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All you need to know about Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago, located of the eastern coast of Tanzania, Africa in the middle of the Indian ocean, it is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, bursting with culture & history it is so much more than white sand beaches, clear warm waters with coral reefs perfect for snorkeling. Zanzibar is made up many small islands and two major islands Unguja (the main island, informally referred as Zanzibar) & Pemba

Places to see in Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s history

Zanzibar like the mainland Tanzania was settled by bantu-speakers at the outset of the first millennium, with trade rapidly increased & by the 10th century it was one of the central Swahili trading towns. Persians, Indians and Arabs used Zanzibar as the base for voyages between the middle east, India and Africa. Unguja, the larger island offered a protected & defensible harbor

In the 14th century Zanzibar was controlled by the Portuguese, later came to the under influence of sultanate of Oman. The Zanzibar archipelago developed an economy of trade and cash crops it was famous for its cloves and other spices that’s why to date it is also known as spice island as it was the center of spice trade, ivory & slaves were other major products, Zanzibar at the time was more of the power & business capital of the Swahili coast (stretching from present day Mozambique to Kenya), Zanzibar city was the Swahili coasts main port for slave trade in middle east.

In the 19th century, as many as 50000 slaves passed annually through the port, the sultanate furthered its relationship with British who put pressure on the sultanate to abolish slave trade as time progressed Zanzibar became a British protectorate until 10th December 1963 when it was terminated by the United Kingdom and made provision for full self-government in Zanzibar, Zanzibar became a constitutional monarchy under the sultan

However, a month later, on 12 January 1964 the sultanate was deposed during the Zanzibar revolution & replaced by the people’s republic In April 1964, the Zanzibar republic merged with mainland Tanganyika, was soon renamed, blending the two names, as the united republic of Tanzania, within which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region

Facts about Present day Zanzibar

After the union of Zanzibar & Tanganyika, Tanzania was born, within which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region. The Zanzibar archipelago is 25-50km off the coast of the mainland Tanzania.

-The capital is Zanzibar city, located on Unguja island, its historic center is stone town, which is a world heritage site

- Like mainland Tanzania the official language is Swahili & English but many zanzibarians are also fluent in Arabic

-the official currency being the Tanzania shillings

-Islam is the dominant religion by over 90%

-Population is over 1.3million according to the 2012 census

-Main industry are spices, raffia & tourism

Best time to visit Zanzibar

Like the mainland Tanzania throughout the year you can visit Zanzibar but it is during the dry season (June to October) that is regarded by many as the best time to visit Zanzibar .

Why June to October is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

-First of all, the skies are clear and most day are sunny (perfect weather for your stay)

-Secondly, you can do a safari, Mount Kilimanjaro hike & other extension in mainland Tanzania as it is during this time that it is favorable to visit the mainland too

-Easy mobility, moving around is easier when it is dry unlike rainy season

-fewer mosquitoes unlike the rainy season which is favorable condition for mosquitoes

-easier to meet people, do group tours, group activities and greater parties

-lastly, there is plenty and more options of activities to do on the dry season

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