Zanzibar is comprised of several islands on the Indian Ocean about 16-31 miles from the mainland Republic of Tanzania , but two are the larger ones. Ugunja is the largest one and is erroneously called Zanzibar. The other is called Pemba.. It is a semi-autonomous region of the Tanzania.

The capital of Zanzibar is not Stone Town, as some believe, it is Zanzibar City. Stone Town is the historic town within Zanzibar City, famed for its labyrinth of narrow streets, historic buildings and ancient spice markets. As a base for traders from the African Lakes region, India, and the Arabian peninsula, Zanzibar became a hub for the region’s slave and spice trades. 

Most Zanzibaris consider themselves Zanzibari rather than Tanzanian, and their territory has its own leader and governing bodies. Mainland Tanzania is a mix of Christian, Muslim, and indigenous groups, but Zanzibar, which the Sultanate of Oman ruled for centuries, is almost entirely Muslim. (The Sultanate had in turn wrestled the islands from the Portuguese – and much later they became a British protectorate, until Zanzibar’s independence in 1963.)

Island life is slow. In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole – Swahili for slow. Things in Zanzibar don’t always make sense, don’t always work, or can take a while. It’s important to enjoy the calm chaos and take a cue from the unhurried pace. Your smoothie might take 45 minutes to show up, but it will be delicious and worth the wait. Lazuli, a tiny but wonderful restaurant in Stone Town is a good place to experience this.

Greetings matter. Stop and say hi: Swahili is an easy language to pick up, and the initial learning curve is quick. Learning just the basics will take you pretty far. Don’t assume the constant streetside attention from people is an attempt to sell you something, or trap you into taking some sort of tour—that does happen, but saying hello is also an important part of the local culture. The “Mambos” and “Jambos” are often just that, so it’s a good idea to say hello back. It might be initially overwhelming, but it’s nice to realize that so many strangers will take the time to acknowledge your presence and ask you about your day.

The island has the best beaches in the world - and this is not an exaggeration. Zanzibar boasts pristine white sand beaches, abundant sunshine, exotic Swahili dishes, a hospitable people and luxury tourists resorts. If your idea of fun is to mix a jungle safari with lazing on the beach, then you have just found a hidden gem in Zanzibar.

With living reefs surrounding the islands, Zanzibar is a prime dive destination. The water temperature is warm, visibility is usually excellent, currents are weak and there’s an abundance of colourful fish, all of which contributes to an ideal location for first time and novice divers.

Some facts about Zanzibar:

Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, was born in Zanzibar in 1946. His birth name was Farouk Bulsara.

Freddie Mercury Zanzibar

Due to its proximity to Equator, Zanzibar is warm throughout the year. Temperature-wise with average daytime highs between 28C and 32C and night-time lows between 20C and 25C. And has equal day and nights (12-hours each) like most of the East African Countries.

Zanzibar is popularly called The Spice Islands, due its main economic activity after tourism being spice exports – mainly cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper.

Zanzibar is – or was – home to the Zanzibar Leopard. This beautiful wild cat is classed as “possibly extinct”, as none have been spotted in several years. According to local legend, several young Zanzibar Leopards were captured on mainland Tanzania and brought over the island as an exotic addition to the Sultan of Zanzibar’s palace. But as the leopards grew in size and ferocity, they were released into the Jozani Forest, where they bred. Sadly, they were hunted into (possible) extinction and the Jozani Forest is now best know for its rare Red Colobus Monkeys.

The shortest war in history was waged in Zanzibar. The Anglo-Zanzibar War between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate took place on 27 August 1896. It lasted between 38 and 45 minutes before a ceasefire was called. 

 

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1 Paje Beach, Paje, Tanzania

Offering a private beach area, Khulala Ocean Blue Bungalows is set in Paje beach in the Zanzibar Region. This property is 1 minutes walk from the beach. Khulala Ocean Blue Bungalows is set in Paje beach in the Zanzibar Region. The hotel has an outdoor pool and water sports facilities, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free private parking is available on site.