Set like a jewel in tranquil coral waters, only 20 minutes flight from Dar es Salaam, is one of the world‘s most beautiful islands – Zanzibar. Its name evokes a romantic past. To the shores of these islands came Samarians, Assyrians, Hindus, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Arabians, Chinese, Malaysians, and the Portuguese, all sailing in on Monsoon winds. From these shores, the great European explorers Burton, Speke, Livingstone, Krapf, Rebman, and Grant set out on their voyages of discovery into the East and Central African hinterland.
The different races that have settled in Zanzibar over the centuries have left an imprint on the people and the architecture. The “House of Wonders” and the narrow streets of the Old Stone Town are just some of the vivid reminders of the islands long and colored history. Zanzibar is also the birthplace of the fascinating Swahili culture with its elegant architecture, full of balconies, courtyards, hand-carved doors and mosques. For centuries the historic Spice Islands of Zanzibar has evoked a mystical and magical dream. Fascinating history, exotic spices, sandy beaches and hospitable people… this is the enchantment of Zanzibar. Different excursions are arranged while in Zanzibar. These include taking visitors to spices plantations in the countryside where a variety of seasonal spices, tropical fruits, and medicinal herbs are grown.
Zanzibar; romantic, exotic archipelago, redolent of Arabian nights and Indian Ocean indolence. Only 15 minutes flight from the mainland, the brilliantly sleepy island of Zanzibar is one of East Africa’s finest beach destinations, surrounded by coral reefs with idyllic beaches lined by huge sweeping palm trees. Zanzibar beaches are the obvious addition to a safari on mainland Tanzania.
Though many visitors spend a night or two in Stone Town, the fascinating island capital, the real attraction of is its glorious coral sand beaches, and the fanciful snorkeling and diving. Tourism has eclipsed spice trading as the main form of income, but islands retain their rustic African charm despite the developments of the last decade. Zanzibar is a land apart, entirely fascinating and well worth a visit.
Zanzibar: the geography
Zanzibar is much larger than one might expect; driving from north to south takes at least two hours. Stone Town and the airport are located on the west coast, and transfers to/ from any beach lodge take about an hour. The best areas for a Zanzibar beach holiday are to the east and north of the island, where the coastline has miles and miles of seemingly endless beaches and a wealth of accommodation options. The beaches to the west, (where Stone Town is located), and to the south of Zanzibar are generally less good.
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