"Zanzibar Island" Zanzibar Island by jackfruit
Zanzibar Island Travel Guide: 418 reviews and 948 photos
Zanzibar - the name itself invokes images of arabic exotism. This tiny island, now a part of Tanzania, was the once playground and capital post of the Omani Arabs. Serving as a slave center and grower of spices like cardammom and cloves, Zanzibar was a bustling port of commerce in the Indian Ocean. In it's heyday a flurry of building took place on the island, comissioned by the rich Omani Sultans and wealthy merchants. The resulting Indo-Arabic architecture can still be seen today as you wander the streets of Stonetown. 90% of the local island population today is Muslim.
Slaves that were brought from all over East Africa to be sold to far corners of the world played an important role in preserving the purity of Swahili that is spoken on the island today. Being from various tribes, Swahili was the only common language of communication on the island. Hence the dialect of Swahili spoken on the island, in sharp contrast to mainland Tanzania, has remained free of local tribal influences.
Lush with spice plantations, coconut palms, mango and other various species of tropical fruit trees, Zanzibar reminded me of Mangalore - a busy harbor town on India's Malabar coast - and that only a few hundred miles of Arabian Sea waters seperated me from the place I was born.
After our fortnight in mainland Tanzania trekking Kili and visiting the major Safari parks, we spent a few days on this lovely island. We opted to stay in Nungwi Village, which is a fishing and dhow building center on the northern tip of Zanzibar, instead of Stonetown, which is the biggest tourist attraction of the island.
Other than the famous sun drenched beaches, Zanzibar, fringed with marine-life rich reefs, is a famed diving spot in the Indian Ocean.
- Pros:Excellent beaches, great diving, delectable cuisine and super friendly people!!
- Cons:Most places dont except credit cards, so have enough cash before you arrive!
- In a nutshell:Exotic!
After the slave market was closed down, a british christian mission bought the land and started the construction of this... more travel advice
These wooden boats with thier triangular sail are a familiar sight all along the Zanzibar coast. Called dhows , these... more travel advice
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