If you want a tropical island holiday with an African feel, or if you want to combine your perfect safari holiday with an island getaway then look no further than Zanzibar which is just off the coast of the African country of Tanzania.
Where It All Began
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Persians were the first foreign immigrants to land on Zanzibar. Owing to its position, the island nation became a hub spot for the slave trade, a scourge to which many African countries fell victim. It went through stages of Portuguese and British rule until it became independent and merged with Tanganyika to become Tanzania.
What To Do In Zanzibar
Zanzibar has an area of about 2 461 km². It is 85km long and 39km wide. This makes it slightly larger than another well-known African island getaway, Mauritius, which measures 2 040 km².
With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Zanzibar is the perfect getaway for anyone wanting to escape the hamster when and get some much-needed downtime. And with cellphone signals being incredibly poor, relaxation is made that much easier!
The Wildlife Of Zanzibar
One of the things that Zanzibar is well-known for is the huge amount of wildlife. In Jozani Forest, to the south of the island, you’ll find all species of monkeys. Zanzibar Tourism states that the most famous of the monkey species on Zanzibar is the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey.
Another type of animal which is native to Zanzibar is the Pemba Flying Fox. This bat has an endearing dog-like face and has an auburn furry coat. It is said that the Pemba Flying Fox is the largest fruit-eating bat in the world.
The Spice Tour
The spices from Zanzibar are famous throughout the world and the island boasts many spice farms. Typical spices that you’ll find on your tour include:
If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone on the farm who will climb a palm tree to get you a coconut for you and will serenade you with the Kenyan pop song Jambo Bwana.
Stone Town is the main town of Zanzibar and here you can find all sorts of delights which you can wow your friends back home with. If you’ve thought of ways to grow your money you can even buy gems at the market.
First up, be warned that you’re going to need to bargain. If you go into a shop and show interest in a piece, the shop keeper will tell you how much it is. And if you say that you’re ‘just looking’ they will ask you how much you want to pay for the item. So, be prepared!
Something that you’ll find in mostly every shop that you go to are beautiful leather beaded sandals. They are quite affordable and are unique to this part of the world, so we suggest that you take a pair (or pairs!) home with you.
Once a week, the food vendors put on a night market. They all gather in one of the main squares and treat tourists and locals alike to typical Zanzibarian cuisine. When you’re accepting something to drink – especially water – make sure that the bottle is sealed. Many tummy bugs are transmitted through the tap water, so you don’t want to fall victim to one of these and ruin your holiday!
Zanzibar is well worth a visit and together with their gorgeous locale and friendly people, you’ll come away feeling like a million bucks!