Zanzibar Island

General Information: Zanzibar Archipelago is the name that combines two Indian Ocean Islands (Unguja or Zanzibar and Pemba) and several smaller Islands, of Tumbatu, Uzi, Pungume, Kwale and Vundwe Islands. The name Zanzibar comes from the Arabic word “ Zenj ” meaning black people and “ barr ” land, which together makes Zanzibar the land of black people.

Geographical Location: Zanzibar and Pemba lie between 40 52' and 6 0 31' south of the equator, and about 40 and 50 km respectively from the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. The Archipelago covers about 2640 sq. km in total, (Zanzibar covers 1660 sq. km and Pemba covers about 980 sq. km). The Archipelago is surrounded by the coral reefs, beautiful sandy beaches, natural and unexploited lagoons and mangrove swamps, which are rich in marine life.

Zanzibar and Pemba are widely flat and low-lying islands. Pemba is which is hillier and more fertile, is situated about 50 km north of the Zanzibar (Unguja) Island, and 50km east of the mainland Tanzania, than Zanzibar.

While in Zanzibar the following are the most visited places and we advice not to miss them.

The Stone Town: also called Unguja town the famous in the Island enrich with the historical narrow streets, Arabic architectural old buildings and heavy wood doors. The buildings include The Stone Town Cultural Centre (Old Dispensary) the four story building found near the seafront on Mizingani road.

Originally built as a private residence, but was used as a dispensary during colonial era. The House of Wonders (Beit el Ajaib) it is believed to be the first house to have electricity in East Africa. Several storeys tall surrounded by tiers of pillars and balconies and topped by a large clock tower.

Dolphin Tour: The Kizimkazi fishing village in Indian Ocean has depths that accommodated number of dolphins. The tours allows you to swim and enjoy with dolphins, the village is also the site of a 12 th Century mosque that shows the evidence of early visit of Muslim in E.A.

Spice Tour: Take a ride to various plantations just outside of town and even in the local market to see and sample the wide range of spices grown on the island.

Tours will give you an in-depth lesson on spices such as lipstick trees with green leaves but when pressing and squeezing it turns to red, same applies to the soap fruits. Others include ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg used mostly in cosmetics, traditional medicine and cooking.

Jozani Forest: The Jozani Forest Reserve is located about 35 kilometers southeast of Stone Town. Like most of western part of Tanzania mainland, Zanzibar is the home of primates no wild cats.

With its variety of vegetation the forest accommodates the rare Red colobus monkey, which is endemic to the Island, bush babies, bush pigs and small buck. Majority of these primates are social and can be sight at a close range.

The Palace Museum is a large white building that was formerly the official residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar. The first Sultan to rule the Island was from Oman (Said Sayyed) within the house is old unrefined Sultans' furniture and other possessions that survived the renovation.

The National Museum (Beit el Amani) is a small building with a lovely garden. It includes sections on slavery, palaces, mosques, cloves oil, production, traditional crafts and household items.

Prison Island: It is wood boat trip to one of Zanzibar shore islet. It's a most popular Island where visitors often go for relaxing. The island has a large number of giant tortoises and was imported from Seychelles in 19th century.

The prison ruins, coral rag forest trail and also beautiful peacocks. It has also beautiful coral reef ideal for snorkelling and lovely white sand for sun bathing.

Nungwi village: It is located at the northern tip of Zanzibar and has its popularity in fishing games, sunset dhow cruising with the water is deepth enough for swimming, whatever the state of the tides.

Tourist are adviced to visit Nungwi as it has unspoiled reefs making the nesting of different species of fish. Also the place has number of good hotels located in costal area.

The Anglican Cathedral: It's the first Cathedral in East Africa been built in 1870s by the Universities Mission to Central Africa. To date the service are still held on each Sunday. Along the same place one can visit the slave chambers where the slaves were kept before shipped to the Arab and Europe.