ZANZIBAR AND OTHER ISLANDS: Zanzibar and other islands, off the east coast of Africa, were initially controlled by Arab traders, the Portuguese, and then Omani sultans.

I found Zanzibar to be an extraordinary island with a surprise around every corner and breathtakingly beautiful beaches and reefs. Many locals are magnificent cabinet makers and I had the privilege of watching them at work carving replicas of the massive ancient brass-studded doors that adorn every doorway. It was fascinating to learn that the purpose of these carvings, which were introduced centuries ago, was to enable the occupants to advertise their trade or occupation. A fisherman had fish carvings on his door; a farmer had vegetables or flowers, and so on.

MAFIA ISLAND: is a wonderful little island at the centre of the largest marine park in East Africa. It is a real sleepy backwater, a remnant of the old Swahili coast and the place to visit for a reminder of how Zanzibar was thirty years ago.

The island of PEMBA is a remote, untouched paradise of clove plantations, traditional villages, broad sandy beaches and superb marine life. This is the place to come if you are into hiking, sailing, fishing and especially diving