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The spice islands of Zanzibar – Part 1

The spice islands of Zanzibar – Part 1

If a winter sun holiday is calling you, consider the East African archipelago of Zanzibar. In the first of a two-part series on luxury eco-travel in Zanzibar, Lawfully Chic blogger Lucy Fry discovers a couple of properties that boast phenomenal views, spectacular sunsets and a clear sense of social conscience.

Beach - pic 1

The first of these is the newly-opened White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa in Paje. When it comes to discrete luxury, this is the real deal. A private villa with separate sitting room area? No problem. Fancy your own private dipping pool, an outdoor shower and bath, and maybe even a stretch of private beach? It’s all available here at – compared to similar places around the world – a remarkably affordable price.

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Situated on the South East Coast of Zanzibar about an hour’s drive from the airport, the White Sand property is a honeymooners’ paradise. It’s tucked back a few metres from the ocean and can hold a maximum of 48 people at any one time, each of those people guarded by Masaii warriors who patrol the beach day and night. The result is an incredible sense of space and peace.  If you do feel a little isolated, you can wander through the wonderful gardens (all plants are sourced locally, like most of the food), lie by the main pool and eat in the restaurant, although it goes without saying that everything can be delivered if you don’t want to leave your villa.

Villa - pic 3

A rooftop bar and beach bar opened last month and an executive chef has been flown in from Europe. Right now there’s only one lowly wind turbine which powers about 2% of the resort, but plans are afoot to use high wind in the area to generate far more electricity in the future (90% by the end of 2015, according to management). Due to that wind, this is a world-renowned spot for kite-surfing from December to March or June to September. The kite-surfing school, which opened in December, is perhaps the only thing at White Sand that you can’t have delivered to your villa but it’s well worth stepping out for. The coral reef creates lagoon-flat water, with not much more than the occasional dhow floating by, and also the chance for the advance kiters to surf waves (outside the reef). The school has a security boat, some excellent instructors and a wide range of equipment. An extreme sport followed by some fairly extreme luxury. We’re tempted, aren’t you?

Kitesurf - pic 4

If you want to find out more, click here: www.whitesandvillas.com. East Africa specialist Turquoise Holidays can arrange stays at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa starting in the low season at £180 per person per night on a B&B basis. They can also arrange international flights with Kenya Airways via Nairobi. See www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk.