Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
REASONS TO VISIT ZANZIBAR
Great Weather & Climate
Zanzibar has ideal holiday weather all through the year, even when it’s hot; the cold breeze from the coast cools the temperature.
Pristine & Scenic Beaches
Zanzibar offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Clean with soft white sand & perfect temperature waters.
Lots to do
Zanzibar offers a bit of everything peaceful lagoons, sightseeing, surfing, diving, swimming with dolphins, fishing, a vibrant culture and amazing exotic local cuisines.
Unique Culture Mix
Zanzibar’s history is influenced by Africans, Arabs, Indians, Persians and Europeans, forming a unique culture mix as a result of the slave trade era.
If you are planning to do a romantic getaway, wedding, honeymoon or to renew your vows, Zanzibar is the perfect exotic haven.
The archipelago has been inhabited for over 20,000 years, it is a special place steeped in rich intriguing history.
Zanzibar is one of the Indian Ocean islands. It is situated on the Swahili Coast, adjacent to mainland Tanzania. The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel, which at its narrowest point is 36.5 kilometres (22.7 mi) across.
Zanzibar offers a huge selection of lodges, hotels & beach houses at different price points.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Numerous fun activities such as boat rides, water sports, sightseeing, scuba diving, snorkelling, spice tours & many more are available in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. On its main island, Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar, is Stone Town, a historic trade center with Swahili and Islamic influences.
In Zanzibar you can go to ibeautiful beaches, dhow safaris, taste exotic Swahili dishes, explore historic stone town.
Zanzibar, is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, the Zanzibar servaline genet, and the Zanzibar leopard.
TOP ATTRACTIONS IN ZANZIBAR
Ringed by some of Africa’s best coral beaches and blessed with one of the most mellifluous names in the world, Zanzibar (Unguja) is the archipelago’s main island. Sitting at its center is Stone Town with its quasi-medieval medina, balconied merchant’s houses and grand House of Wonders.
Drive out of town through the avenue of mango trees – said to be planted over the bodies of past lovers of a 19th-century sultan’s daughter – and there’s plenty else to explore. To the south, the road cuts through the primeval Jozani forest, home to the rare, red colobus monkey and tiny aders’ duiker.
Off Kizimkazi pods of dolphin play, and shoals of luminous fish graze over Chumbe Island’s pristine coral garden, while to the east rural villages snake up the coastline from community-minded Jambiani through the surf-and-party hub of Paje to traditional Matemwe, where locals harvest seaweed (most abundant from December to February) and dhows set sail with divers for the lambent coral reef of Mnemba.
At the northern tip of Unguja, Nungwi and Kendwa are the epicenter of tourist activity. Flanked by long, sandy beaches they are well supplied with burgeoning budget and luxury accommodation, restaurants, bars and dance-til-dawn full-moon parties. While there’s no denying their buzz or picturesque beauty you’ll want to choose your spot carefully here as increasing development threatens to mar the area’s ineluctable magic and overwhelm fragile community resources.
Destinations in Zanzibar........ villages|Isles|Tropics
Kiwengwa village is spread out along a fine, wide beach, and is the locus of Zanzibar's package-tourism industry. Hidden behind high walls in lushly planted gardens, most of the Italian-run resorts are all-inclusive, with guests seldom leaving the grounds. By contrast the village is poor and dusty, highlighting an uncomfortable lack of social and enivronmental awareness.
Jambiani is a long village on a stunning stretch of coastline. The village itself, a sunbaked and somnolent collection of thatch and coral-rag houses, is stretched out over more than a kilometre starting just south of Paje. The sea is an ethereal shade of turquoise and is usually dotted with ngalawa (outrigger canoes), while on the beach women tend seaweed farms.
Menai Bay & Unguja Ukuu
At 470 sq km (180 sq miles), Menai Bay is Zanzibar's largest protected marine environment. It is framed by the sleepy villages of Fumba to the west and Unguja Ukuu to the east, and is home to an impressive assortment of corals, fish and mangrove forests, some idyllic sandbanks and deserted islets, and a sea-turtle breeding area.
About 3km southwest of Nungwi is Kendwa. It’s a long, wonderfully wide stretch of sand, although the once-quiet ambience is now gone, thanks to a rash resort development and an almost nonstop party vibe. That said, there is more space than at Nungwi, and amenable tidal patterns mean that there is swimming at all hours.
The main reason to come to Makunduchi is for the village's colourful celebration of Mwaka Kogwa, a four-day festival held in late July. During the festivities villagers from the north and south of the village symbolically beat one another with banana leaves in order to settle old scores and clean the slate for the New Year.
The small and unremarkable beach at Mangapwani is notable mainly for its nearby caves, and is frequently included as a stop on spice tours. The caves are located about 20km north of Zanzibar Town along the coast, and are an easy walk from Mangapwani beach. There are actually two locations.
Pongwe's quiet arc of beach is dotted with palm trees and backed by dense vegetation, and is about as close to the quintessential tropical paradise as you can get. Thanks to its position in a semi-sheltered cove, it also has the advantage of having less seaweed than other parts of the east coast.
Tiny Mnemba Island, just northeast of Matemwe, is the ultimate tropical paradise for those who have the money to enjoy it, complete with white sands, palm trees and turquoise waters. While the island itself is privately owned, with access restricted to guests of Mnemba Island Lodge, the surrounding coral reef can be visited by anyone.
