Take a trip across the globe with the ever-chic Sofia Guellaty, Senior Editor at Style.com Arabia. Wearing the Isabel gown, left, she gives us the inside scoop on her travels to East Africa.

Tanzania and Zanzibar are
perfect getaways because…

Africa is the future and one should get
acquainted with the cradle of humanity.

Packing essentials…

A caftan for the morning; a pair of Timberlands
because it is fun to style and good for safaris; a
white men’s shirt as a cover-up for the beach,
and some African fabric as a skirt. For the night,
a dress styled with Maasai jewelry bought in
the street.

My vacation uniform…

Definitely the caftan and a white or blue
cotton men’s shirt, my red Repettos and
straw Panama hat.

First-time visitors must see…

The Selous Game Reserve is less visited than the famous
Serengeti Park, but it is bigger and closer to Dar Es Salaam.
I would advise first-time visitors to head to the Siwandu
for an enchanting safari.

The best beaches…

The beaches of Zanzibar are breathtaking, but it is
impossible to beat the beauty of Mnemba Island, a
privately owned island and a resort operated by &Beyond.
The small island hosts a maximum of 20 people. I love the
raw luxury of this place and the incredible coral reef. In
the morning dolphins come to say hi and that is priceless.

Favorite place to find local treasures…

The former capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town offers amazing
shopping opportunities from wax fabrics and home decor
to the famous dark blue tanzanite stone. 

Favorite local dishes…

At Siwandu, try and get Ugali, a sort of corn porridge
that is very famous in Tanzania. Delicious and filling.

My Tanzania highlight…

Waking up in the Selous to a baby elephant in front of my tent crossing the lake. The walking safari at sunrise and breakfast in the middle of the forest, the food prepared by chef Edmundi at Siwandu. African sunsets, and making new friends along the way.

And my Zanzibar highlight…

Walking at low tide for 30 minutes to reach the coral reef of Matemwe village. Swimming with dolphins around Mnemba Island, the room on Mnemba Island, the African fabrics bought in Stone Town.

One secret only a local would know…

The price of tanzanites compared to the international market, the behavior of the lions of Africa, the importance of waking up early in Africa.

Siwandu Camp photograph, courtesy of Selous Safari Company; all others, courtesy of Guellaty’s Instagram; Tory’s Ravena caftan available here

More to explore in Travel