Zanzibar is an insular semi-autonomous province which united with Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. It is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 km (16–31 mi) off the coast of the African mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre, Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.

Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes referred to locally as the “Spice Islands”. Tourism in Zanzibar is a more recent activity, driven by government promotion that caused an increase from 19,000 tourists in 1985, to 376,000 in 2016.The islands are accessible via 5 ports and the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, which can serve up to 1.5 million passengers per year.

Zanzibar’s marine ecosystem is an important part of the economy for fishing and algaculture and contains important marine ecosystems that act as fish nurseries for Indian Ocean fish populations. Moreover, the land ecosystem is the home of the endemic Zanzibar red colobus, the Zanzibar servaline genet, and the extinct or rare Zanzibar leopard. Pressure from the tourist industry and fishing as well as larger threats such as sea level rise caused by climate change are creating increasing environmental concerns throughout the region.

Zanzibar is a captivating destination located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. Known for its pristine beaches, rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Zanzibar offers a wide range of tourism experiences.

Beaches and Water Activities:

Zanzibar is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, with powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the warm Indian Ocean, and engage in various water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, and fishing. The coral reefs surrounding the islands are teeming with marine life, making it an ideal destination for underwater exploration.

Stone Town:

The historic heart of Zanzibar City, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fascinating cultural hub. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, admire the unique blend of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European architectural styles, visit the bustling markets, and learn about the island’s history and spice trade heritage. Stone Town also offers opportunities to visit historic sites, museums, art galleries, and sample local cuisine.

Spice Tours:

Zanzibar is often referred to as the “Spice Island” due to its long history of spice cultivation. Visitors can take spice tours to explore the plantations, learn about the cultivation and processing of spices such as cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, and enjoy the fragrant aromas of the spice gardens.

Dhow Cruises:

Dhow cruises are popular activities in Zanzibar, offering a unique way to experience the coastal waters and admire the scenic beauty of the islands. Traditional sailing vessels called dhows take visitors on leisurely cruises, often including sunset cruises, snorkeling excursions, and opportunities to visit remote sandbanks.

Jozani Forest:

Jozani Forest is the largest remaining natural forest in Zanzibar and home to the endangered red colobus monkeys, as well as other primate species, birdlife, and unique plant species. Guided walks in the forest provide an opportunity to spot wildlife, learn about the ecosystem, and appreciate the island’s biodiversity.

Cultural Experiences:

Zanzibar has a rich cultural heritage influenced by a blend of African, Arab, Indian, and European traditions. Visitors can engage in cultural experiences such as visiting traditional villages, attending local festivals, participating in Swahili cooking classes, and enjoying traditional music and dance performances.

Spice Markets and Local Cuisine:

Zanzibar’s markets are vibrant and bustling, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Visitors can explore the markets, interact with local vendors, and sample the flavors of Zanzibari cuisine, which is characterized by its fusion of Swahili, Arab, and Indian influences.

Beach Resorts and Accommodations:

Zanzibar boasts a range of beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, and eco-lodges, offering comfortable accommodations with stunning views and easy access to the beach. These establishments provide a relaxing atmosphere, spa facilities, and a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.

Zanzibar’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality makes it an enchanting destination for tourists. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, immersing yourself in history and culture, or indulging in adventurous water activities, Zanzibar offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to different interests and preferences.