"Zanzibar" Top 5 Page for this destination Zanzibar Island by grets

Zanzibar Island Travel Guide: 418 reviews and 948 photos

A very exotic destination

Zanzibar - the name alone conjurs up images of exoticism and a far-away forgotten destination. Spices and slave trade. Idyllic beaches.




I have to admit that Zanzibar was not our first choice of destination. Another holiday had been cancelled at the last minute (the company went bust), so we had to find a replacement, and quickly.

If you are into glorious beaches, excellent food, lazy days with a good book and doing nothing for a week or two, then Zanzibar may be for you. We made the wrong choice of hotel, instead of being in an all-inclusive resort on the east coast, we should have chosen to stay in Stone Town. We both like exploring and have a low boredom level, so being miles from anywhere without any public transport, was far from ideal for us.

Don't get me wrong, we did enjoy Zanzibar, its gentle and beautiful people and its slow pace of life.


Zanzibar lies 25 miles off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, and belongs to Tanzania. It consists of two large and several small islands, located about 6 degrees south of the equator.

The main island is 85km long and 30km wide, and the area is generally flat and low-lying.

There are two seasons in Zanzibar - wet and dry. The main wet season if from March to May, with a shorter rainy season in November. Dry season is from December to February and June to October. We went in June, but still had some rain. Humidity is generally quite high, but moderated by sea breezes. Temperatures between 26-28 degrees C.

Estimated population of Zanzibar is 900,000 to 1,000,000.

The language is Swahili, although English is widely used and understood in the tourist areas.

Most Zanzibari are practicing Muslims.

Fishing, farming and tourism are the mainstay of the economy. Cloves and other spices are the major export products.

The currency is the Tanzanian Shilling.

The people of Zanzibar are a mix of Indian Merchants, Persian settlers and freed African slaves.




Zanzibar was once the capital of Oman





In 1840, during Omani rule, Sultan Said moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, and the island was of great strategic importance for export of ivory and of course the slave trade.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Idyllic beaches
  • Cons:For us: the choice of hotel
  • In a nutshell:Maybe not my idea of paradise
  • Last visit to Zanzibar Island: Jun 2001
  • Intro Updated Aug 14, 2004
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Reviews (23)

Comments (10)

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2009 at 12:57 AM

    Hi Lady! Glad to see your always welcome writing on Zanzibar. We won't be there for more than a year yet, but putting in more details to the journey. How is life going for you in the UK? joe

  • marcbrazil's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2007 at 2:47 AM

    You write with passion, I would love to go to Zanzibar one day!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    Outstanding page on Zanzibar. So much to see and do.

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:33 AM

    Happy hunting Grets!

  • Feb 13, 2005 at 4:52 PM

    well if all goes well i will be going to this hotel in a month or so. Loved Zanzibar the last time, and this oage has helped me to finalise my decision. Thanks

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2004 at 3:48 AM

    so useful to get more imprints than my parents trip way back in the mid 50's ;-)))

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2004 at 2:50 AM

    Sounds like you had a great holiday! Zanzibar is such a beautiful island and I hope to go there again. I also went on a dolphin safari and only once they where close, people jumped in but then the dolphins were gone.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2004 at 12:18 PM

    Great page on this original place!

  • girladventure's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2004 at 7:39 PM

    Hi Grete! Welcome to VT! Great job on your pages. I always wondered about Zanzibar. Were the beaches clean? Thanks for visitng my Bryce page. Cheers from Los Angeles!

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2004 at 9:03 AM

    What did you think of Zanzibar? I have wanted to go there for years.Maybe it is the name but it sounds intreging. My hubby isn't interested. He doesn't think I would like the haggling.

grets

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