There are so many different ways to get to Zanzibar, as there are different types of tourists. You can book a direct flight from Frankfurt and get directly to your resort with a pick up. Honeymooner or “resort” tourist, might not see anything but the turquoise water and their beautiful resort. They might be bathing in their bikini in the ocean, without realizing, that not a single local person would ever go swimming in a bikini or a speedo.
Others might be traveling Tanzania and go to Zanzibar by boat. Which is what we did a couple of years ago. We spend some time in the capital, Stone Town, where we got to know some locals.
Around Stone Town you will find areas, which have barely nothing in common with the paradise in the northern or costal areas. You will still see a lot of poverty on the island and undoubtedly realize that it is a Muslim island. The most beautiful and special place to me, where the lonely beaches in the southeast area. It seems as if time does not exist there. I was just sitting at the beach in the shade under the palm trees watching the locals carrying things along the beach on their heads or riding their bikes along the shore.
Low-budget backpackers or adventurers often get to the island with a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel of the Indian Ocean. It sounds quite romantic to sail over the ocean for seven hours on the way to Zanzibar. Yet, if the Dhow leaks (which happens quite often) or storm hits you in the middle of the ocean, it is rather a crazy adventure. Most Backpackers meet in the north of the island, where you will find great and affordable restaurants along the beach as well a diving schools.
Zanzibar offers all these different experiences which are all impressing and well worth experiencing.