by Claire Wrathall, The Telegraph, October 17, 2018
The opening of the Zuri Zanzibar resort, at the undeveloped north-western tip of Zanzibar, promises to raise standards of luxury in the Tanzanian archipelago closer to those found elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, thanks to Václav Dejčmar.
The Czech entrepreneur, collector, investor, film-maker and philanthropist commissioned architects Jestico + Whiles to design 55 thatched bungalows, suites and shingled villas in a 32-acre spice plantation overlooking 330yd of immaculate beach - and the results can now be enjoyed by all.
It is not the only reason to consider a winter-sun holiday to east Africa, however. Since the ousting of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has also seen a number of openings. (The UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office warns tourists to avoid 'political activity' and to monitor current health advice but doesn't advise against visiting.)
Meanwhile, Mozambique has introduced 30-day issued-on-entry tourist visas and opened 70 miles of new paved road from the capital Maputo to the border with South Africa, so cutting journey time to its undeveloped Indian Ocean coast to less than three hours. The place to stay is White Pearl, which offers suites on stilts overlooking an immense stretch of wild beach.
Even Eritrea is beginning to welcome tourists since the signing in July of a peace treaty with Ethiopia - although extreme caution is still recommended if visiting; check FCO advice.
For the moment, Steppes Travel is the only operator to feature it as a destination, but its inaugural escorted tour is an intriguing one, with stops in its Italianate capital, Asmara (a Unesco World Heritage Site since last year), the camel market at Keren and a cruise among the 126 largely uninhabited islands of the Dahlak Archipelago, a wilderness rich in marine life.
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