Home DestinationsAfrica Zanzibar – The archipelago is unspoilt by the effects of mass tourism

Zanzibar – The archipelago is unspoilt by the effects of mass tourism

by Victoria

Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of the Zanzibar and Pemba islands, and several small islands. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the coast of Tanzania, and 6 ° south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (locally called Unguja, but Zanzibar international) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, covering a total area of ​​about 650 square miles. It is operated by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town – arguably the only old town in East Africa.

Stone Town: The Capital

It may not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the ancient city and cultural center of Zanzibar, little changed in the past 200 years. It is home to zigzag alleys, busy markets, mosques and large Arab houses where early owners vie for the luxury of their residence. This unique technique is especially reflected in wooden, carved, bronze-encrusted doors – there are over 500 different examples of this craft. You can spend hours and days idle just wandering through the fascinating maze of narrow streets and alleys. Stone Town was recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. More information can be found at the UNESCO website.

Most visible houses today were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important commercial centers in the Indian Ocean region. Zanzibar’s coralline is a good building material, but it is also prone to erosion. This is evident in the large number of homes that are in poor repair. Several buildings have been renovated and the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been formed to coordinate the restoration of the town to its original splendor.

Paradise beaches

Zanzibar’s vibrant white beaches covered with warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean are the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, and take a break from some busy tours. The beaches in Zanzibar are a paradise interspersed with picturesque fishing villages, where people live a simple lifestyle that does not change over the years. There are over 25 great beaches in Zanzibar, and some of them are so peaceful and secluded that the only noise that breaks the silence may be the ocean.

On the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, reached by a path shaded with bananas, mangroves and coconuts. It is the dhow building capital of the island of Zanzibar, so it is a good place to see traditional craftsmen working.

On the west coast of Zanzibar, Mangapwani beach is worth a visit, and to the east are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani, all of which have great stretches of white sand. pretty.

Zanzibar also boasts several small offshore islands ideal for day trips. Prison Island (or Changuu) is most popular with tourists as it is only a short trip from Stone Town. Other small islands near Stone Town are Chapwani, Chumbe and Bawe.

Residents of Zanzibar

The locals of Zanzibar are an astonishing blend of ethnic backgrounds, showing off her colorful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and is practiced by most of Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christians and Hindus. The population is estimated at about 800,000 people, with the largest concentration being Zanzibar City with about 100,000 cases. 

Zanzibaris speaks Swahili (locally called Kiswahili), a language widely spoken in East Africa. Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar because it is the birthplace of this language.

Getting to Zanzibar

By sea:

There are several ocean ferry companies that pass through the waters between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The largest of these is Azam Marine. You can book ferry tickets via Zama Tours & Safaris

By air:

Intercontinental flights: Currently, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Dubai and Kenya Airways offer internationally scheduled flights to Zanzibar. Several major airlines fly to Dar es Salaam, which is only a short trip from Zanzibar by air or sea. Among them are British Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines and Swissair.

Continent flights: Kenya Airways, Precision Air and Ethiopian Airlines have regular flights to Zanzibar. Dar es Salaam is also served by them, as are Air Zimbabwe, Egypt Air, Air Malawi, South African Airways, British Airways and others.

Domestic flights: Precision Air, Coastal Aviation, Tropical Air, Regional Air and Flightlink offer a wide range of scheduled flights between Zanzibar and major Tanzania cities. Domestic flights are booked through Zama Tours & Safaris..

Weather and climate

Zanzibar experiences the ideal holiday weather most of the year. The heat of summer is often seasonally cooled by the wind conditions, creating pleasant sea breezes, especially on the north and east coasts. 

Located near the equator, the islands are warm year round, but officially peak summer and winter in December and June. Here is the illustrated weather statistics shown below. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily. There may be short rains in November, but it does not last very long. Long rains usually occur in April and May although this is commonly referred to as the ‘Green Season’ and it usually rains daily during that time.

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