Zanzibar is an Indian Ocean Archipelago territory about 35km off the coast of East African mainland that is made up of many small Islands and just two large ones Including Pemba Island and the main Island Unguja (Zanzibar) and its capital city is Zanzibar.

Zanzibar city is comprised of two main areas that is Ng’ambo and Stone Town which is an old trade center with a lot of Mosques.

History of Zanzibar

After gaining its Independence in 1963, Zanzibar, Pemba, joined with Tanganyika on the main land and some other small Islands in 1964 came together to form United Republic of Tanzania.

Prior to the Unification, the government of Zanzibar had been unfortunately thrown by a revolution of over 600 Zanzibaris and thousands of Indian, Arab civilians were killed in warm blood, expelled and their properties confiscated.

First mosques in the African Great Lakes Region together with Garrisons were established on the Island almost 20,000 years ago. The Island became a home for traders that were moving between the Somali Peninsula, African Great Lakes Iran, Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent. Due to Zanzibar’s favorable conditions and protected harbor, they were forced to settle and carry out trade with the Swahili Coast.

The Portuguese empire was the first to successfully conquer and control Zanzibar for nearly 200 years. Zanzibar later fell under the leadership of Sultanate of Oman in 1698 and this was a blessing in disguise for the cash crop’s economy with the elite Arab and Bantu general population.

Another basic trade was Ivory, the tusks of Ivory that were killed from the Tanganyika Mainland and this is still done up to today. Spices were also grown during this time hence deriving its Spice Island name.

Zanzibar also became a British protectorate in 1890. This was after the death of Sultan and the British not acknowledging the new one and this later brought about the Anglo Zanzibar war and it is known as the shortest war in the world history

Zanzibar later gained its Independence from the Britain in the late 1963 and up to now Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region.

Religion in Zanzibar

Religiously, Islam is the most Dominant and Prominent religion in Zanzibar and there is a percentage of 99% of them on the Island. Islam struck Zanzibar as early as 8th Century and became a common religion. This is witnessed by a great number of Mosques in Stone Town and most of the villages. It is considered the Islamic Center in Tanzania with majority of Sunni Muslims and minority Ibadia and Twelver Shia.

Zanzibar’s people are conservatively used to Islamic code of dressing with beautiful and stunning fabrics. However, it also has residents who are Christian and Hindus and a number of Temples can be encountered in the area.

Religious Sites.

Malindi Mosque

This was established about 500 years ago and is the oldest Mosque in Zanzibar. Located at the entrance of Zanzibar port and near the ferry terminal and the area is abundantly dominated by Muslims.

Kizimkazi Mosque

This is also one of the oldest Islamic buildings located at the southern tip of the Island. Unlike its name nature it is not located in Kizimkazi but in Dimbani.

Shakti Temple

In here, all the Idols are locked behind doors and the temple lies in the quiet streets of stone town. It has various Hindu god statues.

Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral

The church was built to commemorate the great work of David Livingstone for having abolished slave trade and it is situated on the site of the last slave market.

Attractions and Activities in Zanzibar

The Kuza Cave

The caves very extra ordinary but surprisingly, they are rarely visited by the travelers. The surrounding communities around these caves believe they are sacred and they’re located Jambiani village. They also believe in the small well that lies in these caves to have healing powers. Kuza’s surrounding scenery is a favorable one and attracts a lot of Birds.

Swimming the Turtles

Baraka National Aquarium is the best turtle Aquarium seen in Zanzibar. Turtles are given a good care until they are taken back to the Ocean. These Aquariums are big enough to offer space to the visitors so they can swim with the turtles.

Exploring Spices

In the 19th Century, Zanzibar was known as the Spice Island. Due to the favorable tropical climate and lush soils, Cloves dominate the spices’ farm. After some time, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and vanilla were introduced to maximize production Until date.

Once visitors hit the spice plantations, they are taught how they are grown, catered for and how helpful they are to the Zanzibar economy. Along in the Island of Unguja is the famous Kizimbani spice farm that highly visited by most of the guests. A spice tour in Zanzibar is a must and a very Interesting one that ids very educative and a necessity.

Stone Town

It is famously known of its Swahili name “Mji Mkongwe” and is the main city of Zanzibar. It is the old part of Zanzibar city.

It is located on the main Island of Zanzibar west coast of Unguja and highly favors spice economic activities while it was commonly used for slave trade in the 19th century. It is a famous historical artistic site that is mostly on every visitor bucket list.

It is a major guest attraction in Tanzania and mostly depends on tourism activities with a unique mixed culture of Persian, Arabs, Swahili culture, Indian and European elements.

Food and cuisine in Zanzibar

It is famously known as the Spices’ Island and has an enormous growing spices history including Nutmeg, cumin, coriander, turmeric and more. Travelers can also enjoy a taste of fruits from this magnificent Island of which widely known for including mangoes, apples, coconuts, bananas, pineapples, coffee and vanilla. Sea foods can also be enjoyed from the Island as there are a lot of fishing activities on the Island.

How to get to Zanzibar?

Most of the arrivals and departures takes place at Stone Town where by one can use the most appropriate means of transport for their own choice including Air means from Dar es Salaam, road or water means by using ferries and speed boats take about 2 hours from the Dar es Salaam.

Flights are costly but reliable and fast for they only take 20 minutes to Zanzibar though most travelers prefer the slow way of ferries so they can have soothing views of the Indian Ocean.