Zanzibar is an attractive Island off the east coast of Africa, featuring a turquoise-blue sea, white sandy beaches, and puzzling scent of seasoning plantations. The archipelago in the Indian Ocean was a thriving enterprise center in the past half century. Marketers and adventurers from all parts of the world were attracted to the seaport of Zanzibar by spices such as ginger, pepper, and cinnamon among others. The spectacular past about the ancient town of Zanzibar city is told by the impressive present architecture of ‘Stone Town’. Some of the undiscovered holiday attractions in Zanzibar are the special cultural variety, untouched nature, and heavenly beaches. Every visitor of the Island enjoys a landscape with everything like palm beaches and rain forests, a dreamlike climate, and fruits. Similar to the landscape, the culture is multifaceted. There is a colored mixture of various religions, and a combination of different traditions, making a cultural arrangement that is marked by cosmopolitanism. One of the reasons why Zanzibar is worth being called a paradise is the disappearance of the sun behind the coral benches during sunset.
Currently, Zanzibar seems like a market of cultures. However, you must check the history of the island to know this secret. Zanzibar natives were Africans, but Persian and Arabian traders came to the coast of the East African Island in the 8th century. Apart from carrying out successful trade with India, they introduced Islamic religion, which is dominant up to date. An essential trading post was started on the island after the Portuguese conquered the country in 1503. All in all, the sultan of Oman expelled the Portuguese in the island during the 17th century. Zanzibar then became a thriving commercial center for ivory, spices, and most importantly, slaves. In 1890, Zanzibar became a country protected by English, during African colonization. Later, the Britons prohibited slave trade in 1897. In 1963 Zanzibar gained independence, and since then; it is not subordinate to colonial rules. The republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964, after the unity of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. However, during the process, a subordinate status was retained by Zanzibar. The first free multi-party elections happened in 1995.
While on Zanzibar, you will come across a colored national mixture comprising Arabs, Persians, Indians, and Africans. Islam has over 90% of the population, creating a cultural variety with a common intersection of religion. The synthesis of influences from Africans, Indians, and Arabs is specifically reflected currently by the stone town of the historical old town. Similar to the inhabitants, the architecture is multicultural, with the mark of Zanzibar culture being sultan’s palaces, colonial buildings, African markets, Hindu temples, churches, and mosques. In the narrow lanes is a lineup of splendid houses, which feature big wooden doors that are artfully carved. In 2000, UNESCO declared the stone town a world cultural heritage site. The residents are warm-hearted, open-minded, and hospitable. The cosmopolitanism of the island also benefits from art and music. Besides, various film, cultural, and music festivals occur regularly in Zanzibar. Amidst the entanglement of stone town, East African music is presented by cultural festivals and “sauti za Busara, Swahili music”. You can admire traditional dances and art until dawn.
Stone town is not only the heart of the island, but also the historical centre of the city of Zanzibar. Although provinces arrived in Zanzibar, stone town is the destination. While walking through the town, you get a time travelling feeling, since over the last 100 years, no changes have occurred. Stone town streets are colorful, with marks left behind by pirates, colonial masters, and traders making it appointed as a world heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO.
The first building to have electric lights on the island is situated at the harbor of the city, and it is known as House of Wonders. While at the house, you can see the prison island, some miles away from the coast, in front of stone town. This is a former prison and quarantine camp. Presently, the station is a famous tour site with giant turtles. It is highly advisable to connect with one the popular spice tours during a trip of Spice Island in Zanzibar. You can see and taste more than 50 spices on the plantations near the stone town. Besides the attractive beaches of Zanzibar, a few meters away, you will find a rambling landscape from big limestone caves. This is a magic place for all, including the natives.
Zanzibar has numerous recreational opportunities, with the sea offering recreational activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and windsurfing. Also, you can just rest on the dreamlike beaches. Zanzibar mostly attracts divers, because it has the most beautiful underwater environments on the East African coast. At pleasant water temperatures, you will be astonished by various colorful coral benches and ship wrecks. Also, the local fishermen offer international standards sea-angling, while different tours are provided on the shore for travels via spice plantations, natural landscape of Jorani forest, and stone town antique Street. You can watch a bullfight on Pemba. Contrary to Spanish bullfights, the bulls do not get killed in a tradition that was initiated by the Portuguese colonialists. Bars and discotheques of the island open their doors at sunset, and they play the local taarab music. Although nightlife is in moderation, it has its own beauty. Moonlight parties have made Zanzibar popular. At the parties, guests are taken to secret places in hired motorboats at full moon. The rich history, unique beaches, and cultures offers you numerous activities in Zanzibar.
Discover the best tours in Tanzania visiting places like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mikumi National Park, Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.