mosquitoes, as they can carry diseases like malaria or dengue fever.

To conclude, while Zanzibar and Seychelles are both generally safe for tourists, it’s essential to exercise the usual travel precautions. In addition, protecting yourself against mosquito bites will keep your trip worry-free.


Budgeting for your trip is a crucial part of the planning process. Understanding the cost of visiting Zanzibar and Seychelles will help you allocate your resources effectively.

In Zanzibar, your dollar goes a long way. You can find decent accommodation for as low as 30,000 Tanzanian Shilling (about $13) per night, while a meal at a local restaurant will set you back around 5,000 Tanzanian Shilling ($2).

Seychelles, on the other hand, is more expensive. Budget accommodation starts from 1,000 Seychellois Rupee (about $74) per night, while eating out can cost around 150 Seychellois Rupee ($11) per meal.

In conclusion, Zanzibar offers a more budget-friendly travel experience compared to Seychelles, particularly when it comes to food and accommodation. However, the cost is just one factor to consider when planning your dream vacation. Which destination will give you the most value for your money?

Which Is Better – Zanzibar or Seychelles?

Choosing between Zanzibar and Seychelles is like picking between two perfect pearls, each unique in its own luster. Both destinations offer different experiences, each with its own charm and appeal.

When it comes to history and culture, Zanzibar’s rich heritage stemming from a fusion of African, Arab, and European influences may sway the history buff in you.

Seychelles, on the other hand, is a vibrant cultural melting pot with Franco-British influences alongside its African roots. Its unique Creole culture offers a unique, vibrant atmosphere that could be the clincher for those seeking a truly different cultural experience.

If adventure is your game, both islands deliver. Zanzibar, with its historical Stone Town and fascinating spice plantations, promises a wealth of land-based explorations. Seychelles, with its unique biodiversity, offers unparalleled opportunities for nature lovers and hikers.

The sandy shores of both islands are breathtaking. Zanzibar boasts wide sandy beaches that stretch for miles, while Seychelles is home to picture-perfect, idyllic bays framed by towering granite cliffs. If pristine, Instagram-worthy beaches are your priority, Seychelles might tip the scale.

For the foodie travelers, Zanzibar, with its rich mix of African, Arab, and Indian flavors, offers a more exotic culinary journey. Seychelles, meanwhile, would delight seafood lovers with its Creole cooking featuring abundant local catches.

In terms of accommodations, Zanzibar provides a broader range of options, catering to budget travelers and luxury seekers alike. Seychelles, although pricier, offers an exclusive, high-end experience with its luxury resorts and private islands.

Lastly, budget matters. Your dollars stretch further in Zanzibar, making it a more economical choice for budget-conscious travelers. However, for those seeking a lavish getaway and are willing to splurge, the unmatched luxury of Seychelles could be well worth the cost.

In the end, the choice between Zanzibar and Seychelles boils down to personal preferences and priorities. Both islands are tropical paradises teeming with natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Whether it’s Zanzibar’s vibrant mix of cultures and economical choices or Seychelles’ unique biodiversity and luxurious accommodations, you’re in for an unforgettable vacation.