It is an isle-sovereign region of Tanzania. It is composed of island peninsulas within the Indian Ocean off the main coast of Tanzania mainland. There are two main islands Pemba Island and Unguja Island as well as other smaller islands. The capital city of this Island is Zanzibar City, located at Unguja. It is also in Unguja where there is the historical center, ‘’Stone Town’’ the World Heritage Site.
Unguja Island commonly referred to as “Zanzibar”, is the largest of the two main islands and it is believed to be the heart of the economy of Zanzibar. It provides an abundance of tourists attraction destinations ranging from scuba diving, cultural souvenir workshops, and the most luxurious and pristine beach resorts.
In the northern part of Unguja Island lies Pemba Island. Tourism and other economic growth have not flourished as much; leaving Pemba Island with a distinctly undisturbed natural environment including untouched beaches and a large conservation area containing forests.
Zanzibar’s main Industries are spices and tourism without forgetting the fishing industry. This island is famous for the production of cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper. The production of spices makes this beautiful island be referred to as ‘’Spices Island’’. These spices are mostly used daily in Zanzibar cuisines, so you can find them everywhere in the local Markets.Continue reading
Tourism is another main backbone of the Island. It is the top income generator on the island. The Zanzibar government plays a big role in promoting the tourism industry which has led to a big flow of tourists on the island as it is one of the places with the best beaches along the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar’s marine ecosystem is a very important aspect of the fishing industry and algae culture. The algae-culture ecosystem provides a nice breeding environment for the fish. It acts as the hiding zone for the Indian Ocean fish population.
Zanzibar is one of the Islands of the Indian Ocean, situated on the East coast of Tanzania. The island is separated from Tanzania’s mainland by the Indian Ocean. Its main Island is Unguja familiarly known as Zanzibar with the Stone Town commonly known as the historical trade center. Stone Town has a major influence on Swahili and Islamic cultures. Its entire location is an ideal spot for beach holiday vacations.
PEOPLE OF ZANZIBAR
The first permanent ethnic groups to reside on the Island were the Tumbatu Bantu Ancestors and Hadimu Bantu Ancestors. These people arrived here from the Great Lake zones of Africa. Currently, the Island is inhabited by almost all tribes of Tanzania, though the main ethnic groups are Swahili, Bantu speakers, Arabs, Persians, and Indians.
The major population of Zanzibar is entirely Muslim (99%) with a small minority being Christians. Other religions present are Hinduism, Jains, and Sikh. This makes the main places of worship on this Island to be Mosques, Christian churches, and Temples for the Hindus and Sikhs.
As an isle sovereign region, Zanzibar has its own government. The government of this island is commonly known as The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. The government of Zanzibar is made up of the Revolutionary Council and The House of Representatives. The government of the National Unity of Zanzibar is headed by The President.
Zanzibar has numerous touristic activities ranging from scuba diving, cultural souvenir workshops, and the most luxurious and pristine beach resorts. These attractions provide a massive array of activities one can enjoy while on the Islets of Zanzibar.
STONE TOWN TOUR
It is enchanting to explore this historical and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stone Town is a very dynamic place where you will find a mixture of Arabic, African, Indian and European cultures existing comfortably together. As you walk through the maze streets which are too narrow for cars to pass, you will encounter mosques, churches, temples, and elderly historical buildings.
This tour will give you an excellent glimpse of familiarizing yourself with Stone Town’s geography, history, architecture, and cultures;
- Makusurani graveyard. This is where many Islands’ former rulers were buried.
- House of Wonder. The first building on the Island to have electric lights.
- Hamamni and Kidichi Persian Bathroom. The first public bathroom on the Island.
- Peace Memorial Museum. A national historical museum with the Island’s long history
- Dunga Ruins. A palace ruins built in 15th century by the rulers of that time.
You can discuss with your guide about visiting Forodhani Gardens. It is definitely worth visiting, especially during night hours when it comes alive and more active as it is known as the best street food market on the Island.
SAFARI BLUE TOUR
The Safari Blue tour is a full-day trip that involves; swimming and snorkeling, sandbank relaxing, tasting tropical fruits, and tasting fresh seafood for lunch. It gives you an opportunity of learning the history of the big baobab tree, swims at the natural swimming pool, visiting and shop at souvenir shops in Kwale.
This wonderful day starts with sailing around mangroves and snorkeling along Menai Bay. The Bay is one of the best coral reef bays on the Islands. The underwater world at this bay is unbelievably breathtaking. You will witness countless colorful fishes and other sea creatures that survive among the coral reefs and underwater plants which in general form the coral reefs’ ecosystem in the sea.
After enjoying the sea life, you will ease off and start enjoying the fresh seafood barbeque. The barbecue in this place offers a wide range and real taste of seafood like; Octopus, Lobsters, squids, Calamari, and other species of Fish. Never forget ending up your meal with fresh fruits like Banana, Watermelon, Pineapple, and Mangoes. This will be the best adventurous day for your stay in the Islands, and you will come to understand the real meaning of “Safari Blue”
This tour takes place in the southern part of the Islands at a place called Kizimkazi fishing village. There are many Dolphins living in their contentedly natural habitat, thus, spotting them at their best scenario is very possible.
This is the best spot to watch these aquatic creatures swimming in their natural habitat. It is also the best place to swim with Dolphins freely, though taking precautions is very essential. These are wild animals like any other and can change at any time when disturbed. There are two main types of Dolphins at this place; Bottle-nosed Dolphins and Humpback Dolphins.
