At HLA we are ever mindful that we're planning an educational tour and not just a tour, so in the months leading up to departure and during the trip itself we'll be devoting time to leading discussions about Zanzibar so that you have the context you need to better appreciate this extraordinary corner of the world. At the same time we also keep in mind that Zanzibar is, well, Zanzibar, a place of almost unrivaled beauty. So, while any day is likely to end with us visiting a local mosque or temple or engaging in a drumming and dancing workshop or experiencing a spirit possession ceremony, it might begin with a walk through a pristine forest or a visit to our old (and I do mean old) friends the giant tortoises on Changu Island or, as in the case of the photo below, swimming with dolphins in the open ocean.
When you go on an educational tour, especially an educational tour to Zanzibar, it would be a great pity to lock yourself up in a gated resort. In fact, would it even qualify as an educational tour? At HLA our goal is not only to help you learn about the culture you're visiting, but also make it possible for you to experience it. For example, no matter whether we spend time on Unguja, where Stone Town is located, or the more quiet Pemba (almost certainly we'll visit both), rest assured that you'll get to experience a traditional dance or drumming workshop. In the picture below one of our students, resplendent in a lovely green kanga (a gift from the amazingly kind Pembans), learns, and clearly enjoys, the msewe dance.