We had an absolutely glorious time in Zanzibar. This has been our most favorite trip to date. My fiance's dream is to visit all the continents in his lifetime, so for his birthday, we decided to visit Africa for the first time (we are from the U.S.) and do a beach vacation there since we were in desperate need of relaxation. Something called us to Zanzibar, but we did not expect to be completely in awe of it like we were/are. We were blown away by the beauty and energy on the island. From the Zuri Zanzibar resort to our tour of Stonetown, we left feeling as if we had visited a most magical place. The richness, the diversity, the history, the nature, the design...so, so many things we can marvel about the island. From start to finish, our trip was smooth, pleasant and pleasurable and much of that is due to the island, the resort and Donna, our Mahlatini travel expert. We couldn't have asked for a better experience!
We only spent time in Zanzibar (Unguja), so cannot speak of all of Tanzania, but we absolutely fell in love with the island. The water and green surrounding the island was an incredible sight to see and experience. The people were so warm and welcoming. It felt as if there was an island-wide intention to be at peace and in harmony. We also got a private tour of Stonetown, organized by a rep at the resort, and were completely in awe of the place. So diverse and rich in history...it was such a delight and made our trip feel whole.
We only spent time at the international airport in Nairobi, but really liked the impression made on us. We had an 8-hour layover at the airport before heading to Zanzibar, but Donna hooked us up with the Simba lounge there, which was very comfortable, had great food, and overall, helped the time fly pretty quickly. The airport staff was incredibly helpful and friendly. We also got great Indian food at the airport (general quarters) on our way back, which is a first for us!
The design, grounds, hospitality, food, culture, eco-consciousness, staff...we can say so much more about the resort. It was simply EXQUISITE. I have not been to a place that hits ALL the notes, that satisfies ALL of my vacation desires like Zuri Zanzibar. This resort embodies impeccable taste. Truly magical resort and island as a whole. We felt incredibly taken care of and totally fulfilled. Our whole time there went so smoothly and we owe much of that experience to the incredible staff at Zuri Zanzibar.
If it wasn't for Donna, this trip probably wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it did...actually, it probably wouldn't have happened at all! I was trying to plan this trip to Zanzibar for my fiance's birthday on my own and soon got very overwhelmed with all the options and details I was coming across in my research that I almost gave up on the trip altogether. But, as my fiance's birthday started approaching just a couple of weeks away, the idea came to my mind to call one of the travel agencies I came across in my research of beach vacations in Africa. I called Mahlatini from the U.S. after hours, but THANKFULLY, Donna picked up the phone. As soon as I told her what my intentions were, she told me not to worry anymore, and to leave it to her to come up with options that aligned with what I wanted. As soon as I spoke with Donna, I knew I was in good hands and that this trip to Zanzibar would be a reality. Donna returned with the very best options in flights and stay, and we chose to fly direct (which we didn't know we could!) from NYC to Nairobi on Kenya Airways (with a short connecting flight to Zanzibar) and stay at Zuri Zanzibar, which she highly recommended - this all took place just a month before we were scheduled to go on the trip! From start to finish, Donna was incredibly responsive, thorough and knowledgable. We felt completely taken care of by her and completely at ease due to her service, all while having a time difference to contend with, she being in the U.K. and our being in NYC & LA! Even when there had to be a last-minute change, Donna communicated with and took care of us every step of the way. We would ABSOLUTELY book with Donna again and recommend anyone to work with her. She's an absolute pro and total pleasure to work with!