Zanzibar is one of Africa’s most popular Indian Ocean island destinations. The Tanzanian island is dotted with beaches that have some of the whitest sands and bluest waters in the world. Breathtaking coral reefs create a snorkeler’s paradise especially at Prison Island. Infused with a uniquely African culture, Zanzibar also offers tourists the opportunity to explore Stone Town, a World Heritage Site and to go on a spice tour, one of the island’s most popular tourist activities.
A visa is required, which can be purchased upon arrival in Zanzibar. A Yellow Fever vaccination at least 10 days before your arrival is mandatory and you must present the certificate at airports. Anti-Malaria tablets are also essential. Direct flights are available from Johannesburg to Zanzibar on One Time Airlines on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Situated on the coast of Mozambique, the Bazaruto Archipelago is made up of five idyllic islands. Comprising one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean, these islands are protected as a result of their national park status. All islands are untouched by modernity, they are exclusively natural and there are no shops or roads. An ecological marvel, Bazaruto Island is one of the most visited islands in the archipelago. When snorkeling discover spectacular coral reefs, and sea grass beds hosting all five marine turtle species. Endless beaches offer a total escape from everyday life.
Starlight cruises run popular tours from Durban to Bazaruto. There are also airstrips serving all five islands. Flights depart from Vilankulos which is accessible from Johannesburg or Maputo.
A small Indonesian island just off the coast of Bali, Lombok is slowly attracting tourists and investors capitalising on this small piece of paradise. Offering some of the best diving and snorkeling in the South Pacific, Lombok is also known for its rich plant-life and green mountains. Lombok has the third largest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani. Unspoiled white beaches, a rich culture and a less commercialised atmosphere than Bali, make Lombok the perfect place to get away from it all.
Direct flights are not available; travellers must fly in from Bali, Jakarta or Singapore. A visa is required before you fly. Recommended vaccinations include polio, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. May is the best month to visit.
Hawaii offers some of the best island holidays in the world. While Hawaiian islands like Maui are more familiar to tourists, Molokai offers a true island escape. With over half its population of direct native ancestry, Molokai has preserved its rural culture and is said to be the most authentically Hawaiian island. There is an endless array of activity for outdoor enthusiasts including kayaking and hiking. Other options include a boat ride to the world’s tallest sea cliffs or a mule rides through Kalaupapa National Historic Park amidst spectacular sea cliff views. Beaches include Papohaku, Hawaii’s largest white sand beach.
South African visitors to Hawaii require a United States visa.