The spice island of Zanzibar with its interesting history influenced by early Arab traders offers beautiful beaches at the Indian Ocean and beach hotels of all standards.Consisting of the main islands Unguja and Pemba as well as of several smaller untouched islands, the Zanzibar Archipelago features gorgeous, palm-fringed white sandy beaches that stretch into the warm turquoise waters and invite visitors to unwind and soak up the sun.
The capital of Zanzibar City with its old historic centre of Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, is situated on Unguja Island and is often referred to simply as Zanzibar. Its eventful history of gruesome slave and exotic trade still shows traces everywhere. Magnificent Sultan’s palaces and grand Arab houses, winding alleys and bustling bazaars give visitors the feeling of being immersed in the world of Sindbad and Alibaba.
What to do on Zanzibar
If you are an active person and tend to get bored after one or two days at the beach, don’t worry as Zanzibar also has something in store for you. Many hotels and local operators arrange day trips to small islands or to the coral reefs. Professional PADI diving schools offer beginners and professionals alike a full range of scuba diving with professional equipment. Other water sports such as kiting, kayaking, catamaran sailing, wind surfing, deep sea fishing, water skiing, parasailing and jet skiing are also on offer and provide lots of fun. Also worth a visit are Zanzibar’s many spice plantations and the unique Jozani forest with the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkeys.
Facts about Zanzibar
The Zanzibari cuisine cannot be characterised as it has many cultural influences. Fish, vegetables, chicken and a rich selection of fruits and spices can be found in many dishes. The climate in the area is most often humid and warm. It is best described as typical, tropical island climate – warm to hot all year around. Zanzibar and its neighbour Pemba have an average water temperature of 24-27 ° C throughout the year. With its stunning underwater scenery and unique abundance of fish commonly found in the Indian Ocean, it is a great destination especially for divers and snorkelers alike.. The annually increasing range of beach hotels is testimony to the rising number of visitors. Although Tanzania’s coasts and the archipelago of Zanzibar were still treated as a “tip” years ago, they now have become a good competitor to the always popular beaches of Kenya. Zanzibar used to be considered a less popular destination, due to horrendous prices and an unfriendly reputation. But fortunately, that is all in the past and today, the island welcomes tourists from all over the world. Many airlines – national as well as international carriers – provide flights to Zanzibar and connect the island to the rest of the world. When flying to the island, you will land at Zanzibar airport which is located on the outskirts of Zanzibar City.