Which is the perfect vacation island, Mauritius or Zanzibar? It is a common query on the minds of South African travellers in search of a seaside escape on a tropical Indian Ocean island. However they’re each so totally different. So the quick reply to the query is: it relies upon.
It’s all all the way down to your preferences, so we’ve damaged it down to assist make the choice a bit simpler.
Mauritius: For those who’re in Johannesburg, there are each day direct flights to Mauritius on a number of airways together with Air Mauritius, FlySafair and SAA. Direct flights are additionally obtainable from Cape City on Tuesdays and Sundays. You’ll have to join by way of Johannesburg in case you are travelling from Durban. Direct flights are about 4 hours.
Zanzibar: There are direct flights to Zanzibar from Johannesburg with FlySafair on Tuesdays and Saturdays. You’ll have to join by way of Johannesburg when you reside in Cape City or Durban. Direct flights are about 4 hours.
*Word: flight schedules can fluctuate all year long on account of seasonality.
The winner: Zanzibar by a small margin, as flights from Johannesburg are barely cheaper (you possibly can rating roughly R1,000 per particular person when you examine FlySafair). Nonetheless, if it’s a must to fly from Cape City or Durban, it’d work out the identical.
The visa state of affairs
Mauritius: The island has been visa-free for South Africans since earlier than the Dodo disappeared.
Zanzibar: The islands and the Tanzanian motherland are visa-free for South Africans.
The winner: It’s a draw. Each are visa-free for 90 days.
The vaccination state of affairs
Other than the standard routine and really helpful vaccinations, you’ll not want any jabs to go to Mauritius or Zanzibar.
The winner: One other draw!
Mauritius has been within the tourism recreation for a very long time, so boutique spa accommodations and unique luxurious resorts all providing a really Western expertise are the norm. However, though a lot of the lodging in Mauritius leans towards the upper finish, it additionally has a fantastic assortment of self-catering villas and bungalows for smaller budgets and a extra easygoing island expertise.
Zanzibar lodging is a mixture of old-world Arabic decadence and classy island luxurious. It is possible for you to to seek out seaside lodges, wellness retreats, 5-star resorts, humble chalets, unbiased accommodations, and even a floating houseboat mattress and breakfast. And though the service isn’t at all times on par with Westernised luxurious resorts, the lodging provides historical past and the sort of allure you received’t discover wherever else.
The winner: Mauritius if you need luxurious, Zanzibar if you need character.
Mauritius seashores are famously stunning and have a fantastic vacation vibe. You’ll be able to anticipate yachts and paddleboarders floating by, households hanging out underneath palm bushes, and other people strolling alongside having fun with the heat of paradise. It’s also a well-liked honeymoon spot, so anticipate starry-eyed lovers having fun with candle-lit dinners so as to add an additional contact of paradise ambiance.
Zanzibar seashores are simply as beautiful, however you usually tend to discover white-sailed dhows perched on the shores and native fishermen bringing of their catch. Seashores are typically fairly filled with crowds and native hawkers promoting crafts and coconuts. In fact, there are additionally many seashores the place the sand is disturbed solely by the tide and fringe of tropical bushes when you’re prepared to cough up just a few further Rands. The encompassing islands, Pemba and Mafia, are even higher for a non-public escape and dwelling out your castaway dream.
The winner: Mauritius if you need tranquillity, Zanzibar when you benefit from the hustle and bustle.
The foods and drinks
Mauritius is a multicultural island that has been influenced by the flavours of Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is possible for you to to strive distinctive dishes comparable to palm tree hearts and chilli salt fruit, but additionally acquainted dishes comparable to curry and dim sum. It’s also well-known for its Creole delicacies and avenue meals scene, so the eating choices are plentiful. Who doesn’t need to have the ability to style the world in a single vacation?
Zanzibar prides itself on its recent seafood and unique spices. Though Zanzibar is unquestionably a paradise for seafood lovers, the distinct Indian and African influences will fulfill spice lovers. However there are additionally native dishes comparable to Zanzibar pizza and urojo that are in contrast to something you could have ever tried earlier than, and a fantastic expertise in case you are feeling a bit adventurous together with your dinner plans.