The large and seldom-visited island of Tumbatu, just off Zanzibar’s northwest coast, is populated by the Tumbatu people, one of the three original tribal groups on the archipelago. Although Tumbatu’s early history is unknown, ruins of a mosque have been found at the island’s southern tip that may date to the early 11th century.
Paje has a wide, white beach at the junction where the coastal road north to Bwejuu and south to Jambiani joins with the road from Zanzibar Town. It’s quite built-up, with a cluster of small-scale places on the beach and a party atmosphere.
The uninhabited island of Chumbe, about 12km south of Zanzibar Town, has an exceptional shallow-water coral reef along its western shore that abounds with fish life.
The long, idyllic beach at Matemwe has some of the finest sand in Zanzibar.
This large village at Zanzibar's northernmost tip is a dhow-building centre and one of the island’s major tourist destinations. Nungwi is also where traditional and modern knock against each other with full force.
Curling around Chwaka Bay like a long bony finger, the 10km stretch of beach along the eastern side of the Michamvi Peninsula is the stuff of advertising posters. Fine, white, coral sand offsets a sea of extraordinary colours, merging from blue to green and the deepest sapphire.
Just offshore from Zanzibar Town are several tiny islets, many of which are ringed by coral reefs. These include Nyange, Pange and Murogo, which are sandbanks that partially disappear at high tide, and which offer snorkelling and diving (arranged through Stone Town dive operators).
What to see in Zanzibar|experience in Zanzibar
Located in Stone Town, the Forodhani Gardens are situated right on the coast and make for a perfect evening stroll; here, locals prepare tasty local dishes and there is a great atmosphere as locals and backpacker’s alike come to taste the delights of the local cuisine.
The Darajani located in Stone Town is famous for its vibrancy, colorfulness and range of vendors. This exciting market is well worth a visit and will give you a great taster into local life.
The slave market is located in Stone Town. This ancient site is a sad, poignant yet interesting place to visit to learn about Zanzibar’s history of the slave trade.
The Old Fort
The Old Fort is Stone Town’s oldest building. This historic building is located on the seafront opposite the Forodhani Gardens. The Old Fort was built in the 17th century and its purpose was to defend the island from attacks from the Portuguese. Today, The Old Fort is a place to see the remains of the former fort, and the courtyard in the centre sells local merchandise and there is also an Amphitheatre where events are held most evenings.
Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is a 50 km2 (19 mi2) national park of Tanzania located on the island of Zanzibar. It is the only national park in Zanzibar. It is home to the Zanzibar red colobus, Sykes monkey, bush babies, more than 50 species of butterfly the nocturnal Zanzibar tree hyrax, and 40 species of birds.
Zanzibar is famous for its spice industry, and therefore spice tours are readily available. Don’t miss out on a spice tour when in Zanzibar – it’s a great way of learning more about one of the Island’s major industries.
Palace Museum & House of Wonders
The palace museum is also known as Sultan’s Palace, and is referred to as Beit-el-Sahel and it is one of the most prominent historic buildings in Stone Town and well worth a visit. The Palace Museum is situated at the waterfront; it was built in the 19th century to house the Sultan’s family. After the 1964 revolution the site was used as a Government building and re-named to “The People’s Palace.” Nowadays it serves as a museum and showcases relics of the past Sultan family.
The House of wonders is also a very prominent building in Stone Town and functions as one of the main landmarks. It is a fascinating exhibition of Zanzibari and Swahili culture.
With stunning white washed buildings and culture galore, Stone Town is the heart of Zanzibar and is thought to be the only functioning ancient town left in East Africa. With its multitude of historic sites, markets and tours, Stone Town will see that every day you spend there is packed with activities! When in Stone Town check out Mercury’s restaurant; this restaurant pays tribute to Freddy Mercury who was born in Zanzibar in 1946. There are interesting relics from the Queen Band member scattered throughout the bar.
Prison Island is only a 20-30 minute boat trip from Zanzibar. This island is steeped in history; it was once used as a place where slaves were detained and after this period, it was turned into a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Nowadays, however, this stunning little island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison. Prison Island makes for a fun and cheap day trip from Zanzibar.
YOU CAN GO : Swimming | Diving | Snorkelling | Parasailing | Deep sea fishing | Sailing
BEST BEACHES IN ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar’s eastern beaches are amongst the world’s best. These quiet, beautiful and pristine beaches will not disappoint! Below are our top 5 picks for the top beaches to visit.
This village is located next to Nungwi and is within walking distance. Kendwa has pristine white beaches and azure waters with an excellent selection of bars and restaurants on the waterfront.
This beach is located on the South East of Zanzibar and also draws the attention of travellers. Paje is a popular beach for water sports.
A picture perfect beach located south of Kendwa and Nungwi; this is a quiet beach exempt from the backpacking crowd of Nungwi and Kendwa.
A village located at Zanzibar’s North West tip. It is a popular stop for backpackers though it has no-where near the same floods of tourists as many other backpacker spots, namely South East Asia and therefore enjoys Zanzibar’s trademark tranquillity. Nungwi beach is a beautiful spot and is an excellent choice for swimming due to the tide which doesn’t venture out too far.
A stunningly quiet beach which offers a small selection of cafes and guest houses. Palm trees sway in the Zanzibari breeze and local villagers go about their daily lives in this sleepy beachside sanctuary.