Mystery and Magic – the Lure of the Spice Islands
The beautiful archipelago of Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast is an extraordinary place to explore. Also known as Spice Islands, the Zanzibar Archipelago will mesmerize you with its opulent culture and history, marvelous white sandy beaches with palms towering lazily by the crystal turquoise waters.
Zanzibar is the semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean that consists of many small islands and two large ones: Pemba and Unguja. Unguja’s historic center, the Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the past, the Zanzibar Archipelago was famous worldwide for its spices, particularly the clove plantations.
Zanzibar’s Capital of Bygone Empires
Previously the court of the Sultan of Oman, Zanzibar has a rich and intricate history. The shreds of evidence of this captivating history can be found everywhere on the island.
Walk around the Stone Town and you’ll witness two millennia of history spectacularly unfold before your eyes. Zanzibar’s architecture is a remarkable mix of Arabic, Indian, European, and African styles. There are more than 500 doors across the Stone City’s with remarkable carvings, brass spikes and even verses containing quotes from Koran.
In addition to its fascinating architecture and majestic past, Zanzibar also offers historical tours to clove plantations, mesmerizing beaches, captivating music, delightful food and much more.
If you are diving and snorkeling enthusiast, you can choose from three main areas, with Mnemba considered to be the best. However, those seeking privacy will find several less popular snorkeling sites along the Zanzibar east coast.
The Wildlife of Zanzibar
Some 35 km south of Zanzibar Town lies the Jozani Forest, part of the Jozani-Chwaka Conservation Area. Within the forest, you’ll find the rare red Colobus monkeys, as well as several other species of monkeys, birds, and butterflies. Here, you can experience the rare pleasure of close observation of the indigenous wildlife, although the park staff recommends that you don’t approach monkeys closer than 3 meters.
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