An Instagrammer’s Guide to Zanzibar

Photographers travel the world to find the extraordinary, to capture those scenes that make their hearts race. That make them feel alive. They find it in the yawn of a lion and the leap of a leopard, in the soft eyes of the young and the old and in the flash of the perfect moment between two people, caught by being in the right place at the right time. They find it in the blues and whites of the Indian Ocean islands and the remarkable artistry of the world’s great buildings, paintings, sculptures, doors…

Instagrammers are no different. They too are in search of the beautiful, the distinct colours, shapes and tastes of new lands.

When it comes to Zanzibar, there are so many photographic journeys to experience – and share with the world on Instagram – as you move about this island off the coast of Tanzania. But there are a few things you’re going to want to remember, as you set up home at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa.

Right on the beach in Paje, with the horizon in the distance, a stroll to the left or right opens up the eclectic beauty of life in Zanzibar.

10 Rules For Instagramming in Zanzibar

1. Wake up early to catch the sunrise and make sure you’re ready when the first light shows. Hang around once the sun is up – the light is still changing, and the clouds still offering their role to the canvas. At this time of day you’ll catch the local fishermen and women spreading across the water and shore, making for beautiful and dramatic details in your sunrise.

2. For sunset, set one day aside for enjoying sundowners and another for photography. Doing both at the same time is not easy. Although it’s likely you will be tempted. While photographing the sun, don’t forget to turn around and catch its glow across the land and people.

3. The beach is the best place to start for both point one and two.

4. Visit Stone Town on a morning excursion. The markets (with fresh fish and local fruits and spices), mix of people, winding old alleyways, ruins and doors make for exciting subjects. Be respectful. Ask for permission before photographing anyone or ask your guide for advice if unsure.

Read more > A sense of place in the Spice Islands

5. Don’t be afraid of getting into the water. Take images from the sea – that’s why you packed your costume. The kitesurfing school at the hotel provides some great subjects. Play with angles for unique viewpoints. Place a GoPro / underwater action camera on your kayak and stand-up-paddleboards or carry it in your hand when snorkelling.

6. Go island-hopping on a traditional boat, fishing with locals or for a walk through neighbouring towns, for images of real, local life on the island.

7. This is the land of blue skies and white sand. Have fun playing with your partner, different poses and the beauty of island life.

8. The spa garden is often visited by the red colobus monkeys with their funky white hair-do’s. Look out for them playing in the trees and when you do spot them, remember your calm place before you lose yourself for hours, snapping them from different vantage points.

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9. The grounds at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa are beautiful and worth exploring with a photographer’s eye – the large gardens, the villas and bougainvillea surrounding them, the Zanzibari influences in the architecture, design and artworks, and the cuisine, inspired by local flavours and spices.

10. Lastly, the night sky is truly magical in Zanzibar. Play with timelapses, reflections and framing. Just play. There is always time to sleep.