The winner: Mauritius when you’re on the lookout for all kinds, Zanzibar when you’re after seafood.
Mauritius is tremendous organised and positively the place to be when you love water sports activities or are all for attempting them out for the primary time. You can see the standard windsurfing, scuba diving, paddle boating, kayaking, and snorkelling, but additionally uncommon additions comparable to glass-bottom boat rides, undersea walks, aquagym, and water polo. On land, you possibly can fill your days with golf, biking journeys, yoga lessons, and procuring. And Mauritius additionally has a number of bars and golf equipment when you get pleasure from drinks and dancing after dinner.
Zanzibar is unquestionably extra centered on rustic leisure than Mauritius, although you will discover just a few superb actions. You’ll be able to take excursions of the spice orchards, one thing very distinctive to this a part of the world. Equally so is a visit to Stone City, the traditional coronary heart of Zanzibar which stands frozen in time. Other than these, there’s the standard kite browsing, scuba diving, and snorkelling.
Tip. If in case you have time and need to take advantage of out of your journey to East Africa, pair a trip to Zanzibar with a visit to the mainland. The Serengeti and Kilimanjaro are properly value the additional effort.
The winner: Mauritius wins fingers down for the sheer variety and quantity of actions, however Zanzibar is an effective name when you’re simply planning on lazing round and stress-free.
Mauritius is a superb vacation vacation spot in case you are travelling with children. Many accommodations in Mauritius have nice children’ services and supply babysitting companies. Most resorts have devoted children’ golf equipment, swimming pools, and age-appropriate actions to maintain them entertained.
Zanzibar is extra appropriate in case you are travelling alone, with associates, or simply together with your companion. There usually are not as many family-friendly resorts, although in fact, you will discover sure stays which might be geared up to take care of children. There usually are not as many actions which might be fitted to kids, although some kiddos is perhaps comfortable to tag alongside on historical past excursions or play on the seaside whereas the mother and father do their water actions.
The winner: Mauritius.
Additionally learn: Ideas for Flying With Kids
Mauritius attracts numerous worldwide vacationers, so usually the costs mirror the demand. There’s an abundance of luxurious, all-inclusive 5* vacation packages obtainable (extra so than low-budget stays and backpackers) and flight costs can ramp up, particularly in peak season. Travelling to Mauritius will be costly, however it’s positively doable to expertise a dreamy honeymoon or tropical escape when you plan it proper.
Zanzibar is significantly much less developed so discovering low-cost flights, lodging, and cost-effective Zanzibar vacation packages is way simpler. Flights can usually be discovered for about R7,500 pp return from Joburg and packages together with lodging, flights and meals for about R25,000 pps. Nonetheless, Zanzibar is certainly not a rundown island vacation spot – it additionally has quite a few unique seaside resorts and accommodations that can supply an unique non-public island expertise and cost you accordingly.
The winner: Zanzibar, however you may be capable of discover much less luxurious stays for a similar value in Mauritius.
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The decision: Once more, it actually is determined by what you need and anticipate.
Mauritius is sugar and spice and every little thing good. There are fewer alternatives for exploring past the island, however Mauritius is the place that conjures up goals of trying to find waterfalls, ingesting cocktails, and golden afternoons frolicking on the seaside. And it does for a cause. It’s a heavenly place with an abundance of actions and world-class resorts that make it a well-liked vacation spot amongst folks wanting a simple vacation of leisure and luxurious.
Zanzibar could also be much less developed and a bit tough across the edges, however it’s cherished for its tradition, fascinating experiences, and ornate structure. It’s extensively in style with folks wanting a extra rugged and genuine expertise. Zanzibar additionally offers you the choice of exploring the opposite two predominant islands that make up the archipelago and the mainland. A visit to Zanzibar will make for unforgettable throwback tales.
Each are superior, however for various causes. So if you are able to do each in your lifetime, even higher!