American who was planning on visiting my girlfriend stationed in Zambia (Lusaka), then fly to Dar + Zanzibar for a 5-day tropical vacation + quick whirlwind 2-day safari. Plans are for next week, except I just learned that the airlines from Zambia->Zanzibar had their license revoked, in the past few days, and it's ~$500 more to rebook on a different carrier.
So, I have the option of staying in Zambia and saving ~$900 in flights alone, possibly more on hotels if we chose to stay in Lusaka.
I suppose my question is, for those who have been to Zanzibar, am I missing out significantly if I forego Zanzibar? How much of a "must-see" / once in a lifetime destination is Zanzibar as a tropical destination considering other tropical areas within reasonable flying distance of the West Coast of the US (eg. Caribbean, Hawaii, other islands in the Pacific ocean)? We would probably use the extra money we save for a nicer/longer safari in Lusaka, maybe go rafting near Victoria Falls, any other suggestions?