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Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago consisting of two main Islands of Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar Island), Pemba and about 51 other surrounding small islets. It is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania.

Zanzibar boasts an abundance of flora and fauna. The verdant biodiversity of Jozani National Park, the rainforest endemism of Ngezi and the coastal profusions of endangered mangrove, offer a compelling experience to visitors. The wide variety of birdlife, and a profuse number of butterflies in rural areas, make Zanzibar a unique destination. 

Culturally rich, it is one of the countries with highest number of celebrations/festivals in East Africa.  Famous for white sandy beaches and pristine environment make the country a leader in ecotourism. A myriad of activities such as windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkelling, dhow cruises, kayaking, parasailing, and stand-up paddle boarding can be enjoyed all the year round. 

Sea Safaris are one of the most popular activities and offers an ideal opportunity to view diverse marine species. Zanzibar’s fusion of cuisine reflects its rich history and blend of cultural influences.  Zanzibar is the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet and the Zanzibar Leopard (possibly extinct).  This pristine island is also perfectly positioned to be paired with a safari in neighbouring Tanzania.

Experience a Spice tour – known as “The Spice Island”, an incredibly wide range of spices are grown and awaiting your discovery on Zanzibar.

Jozani National Park – Jozani Forest is home to the indigenous Red Colobus Monkey. Located inland from Chwaka Bay, the area often floods, which fortunately nurtures a unique swamp forest of many amazing looking trees and ferns. Enjoy a guided walk through the extensive mangrove forest.

Stone Town – a fascinating discovery of a colourful history. Visit the Palace Museum, Persian Baths, the Portuguese Fort, the spice markets, the Slave Chambers and ‘whipping pole’ on the site of the Anglican Cathedral and the house of Tip Tipu. The market in Stone Town is one of the largest, most vibrant open-air markets anywhere. Here, you can find several varieties of bananas, ‘elephant garlic’ unique to the island, the largest avocados you’ll probably ever see, and more. Prices are extremely reasonable

Canoe Safaris through Mangrove Forests from Zala Park – a small private reserve for the protection of indigenous and endangered species, offers canoe safaris through the mangroves.

Dhow excursions – experience sunset cruises and explore marine life on these traditional fishing vessels.

Nungwi Beach – located on the shores of a village found on Zanzibar’s North West tip. This is a popular beach, yet it’s not overrun by tourists, and it’s one of Zanzibar’s top beaches as the tide doesn’t head out too far.

The Seaweed Centre – 3% of the world’s commercial harvest of Seaweed takes place on Zanzibar island. The industry employs 15,000 women seaweed farmers. The Seaweed Centre is a socially responsible business providing women with empowerment opportunities. 

The Rock – offers stunning views of the island and the best seafood Zanzibar has to offer.  With only 12 tables you must book to dine at this exclusive restaurant.

GOOD TO KNOW

ZANZIBAR AREA

1,554 km²

POPULATION

1.3 million

Capital of ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar City

Currency

Tanzania Shillings (TSH), which cannot be obtained until arrival in Tanzania/Zanzibar. It is best to take US$ cash to change in to TSH

ClimatE

Being near to the equator, the islands are warm year-round. The rainfall regime is split into two main seasons, a primary maximum in March, April, and May in association with the southwest monsoon (known locally as Kusi in Kiswahili), and a secondary maximum in November and December. The months in between receive less rain, with a minimum in July.

People

Mostly consists of Africans ‎Hadimu‎, Swahili‎, Tumbatu and people of mixed African-Persian ancestry — the Shirazi and Arabs.

Official language

Swahili is the de facto national and official language of Tanzania. Many local residents also speak Arabic, French and/or Italian and English.

Time

GMT +3 hours

“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”

Ernest Hemingway