About Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25 to 50 km off the coast of Tanzania, consisting of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, sometimes informally referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba.

Zanzibar is well known as the Spice Island, but also for its beautiful white beaches and fabulous marine life. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world; it united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania, and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.

Zanzibar and its surrounding islands are ranked highly for their marine life. It is also the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus, the endemic subspecies of the Blue Monkey and the tree Hyrax and the elusive Zanzibar Leopard. The most important forest is Jozani Forest, a small reminder of how Unguja’s forests once where. The word “Zanzibar” probably derives from the Persian Zangi-bar, “coast of the blacks”; it is known as Zanji-bar in Arabic.

STONE TOWN

This town is also known as Unguja Town or Zanzibar Town.

At Stone Town you will see the following things: The Stone Town Cultural Centre (Old Dispensary) situated along the Mizingani Road, the four storey building originally built as a private residence, but later used by colonists as Dispensary. These are very important sites to visit during your tour in the Archipelago of the Island.

THE ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL COURTYARD:

This place was used by Arabs and their European counterparts, as a center to receive and ship slaves from all over East Africa. With intrusion and humanitarian reasons the slaves’ market was closed in 1873. The British Christian Mission bought the place and built the Anglican Missionary Hospital.

PALACE MUSEUM:

Palace Museum was formerly the residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar. This large white house depicts about the Sultan’s life and properties such as fancy furniture etc.

THE ARAB FORT:

 This fort stands next to the House of Wonders. The fort was built on the site of a Portuguese chapel. It is believed that the construction took place between 1698 and 1701. Other sites in the Stone Town are: – The House of Wonders, Dhow Harbour, National Museum and Livingstone’s House.

DOLPHIN TOUR:
 The Kizimkazi fishing village is located on the southern point of the island which gives the tourists a chance to swim with Dolphins in the Indian Ocean. In addition, this place marks the old mosque built in the 12 th century.
SPICE TOUR:
 One of the common expeditions done in Zanzibar by visitors and indigenous from the mainland of Tanzania is to visit spices plantations. The Spice Tour takes you out of town to see large plantations with varieties of spices: ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves. Spices are used for traditional medicines, modern medicines and cosmetics. Spices are also used for food (tea and rice). You can’t wait to get a nice aroma and the taste from these special spices of the great island of Zanzibar.

PRISON ISLAND TOUR

Earning its name as a former prison for slaves and a quarantine station for Zanzibar and the mainland, nowadays the island gives you the chance to escape for some peace and quiet.

The island lies just off the Old Stone Town, it is also a home to giant land tortoises that were imported from  Seychelles in the late 19th century. Now it is more commonly known as a home of Zanzibar’s Giant Aldabran Tortoise colony, some of which are over a hundred years old! This endangered species came to Zanzibar as a gift from the government of the Seychelles.

Once on the island, you have the opportunity to feed and pet the tortoises, if you have time you may also like to take a stroll through the forested interior where you will see a wide variety of birds, colorful peacocks, bats, and beautiful butterflies. Keep your eyes peeled too for the shy and elusive Duikers – an unusual tiny antelope species.

It is fringed with a beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkeling, and has a lovely white beach for sunbathing. This tour is a great way to see some history and wildlife, and also to see Stone Town from the sea as many old maritime legends would have done.

JOZANI FOREST:

There are fewer animals in Zanzibar compared to the number of different species of fish and other sea living things. The Jozani forest which is situated southeast of Stone Town is a life supporting source for Red Monkeys, small bucks and bush pigs. There is natural vegetation and different types of trees.
SUNSET CRUISE:
 After a very long day around the Island you can have a rest while sailing along the coast of the white sand beaches. Normally, it is done during the sunset when the ocean radiates its red colour shade which makes it very attractive to view.
ACCOMMODATION IN SURROUNDING ISLANDS NEAR ZANZIBAR

Chumbe Island Lodge is a highly exclusive retreat, with only seven bungalows catering for a maximum of 14 guests. The location and limited number of guests makes Chumbe a perfect destination for those just wanting to relax (though the water sports are also excellent, with particularly good opportunities for diving!).

ACTIVITIES

– Snorkelling and diving
– Explore a number of nature tails around the island and the forest reserve
– Visit the ruins of the Chumbe lighthouse

FUNDU LAGOON LODGE

Fundu Lagoon is a gorgeous boutique lodge situated on Pemba Island, Zanzibar’s little neighbour. It’s the quintessential island getaway, accessible only by boat and offering beach bungalow accommodation on a beautiful stretch of the Pemba coast. Wonderfully remote, the lodge offers a great alternative to the busy resorts on Zanzibar.

Chumbe is booked on an all-inclusive basis, with meals, drinks and activities included. Boat transfers back and forth to Zanzibar are provided to allow you to explore the island.

FACILITIES

– Beach restaurant
– Three bars (Main Bar, Jetty Bar & Pool Bar)
– Fully equipped dive centre
– Dhow for sunset cruises
– Games rooms
– Swimming pool

ACTIVITIES

– Scuba diving
– Snorkelling
– Canoe trip through the mangroves
– Day trips to Ngesi Forest

Mnemba  Island provides everything for you – from food, drinks and activities, to boat transfers back and forth to Zanzibar. This is one of the most exclusive and luxurious Island lodges in East Africa, yet it carries a relaxed, informal atmosphere – it’s the very definition of “barefoot luxury”.

Mnemba Island itself is just beautiful. It’s a regular fixture on the “top 100 beaches of the world” features that travel journals are so fond of, and it’s not hard to see why. Totally uninhabited, the island is surrounded by about 1km of pristine white sand beach and some of Zanzibar’s very best coral reefs.