The very name Zanzibar conjures up mystery and romantic images. A jewel in tranquil coral waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is one of few undiscovered pristine island with beautiful white silky-sand beaches and azure blue coral waters. Zanzibar has for centuries attracted seafarers and adventures from around the world, offering a unique experience that goes beyond the wildest of dreams.
Zanzibar was once one of Africa’s most prosperous countries. The spices that it grew, so desired by the rest of the world, made it so. The wealth derived from the spice trade was augmented by the slave trade, indeed the spices and the slaves went hand-in-hand as Zanzibar’s spice plantations depended on slave labor, and there are still sad relics of this trade in human flesh to be found on the island. Furthermore, Zanzibar was one of the most important ports in Africa.
Goods from Britain docked here before they moved on to other parts of Africa. No longer very prosperous in the fiscal sense, the island has a wealth of historical monuments to visit which commemorate the African, British and particularly Arab influences- sultan’s palaces, cathedrals, mosques, fortresses and old colonial houses. “Spice Tours” are the ideal way to see the island’s historic sites and spice plantations. There is also a sanctuary for the rare Zanzibar duiker and the red colobus monkey in the protected Jozani Forest, just twenty-five kilometers from the town.
FACTS ON ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar is an island partner within the United Republic of Tanzania, located in the Indian Ocean about 35 km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at six degrees south of the Equator. Zanzibar is made up of many islands, the main two being Unguja (sometimes called Zanzibar) and Pemba. The highest point is 390 feet above sea level.
The main language is Kiswahili. Even if you only use a few words whilst you are in Zanzibar you will make many friends. English is widely spoken and many people also speak Arabic. Other European languages such as French and Italian are known by some local people, especially around the tourist areas.
Where to go? What to do in Zanzibar?
We have a great Film festival, Music festival, Art festival, Beach & Sports festival… If you are interested in vulture, or in a good party, you should consider planning your holiday around these Zanzibari festivals.
We say YES! Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar. A lively historical town with tons of things to see and do. Stay overnight, stay many nights, or at least do a day visit to Stone Town.
All the beaches in Zanzibar differ from each other. Kendwa and western side of Nungwi are swimmable around the clock, east coast has a strong tide. Some beaches are more tranquil, less touristic, and other ones have good selection of hotels, restaurants and shops.