Zanzibar Holidays-Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Zanzibar Holidays-Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Things to do - general

Zanzibar holidays as described by a Greco-Roman text between the 1st and 3rd centuries; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea are a sight to behold.

Mentioned as the island of Menuthias (Ancient Greek: Μενουθιάς), which is probably Unguja Zanzibar, like the nearby coast, was settled by Bantu-speakers at the outset of the first millennium. Archaeological finds at Fukuchani, on the north-west coast of Zanzibar, indicate a settled agricultural and fishing community from the 6th century CE at the latest.

Zanzibar served as a base for voyages between the Middle East, India, and Africa. Unguja, the larger island, offered a protected and defensible harbor, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, traders settled at Zanzibar City (“Stone Town”) a convenient point from which to trade with the other Swahili coast towns.

Commonly known as the Spice Island, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic Centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.

Malindi in Zanzibar City was the Swahili Coast’s main port for the slave trade with the Middle East. In the mid-19th century, as many as 50,000 slaves passed annually through the port.

Many were captives of Tippu Tib, a notorious Arab slave trader and ivory merchant. Tib led huge expeditions, some 4,000 strong, into the African interior, where chiefs sold him their villagers for next to nothing. These Tib used to caravan ivory back to Zanzibar, then sold them in the slave market for large profits. In time Tib became one of the wealthiest men in Zanzibar, the owner of multiple plantations and 10,000 slaves.

That is now all history as Zanzibar is now part of Tanzania and has risen above everything to become one the most notable holiday destinations in East Africa.

Draped with mesmerizing shores and warm ocean breeze, Zanzibar promises pure indulgence and paradise. The golden sands and crystal seas provide the ideal contrast to the African plains and thriving wildlife and the rich history is something to write home about.

Besides the pristine beaches, there are a myriad of other things that encompass Zanzibar holidays and they include:

Visiting Cheetah’s Rock where animals and humans interact freely. A ZIPA accredited, rescue and conservation center they specialize in providing rescued wild animals with as natural and generous a habitat as possible.

Their tours take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and the experience lasts from 14:00 o’clock till 18:45 o’clock with a maximum of 27 guests allowed in. This ensures every person has enough time to interact with the various animal species found in the sanctuary.

Guests are encouraged to have basic understanding of English. This is so you get the most out of all the fascinating information about our wild animals presented to you by Jenny and her staff members during the tour. Also they don’t allow guests under the ages of 15.

Their trip costs US$ 160 per person and this includes round trip transfers from and back to your hotel, or other locations, from most places on Zanzibar.

You can also choose to relax and unwind in the many beaches to be found in Zanzibar. They include: Isola Nakupenda, Paje, Uroa Bay, Obama beach Zanzibar, and Bwejuu beach which are almost nearby the city center.

There are also  several resorts along the beach with high quality and luxury facilities that provide variety of activities like sunset cruises, water-sports, snorkeling as well diving.

The waters between Zanzibar and Pemba are home to brilliant big game fishing and are famous worldwide for the exciting chances they provide. For instance in the South at Mafi Zanzibar Island (Reserved Culture, Spice and History)

As for the adrenaline lovers, then snorkeling and scuba diving is in plenty. Snorkeling is especially easy even for first timers. Most snorkelers use the so called a breath-hold dive as among a swimming technique in which they take a deep breath of air through the snorkel to make a free dive. Snorkeling doesn’t need much training or specialized equipment like that of scuba diving.

After some quality time at the beach, then you can end your trip at The Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond a community based NGO established in 1993 as an effort to conserve the population of sea turtles native to Zanzibar Island. The Stone Town based Eco & Culture Tours NGO was the initiator of this project, and empowered the local villagers to take this conservation initiative into their own hands. Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) have traditionally been hunted around Zanzibar for their attractive shells, and Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) for their meat.

Zanzibar holidays can also not be complete without exploring the various historical sites.  You can start off at The House of Wonders or Palace of Wonders (in Arabic: Beit-al-Ajaib) which is a landmark building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani Gardens on the old town’s seafront, in Mizingani Road. It is located between the Old Fort and the Palace Museum (and former Sultan’s Palace). It is one of six palaces built by Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar, and it is said to be located on the site of the 17th-century palace of Zanzibari queen Fatuma. The House of Wonders currently houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast.

The reason why it is referred as the House of Wonders is because it was the first building to have electricity and also the first building in East Africa to have an elevator. The design of the palace is attributed to a British marine engineer and indeed its form introduced new architectural elements into the Zanzibar repertoire, including the wide external verandas supported by cast-iron columns, which allowed for uniquely high ceilings. The construction materials consisted of an original combination of coral rag, concrete slabs, mangrove shoots or boriti, and steel beams. It was constructed in 1883.

There is also Mtoni Palace ruins and the palace owes this name to its beautiful location on the western shore of Zanzibar. It is one of the oldest buildings of Zanzibar and it was the largest palace on the island during the reign of Sultan Sayyid Said, who moved the capital of his Omani empire from Muscat to Zanzibar during the first half of the 19th century. At that time, over a thousand people lived in the palace and its direct surroundings. But around the 1880s the palace was abandoned and fell into ruin.

Although severely deteriorated, Mtoni Palace still offers visitors a glimpse into the world of the Arabian royalty once living there.

Entering the palace from the coast line, one steps into the former reception hall. Most guests would not go any further when visiting Beit el Mtoni, since the women in the palace were not to be seen by stranger’s eyes. But now, visitors can step over the threshold and walk in the footsteps of the Omani household. A visit continues into the inner courtyard, the palace garden and the well preserved bathing complex. One row of baths was used by the courtiers, whereas a separate domed aisle was uniquely reserved for the use of the Sultan and his first spouse.

And again what are Zanzibar holidays without sampling the diverse spices that idolize the island. And to understand more on the same, then a tour of the Zanzibar Heritage and Spices Centre is a must. In the tradition of the first spices plantations established thanks to the Oman Sultan Sayid Sa’id in the XIX century, the Zanzibar Spices and Heritage Centre grows and processes many colorful and high quality spices, as only rich Zanzibar red soils can produce. And you can only understand this well by taking a stroll in their exotic garden where fruits and spices scents blend.  It is there that you get to discover the plants and authentic know-how that has offered Zanzibar the well-deserved nickname: The Spice Island.

Other places to visit in Zanzibar include: Forodhani park, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, Darajani Barzaar for some shopping and many more curio shops for those artifacts and souvenirs to take back home.

Zanzibar holidays are better off spent in the prestigious hotels and resorts to be found on the island with a full range of options to choose from depending on your budget. If you consider yourself high end, then a place like Melia Zanzibar will cut it for you.

An all-inclusive luxury resort on an amazing beach of white sands, you can discover its romantic rooms and private villas overlooking the Indian Ocean for 350 USD per person sharing. Some of the amenities to be found include flat screen TV, minibar, garden view, hair dryer, king sized bed and so much more.

There is also Nungwi Resort and Spa which is the epitome of luxury with breadth of gardens, bursting with exotic blooms which slope gently down to powder white sands of Nungwi Beach, lapped by the clearest blue seas. A product of the Emerald group of hotels, the rates here go as high as 400 USD per night per person.

There also lodges and villas which sometimes go as low as 30 USD per night with a huge variety of more 500 properties to choose from.

Country Tanzania
Languages spokenEnglish, Kiswahili
Currency usedTzsh
Area (km2)Zanzibar

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