Zanzibar Media Trip: April 2013
Travelstart consultant Jonty Medcalf has returned from Zanzibar where he attended the Africastay/Mango Airlines media and trade trip. He rubbed shoulders with celebs, ate dinner on a rock in the sea and took some amazing photos. We interview him about the trip, but first enjoy his photo essay (find interview after photos).
Sneak a peek at Zanzibar
Interview with Jonty
Welcome back Jonty. Why were you invited to go to Zanzibar?
Africastay has just launched a charter flight in partnership with Mango so we were invited to experience the island as well as visit hotels we will be promoting with Africastay.
I’ve heard the Mango flight is actually a charter flight?
Yes that is 100% correct. With the grounding of 1Time last year, there was a gap in the market for direct flights to Zanzibar. Africastay saw the gap and decided to approach Mango and set up a charter operation with them to once again offer direct flights to Zanzibar from SA.
Mango does not currently have a commercial license to operate scheduled flights which requires a lot more red tape compared to setting up a charter operation.
Is the plane safe?
The aircraft is a normal Mango plane with Mango pilots and staff. It is completely safe and the service on board was excellent.
Where did you stay in Zanzibar?
We spent 4 nights at the 5* Diamonds Dream of Zanzibar Resort and Spa which is on the north east coast. From there we moved north to Nungwi where we stayed at the 5* Diamonds La Gemma del ‘Est. Both hotels are part of the Plan Hotels Group.
Tell our readers about Stone Town
Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and it was somewhere I have always wanted to visit. A guide is very helpful as there are lots of alleyways that twist in every direction making it very easy to lose your sense of direction. Visiting the site of the old slave market was very moving. The history of Stone Town is quite amazing with Arab, Portuguese and English influences.
Where was your favourite place to eat?
My favourite dining experience on the island was most definitely a visit to a restaurant called The Rock. It is perched on a little rock island. At low tide you can walk to the restaurant but at high tide they call a fisherman to collect you in a boat. It was a beautiful place to enjoy an ice cold Kilimanjaro and I had a wonderful prawn curry.
What was Top Billing doing on the trip?
Simba from Top Billing was there doing some inserts for an upcoming feature on Zanzibar. While he was on the island he also interviewed Miss Tanzania. Both Simba and his crew were a lot of fun and it was interesting to get a ‘behind the scenes’ experience of South Africa’s top lifestyle show.
We had a wonderful mix of people on the trip. FHM was there with some models and photographers for an upcoming cover issue, Expresso Morning Show was there for some cooking features and there were numerous other journalists all there to take back some stories and promote tourism on the island.
I noticed there were some other SA media/Twitter personalities like Barry Tuck on the trip. How many cocktails did you guys drink?
Pina Colada’s were definitely the cocktail of choice and by the end of the trip the barmen knew our orders off by heart!
How would us lesser mortals use Mango to get to Zanzibar?
The flights operate every Tuesday from Johannesburg. At the moment the flights need to be booked in conjunction with hotel accommodation and there are some great low season specials that Africastay has given to us to sell. A number of our sales team has experienced the island so we have some expert advice on hand for anyone wanting to go to Zanzibar on holiday. They can call the team on 0861 878 278 (option 2) or alternatively email email@example.com.
Thanks for chatting to us and big thanks for the amazing photos you took.
Contact Jonty and his team at Travelstart for a custom Zanzibar holiday package. You can email Jonty directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 0861 878 278 (select Option 2.)
All Zanzibar Photos: Jonty Medcalf at Travelstart