Which is the most effective vacation island, Mauritius or Zanzibar? It is a common query on the minds of South African travellers looking for a seaside escape on a tropical Indian Ocean island. However they’re each so completely different. So the brief 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 just a little simpler.
Mauritius: Should you’re in Johannesburg, there are every day direct flights to Mauritius on a number of airways together with Air Mauritius, FlySafair and SAA. Direct flights are additionally out there from Cape City on Tuesdays and Sundays. You’ll have to join through 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 through Johannesburg should you reside in Cape City or Durban. Direct flights are about 4 hours.
*Observe: flight schedules can range all year long resulting from 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 should you examine FlySafair). Nonetheless, if it’s a must to fly from Cape City or Durban, it would work out the identical.
The visa scenario
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 scenario
Other than the same old routine and really useful vaccinations, you’ll not want any jabs to go to Mauritius or Zanzibar.
The winner: One other draw!
Mauritius has been within the tourism sport for a very long time, so boutique spa lodges 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 an excellent 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 trendy island luxurious. It is possible for you to to search out seaside lodges, wellness retreats, 5-star resorts, humble chalets, unbiased lodges, and even a floating houseboat mattress and breakfast. And though the service isn’t all the time on par with Westernised luxurious resorts, the lodging provides historical past and the sort of attraction you received’t discover anyplace else.
The winner: Mauritius if you would like luxurious, Zanzibar if you would like persona.
Mauritius seashores are famously stunning and have an excellent vacation vibe. You may count on yachts and paddleboarders floating by, households hanging out below palm bushes, and other people strolling alongside having fun with the heat of paradise. It is usually a preferred honeymoon spot, so count on starry-eyed lovers having fun with candle-lit dinners so as to add an additional contact of paradise ambiance.
Zanzibar seashores are simply as pretty, 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 should you’re prepared to cough up a couple of additional Rands. The encircling islands, Pemba and Mafia, are even higher for a personal escape and residing out your castaway dream.
The winner: Mauritius if you would like tranquillity, Zanzibar should you benefit from the hustle and bustle.
The food 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 attempt distinctive dishes comparable to palm tree hearts and chilli salt fruit, but in addition acquainted dishes comparable to curry and dim sum. It is usually well-known for its Creole delicacies and road 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 certainly 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’ve gotten ever tried earlier than, and an excellent expertise in case you are feeling just a little adventurous along with your dinner plans.
The winner: Mauritius should you’re searching for all kinds, Zanzibar should you’re after seafood.
Mauritius is tremendous organised and undoubtedly the place to be should you love water sports activities or are excited by attempting them out for the primary time. You will see that the same old windsurfing, scuba diving, paddle boating, kayaking, and snorkelling, but in addition 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 courses, and buying. And Mauritius additionally has a number of bars and golf equipment should you get pleasure from drinks and dancing after dinner.
Zanzibar is certainly extra targeted on rustic leisure than Mauritius, although you’ll discover a couple of wonderful actions. You may 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. Except for these, there’s the same old kite browsing, scuba diving, and snorkelling.
Tip. You probably 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 price the additional effort.
The winner: Mauritius wins arms down for the sheer variety and quantity of actions, however Zanzibar is an effective name should you’re simply planning on lazing round and enjoyable.
Mauritius is a superb vacation vacation spot in case you are travelling with children. Many lodges in Mauritius have nice children’ services and supply babysitting providers. 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 along with your companion. There aren’t as many family-friendly resorts, although after all, you’ll discover sure stays which can be outfitted to take care of children. There aren’t as many actions which can be suited to children, although some kiddos may be pleased to tag alongside on historical past excursions or play on the seaside whereas the dad and mom do their water actions.
The winner: Mauritius.
Additionally learn: Suggestions for Flying With Kids
The associated fee
Mauritius attracts numerous worldwide vacationers, so usually the costs replicate the demand. There’s an abundance of luxurious, all-inclusive 5* vacation packages out there (extra so than low-budget stays and backpackers) and flight costs can ramp up, particularly in peak season. Travelling to Mauritius might be costly, however it’s undoubtedly doable to expertise a dreamy honeymoon or tropical escape should you plan it proper.
Zanzibar is significantly much less developed so discovering low cost flights, lodging, and cost-effective Zanzibar vacation packages is far 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 on no account a rundown island vacation spot – it additionally has various unique seaside resorts and lodges that can supply an unique personal island expertise and cost you accordingly.
The winner: Zanzibar, however you would possibly 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 dependent upon what you need and count on.
Mauritius is sugar and spice and every thing good. There are fewer alternatives for exploring past the island, however Mauritius is the place that conjures up desires 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 preferred vacation spot amongst individuals wanting an easy vacation of leisure and luxurious.
Zanzibar could also be much less developed and a bit tough across the edges, however it’s beloved for its tradition, attention-grabbing experiences, and ornate structure. It’s extensively common with individuals wanting a extra rugged and genuine expertise. Zanzibar additionally provides you the choice of exploring the opposite two important 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!