Apart from enjoying your time with the Dolphins, this tour will allow you to witness the beauty of the Kizimkazi village. This is a very nice place which many tourists visit to explore the village and pay a visit to the old mosque, which is one of the historical sites found here. The village offers both natural and cultural attractions, so it is definitely worth visiting.
The best time for this tour is early morning and afternoon, depending on the weather condition of that particular day.
PRISON ISLAND AND NAKUPENDA SANDBANK TOUR
Nakupenda is a Swahili word that means ‘’I Love you.’’ This wonderful sandbank beach is located offshore of Stone Town. A ride on a local boat for around 20 – 30 minutes will lead to your destination, Nakupenda Beach.
A Full day tour here is an ideal opportunity of enjoying the Nakupenda Sandbank. Once on the sandbank, you will be provided with snorkeling equipment such as masks for snorkeling purposes. The underwater world at Nakupenda Sandbank is unbelievably spectacular. This is a place where brilliant birdlife exists, with very white sand, and glassy and crystalline water. There are countless colorful fishes and other sea creatures that survive among the coral reefs and underwater plants which together form the sea coral reef ecosystem. You will do sandbank relaxing and try tropical fruits during or after snorkeling.
After enjoying snorkeling, you will have time to crown your day by exploring Prison Island. The old slaves’ prison still exists and now provides shelter for the giant tortoises. Visiting this place will give you a chance to explore and feed the tortoises if interested.
After enjoying your day, you will view a stunningly wide range of colored corals and tropical fish of the islands in a buffet before taking a boat back to Stone Town.
JOZAN FOREST TOUR
The forest is also known as Chwaka Bay National Park. It is the only National Park on these islands. Despite being small in size, it is prolific with amazing sky-high trees, a mangrove thick forest and the Medicinal jungle trees are numerous here.
This forest also provides a home to rare endemic red Columbus monkeys, endemic antelope species, Zanzibar leopard, blue monkeys, chameleons, mongoose, tree hyrax, bush pigs, civets, different species of butterflies, and different species of birds.
It is also believed to be a natural pharmacy, an amazing source of natural remedies. Every tree or plant in this forest has medicinal value that cures something. Your experienced guide will lead you through the paths within the forest and give you some informative information on the plant’s use.
Your adventure will lead through the mangrove habitat, where you can easily spot some fish and crabs in their natural habitat before returning to your hotel. Jozani Forest tour is a breathtaking adventure full of wildlife experiences on the island.
The Island is situated on the northeast part of the Island of Zanzibar. It is surrounded by massive coral reefs. It is one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the Islands. It is also called “The Tropical Fish Capital;” because of the presence of many varieties of fish species. Some of the unique fish species present on Mnemba Island include; Sting rays, Lionfish, Frogfish, Leaf fish, and Zebrafish.
Your full-day trip tour will enable you to explore;
- Nesting place for the threatened green sea turtles
- Humpback whales
- Whale sharks
- Migratory and resident shore birds feed and roost on the Island
- Numerous species of coral reef fish.
SUNSET DHOW CRUISE
Sunset Dhow Cruise is one the most enjoyable and famous activities one should not miss out on while on Zanzibar Islands. This breathtaking tour can be experienced in Stone Town and Nungwi beach. The sunset cruise leaves Stone Town in the late afternoon and cruises along the coast towards the west coast on a traditional wooden dhow. It is really romantic and wonderful sailing with this Traditional Arabian Dhow.
The sailing trail takes off from Forodhani Garden on the seashore in front of Stone Town. You be sailing along the off-shores of the historical and fascinating coast while witnessing the sun set down the western horizons. When you watch the sun from this point you see it sinks into the Indian Ocean. As the sun disappears on the horizon, it leaves its rays behind painting the town with its pastel amazing colors. The sail takes the around the house of wonders, palace museum, old dispensary, custom house and more to be witnessed.
With the splashing of water sounds beneath you, continue enjoying the peaceful cruise before dusk. As dusk folds in, our journey to stone town begins under the influence of dimly lit hurricane lanterns.
This tour is one of the reminiscing Zanzibar excursions experiences worth remembering. Crown your day by relaxing among the large Persian-style cushions and flowing chiffons.
Zanzibar Island offers a variety of attractions ranging from beach sunbathing to a spice tour. This island is offering its own brand of tourist attractions which are rarely found in many places along the Indian Ocean. One of the most interesting tours offered is the Zanzibar Spice Tour.
The spice plantation tour in Zanzibar will definitely be one of the most memorable ones. It will give you an opportunity to discover the interesting and assorted wide array of spices and fruits which are grown on this island. You will also have a chance to taste, touch and smell them. Being able to learn and see the various herbs, spices and rare species of plants that grow in Zanzibar is quite intriguing as some you might have never heard of or seen before.
You will be smelling and tasting spices, herbs, and tropical fruits such as clove, lemongrass, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, coconuts, papaya, chili, black pepper, jackfruits, cardamom, cassava, and orange. Since this is a guided tour, expect detailed and informative explanations from the guide about these spices and plants, including what they are used for and how they are grown.
After the tour, you will enjoy a traditional Swahili lunch at the farm. Here is where you will learn real taste and different ways of using spices to create different tastes and flavors we experience in different dishes. We accomplish the tour with a stop at a spice stall selling freshly packed spices.
VISIT PEMBA ISLAND
Pemba Island is another part of Zanzibar Island. It is an Arabic name translated as the (Green Island); considering the lush landscape of thick vegetable hills, interspersed with clove plantations. These hills are separated from the island’s secret cloves and white sand beaches by a belt of dense mangrove forest. Pemba pre-historically remains veiled in mystery; because it is likely that its first inhabitants arrived from the African mainland several years ago. The Island became a key stop on the Swahili Coast trade route.