Zanzibar is an archipelago set in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Made up of a series of smaller islands and 2 main large islands of Pemba and Unguja (also called Zanzibar Island), it is a destination which brought adventurers, seafarers and traders from far and wide.
Zanzibar is often referred to as a ‘Spice Island’ due to a variety of spices grown here.
Zanzibar is near the equator, making its climate mild and warm all year round. The islands do experience a rainy season, from May to June.
Fun facts about Zanzibar
The spirit of adventure lives here till today, so every day during your tour to Zanzibar you will learn something new and interesting. Stunning scenery, along with entertaining stories and impressive legends – wouldn’t it be the best trip ever?
- The island is blessed with picture perfect beautiful beaches.
- Of the 75 islands of the archipelago, only 5 are inhabited.
- Spice production is one of the biggest GDP contributors in Zanzibar.
- The Anglo-Zanzibar war in 1896 surprisingly lasted only 38 minutes and ended with the defeat of the sultan’s palace. It is said to be the shortest war ever recorded.
- Freddy Mercury, lead vocalist of Queen, and Abdulrazak Gurnah, the novelist were both borne in Zanzibar.
- Zanzibar was the first place in Africa to roll out colour TV.
- Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, boasts a labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling marketplaces, beautifully carved wooden doors, grand mosques and Arab residences.
Main attractions and activities
Zanzibar’s main attractions are not only the naturally dreamy beaches but also historical sites dating back to the lively trade originally started due to the crossing of various trade routes.
- The former sultan’s palace is referred to The House of Wonders today.
- Jozani Forest Reserve is home to the rare Kirk’s red colobus monkey and Aders’s duiker.
- The coastline is very rich with marine diversity – a divers paradise.
- The Kizimkazi Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic buildings on the coast of East Africa and is a tourist must-see for its astonishingly intricate detail.
- The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre is a beautiful tropical garden filled with hundreds of native butterflies.
The cultural and ethnic diversity of Zanzibar is well emphasized in the food, with dishes taking influence from Indian, Portuguese, Arab, British, Chinese and Bantu cultures. Dishes enjoyed by the locals of Zanzibar include a meat dish called Boku Boku, a hazelnut and date bread and various seafood dishes including a Peppered Shark and a weza wa nazi which is a delicious octopus dish. A mouth-watering dessert is Spice cake, baked with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and chocolate.
Book your trip to Zanzibar with Salute Africa and let Salute Africa beach experts guide you to a perfect getaway in this tropical paradise.