The Zanzibar Island is semi-autonomous part of the united republic of Tanzania. Located on the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar comprises two major Islands of Pemba and Unguja.
Historical Zanzibar was a regarded as Arab and African commercial centers that stretched along the coast of East Africa. The climate condition and geographical position gives Zanzibar an ideal holiday environment. Zanzibar by itself comprises of beaches including Isola Nakupenda beach, Paje beach, Uroa, Obama beach, Zanzibar and Bwejuu beach. All the mentioned beaches give visitors wide chance to visit and relax while enjoying the cool breeze.
Zanzibar Island also encompassed of Natural wildlife areas like Nungwi natural wildlife area, Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond and Zanzibar Land Animals Park (ZALA)
Stone town is regarded as the heart of Zanzibar due to the fact that every historical background is drawn from there. In East Africa, Stone town in Zanzibar is counted as the only remaining effective antique town. The area deserves such characteristics as it includes sites like Slave market, Darajani market, Forodhan garden, Palace Museum and house of wonders, The Old fort, Prison Island, Shakti temple, Kilele squire, and Malindi mosque. Visitors at Zanzibar town can listen to variety of historical narratives about the Island while visiting Stone town,that is why it is counted as core center to Zanzibar Island.
Attractions in Zanzibar
A Zanzibar Island attraction is somehow different from that of Tanzania mainland. Regardless of its popularity Zanzibar has only one national park, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. Absence of many national parks in Zanzibar is not the hindrance to visit the
place as it is rich in white sand beaches, historical sites/building, Museum, and ruins.
Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
Jozani is the only national park in Zanzibar known for its high population of red colobus monkeys. The park harbours large part of Zanzibar mangrove forest.
Stone town at Zanzibar
Stone town consist of several sites which caters visitors with different needs. It includes the following sites within.
Slave market and Darajani market
Historical Zanzibar was center for slaves. Slaves were taken from Tanzania interior to the coastal areas where customers were
available, the ease connection to others parts of the world due to the closeness to the Indian ocean also made it an ideal centre for
slave market. The Zanzibar Slave market is the place where slave business was taking place. Although nothing physical can be observe during the visit, but the story itself can present the real situation during that period of slaves’ trade. Darajani market is a gateway for passengers where various things are sold. The area is full of dozens of small shops where visitors can have a chance to enjoy brightly coloured piles of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is encouraged to visit the market in the morning rather than noon when it is relatively hot and much crowded.
This is also among the best place to visit for visitors’ enjoyment and relaxation. Been at Forodhani garden, visitors can have a great
chance to enjoy street Zanzibar cuisine. As the garden is located in the sea edge opposite the old fort in the stone town, there is high possibility for visitors to enjoy several choices of seafood. The tendency to most visitors in Zanzibar is to visit the garden during the evening to enjoy for those seafood while enjoying the breeze at the water edge.
Old fort, Palace Museum The old fort was built by Arabs around 1700’s for the purpose of protecting themselves from any invasion from other colonize. On these years there was high demand of African countries by colonialist so when a territory is occupied by any nation in power they ensure it is not invaded by any other. The Old fort has been partly renovated to house the Zanzibar Cultural Centre, as well as the offices of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) to ensure its existence. It is Just south of the Beit el-Ajaib in Zanzibar.
House of wonder
It was built by Sultan Barghash (1870-88). It is said that Sultan Bargash was exiled to India in 18thC, where he was impressed by the house style and adored European architecture. That can be seen clearly from the unusual style of this building – a combination of large verandas and a European style tower in the middle. From the façade, it’s not difficult to imagine its past opulence. It has only the great frontage left today, the rest is weakened badly. However, some renovations are going on at the moment, to rescue the place from further destruction.
It is the Island which is near stone town, popular for day visitors while touring Zanzibar. It can be accessed using local dhow, a journey that takes about 20-30 minutes. It is not a prison as the name suggest, during slave trade the Island was used as the penitentiary for rebel slaves. The main purpose for the Island, however, was used as a quarantine centre for yellow fever patients when the disease erupted in Zanzibar. When visiting Prison Island visitors can have a chance to see several marine species like aquatic birds and butterfly fish.
Zanzibar Butterfly center
This is also among famous site in Zanzibar as it harbour several species of butterfly which are all are native to Zanzibar. For the visitors who are interested with such kind of specie can observe many things including how they are conserved, feeding system and their complete life cycle.
Mnarani Marine turtles conservation pond
The project was established for the purpose of conserving the population of endangered species of sea turtles in Zanzibar. Green turtles in Zanzibar are among the species that prohibited in capturing, exporting, import or harassing them. The local community is the key stakeholders in ensuring the sustainability. While visiting to this conservation area, visitors can have a great chance to see learn a bit about the green turtle.
Beaches includes Isola Nakupenda, Paje, Uroa Bay, Obama beach Zanzibar, and Bwejuu beach which are almost nearby the city center.
Activities in Zanzibar
Visiting Zanzibar’s beaches
Zanzibar has wonderful enfolds of white sands packed with palms which offer an excellent beach holiday. There are several resorts along the beach with high quality and luxury facilities that provide variety of activities like sunset cruises, water-sports, snorkeling as well diving.
The waters between Zanzibar and Pemba are home to brilliant big game fishing and are famous worldwide for the exciting chances they provide. For instance in the South at Mafi Zanzibar Island (Reserved Culture, Spice and History)
Being the epicenter of the traditional spice trade, the island of Zanzibar is where a fragrant tour of the spice plus fruit plantations can be enjoyed. Arranged tours are offered throughout Zanzibar also knows the ‘Spice Island’ with tastings plus specimens on sale while touring the farms.
Snorkeling and diving
Most snorkelers use the so called a breath-hold dive as among a swimming technique in which they take a deep breath of air through the snorkel to make a free dive. Snorkeling doesn’t need much training or specialized equipment like that of scuba diving. Visitors at Zanzibar can have ability to have snorkeling and diving experience as part of their tour.
This can be arranged to many places in Zanzibar as the sites are not far from each other. For instance a visitor been at Zanzibar can have day tour to stone town, beaches, turtle conservation project and the rest of the places found nearby.
When to visit
There is no limitation on when to visit Zanzibar. The Island can be visited throughout the year depending on visitor’s holiday schedule.
Accessibility to Zanzibar
From Tanzania mainland to Zanzibar Island visitors can use either water or air transport. There are several scheduled and chartered flights from mainland to Zanzibar Island. There are also boats daily from Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo and Tanga that travels direct to Zanzibar
Accommodation in Zanzibar Island
Visitor should have no doubt on where to accommodate when in Zanzibar as there are several accommodation ranging from basic to luxury and exclusive hotels and lodges around. Visitors can have comfortable accommodation while enjoying local food including biryani. Island there are fishing grounds which are almost untouched with only a few local fishermen. This deep fishing can only be conducted using professional deep sea fishing boats which are also available at Zanzibar.