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Zanzibar – Island Paradise Tanzania

Zanzibar: An Island Paradise

Zanzibar sits about 31 miles off the coast of Tanzania, and is semi autonomous from the mainland. This small archipelago has switched hands many times over the centuries, controlled by Portugal, Oman and Britain before eventually becoming a part of Tanzania. The capitol on Unguja is called Zanzibar City. Stone Town is its historical center and is a World Heritage Site.

POA founder Marco in Zanzibar after catching a Dorado on a local fishing dow

POA founder Marco in Zanzibar after catching a Dorado on a local fishing dow

While tourism is one of the main industries on Zanzibar, it also produces and exports pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

There are a number of reasons why Zanzibar is referred to as an island paradise. It is just six degrees south of the equator, so it has a pleasant and warm climate all year round. There is a short rainy season in November, followed by a longer rainy from April through May, called the ‘green season.’

Tourists come here all through the year for the white sand beaches, the coral reefs that sit off the coast, and the abundance of marine life. Killer whales, humpbacks whales and many different kinds of dolphins can be found in the waters off of these islands. Great white sharks as well as many other shark species also inhabit the water. There are numerous species of tropical fish, and this is just a few of the things that attract visitors year after year.

Because of its deep waters, there are a number of marinas around Zanzibar, attracting luxury yachts of all different types. There are a number of hotels on the island, dining as well as shopping opportunities. Zanzibar’s main town, called Stonetown, is located about midway on the west coast of the island. Stone Town has a number of shady alleys that wind around and between the stone buildings, which have ornately decorated balconies, entrances and terraces.

The rock restaurant - Zanzibar

The rock restaurant – Zanzibar

It also has a number of circular towers and beautiful mosques. Here are some other important architectural features, including the Livingstone House, the Ithnashiri Dispensary Building, the Guliani Bridge and the House of Wonders, also called the Old Sultan’s Palace.

Before getting into a few more details on some of these points of interest, it is important to know how to get to Zanzibar. Dar es-Salaam has daily departures, leaving every couple of hours by speedboat. Zanzibar has an airport, with departures to and from Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilimanjaro and Dar es-Salaam. At six in the morning each day, a luxury coach leaves Moshi and arrives in Dar es-Salaam just in time to catch the ferry to Zanzibar.

As mentioned earlier, Zanzibar has a number of excellent white sand beaches and the island is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. These beaches are a perfect way to relax and take a break from a busy day of sightseeing. There are over twenty five different beaches on the main island. There are picturesque villages where fisherman have kept their way of life, largely unchanged through the ages.
At the northern tip is Nungwi Beach, accessible by a road lined with mangrove and coconut trees as well as banana palms.

Beautiful Zanzibar Coast

Beautiful Zanzibar Coast

This is also the dugout building capital of the island, and here you can see craftsmen creating canoes that remain the same for years. The Ras Nungwi Beach hotel is just a short distance away.

This is a hotel specializing in eco-tourism which has an unspoiled beach of it’s own. These hotel also offers a number of different water activities, including a fully equipped diving center that will take you out to the spectacular Mnemba Atoll.

If you are interested in visiting this island paradise, there are a large amount of lodges and hotels to chose from.

 

Explore Zanzibar on the map below to see a variety of places on the island that offer holidays and experiences to fit any budget.

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