This is a whole archipelago with the main island of the same name, located northeast of Dar es Salaam, 35 km from the coast. The main advantages of this resort are a rich and diverse cultural heritage, carefully preserved coastline, clean coastal waters and many species of marine animals. The best beaches are located in the southeast of the island, while entertainment and nightlife are in the north.
The capital of the island is Stone Town.
Once this island was the abode of romantic tourists with tents and backpacks. Mid-range to high-end hotels now line the coast, and young travelers are found mostly in the northern part of Zanzibar.
The beaches of Zanzibar
Zanzibar has white, clean sandy beaches lined with picturesque fishing villages. Not far from the capital are the beaches of Fuji and Chuini with a rich selection of water sports, and to the north there is a very quiet and secluded beach of Mangapwani. At the northern end of the island near the town of Nungwi, you can swim in beautiful coral lagoons. On the northeast coast of Zanzibar are the beaches of Matenwe, Mapenzi, Kiwenga and Uroa, which have long been chosen by divers. Other good beaches, Pingwe, Breuu and Jambiani, are on the southeast coast. There, guests from the north can enjoy water sports and fishing, as well as idly watch the work of local fishermen.
Entertainment, excursions and attractions of Zanzibar
The capital of Zanzibar is Stone Town, founded by Arab traders in the 9th century, one of the most impressive places on the coast. This is a chaotic cluster of winding labyrinth streets with many shops, bazaars, mosques, courtyards and fortresses. The city is adorned with two former palaces of the sultans, two huge cathedrals, colonial mansions, abandoned ancient Persian-style baths and a whole collection of bizarre foreign consulate buildings. Not far from the city are the ruins of several palaces, the “cave of slaves” Mangapwani and the unique Khosani forest. On Turtle Island, tourists will have a unique opportunity to look at luxurious specimens of giant turtles, which cannot be found even in the best zoos in the world, and the forest of the island is rich in exotic plants.
Special “spice tours” leave from Stone Town every day: after all, once the island supplied half the world with spices. During this tour, you can climb trees in an attempt to pick a coconut, learn how to cut cinnamon and distinguish breadfruit from jackfruit, and at the same time taste it all.
Diving in Zanzibar
The main dive center of Zanzibar is located in Stone Town. Of the many dive sites on the island, a few should be highlighted:
- Pange Reef in the west of Zanzibar – a maximum depth of 14 m, a wide variety of corals and tropical fish. Ideal for learning to dive in “open water”: the sea is calm and shallow. Night diving will allow you to see here crabs, squids, stingrays and other inhabitants of the ocean, who prefer the dark time of the day for walking.
A British ship that sank in 1902 and is now a unique artificial reef and home to moray eels, lionfish and other seaweed fish. Many parts of the ship can still be seen, others are only vaguely visible under the layers of coral.
- Boribi Reef is one of the best dive sites in Zanzibar. Here are the most beautiful underwater mountains and various corals that have formed over the centuries the likeness of huge columns. Here you can see large lobsters and white sharks swimming past. The maximum depth is 30 meters.
Until the Miocene, the archipelago was part of the African continent.
According to archaeological evidence, the island has been continuously inhabited for at least 20,000 years. Presumably, Unguja, under the name Menufia, is mentioned in the ancient Greek geographical work Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. In the first millennium A.D. e. the island was visited by Indian, Arab and Persian merchants. In 1107, the first mosque in the southern hemisphere, the Kizimkazi Mosque, was built in the north.
The first definite news about it appears in the 10th century, when the Persians from Shiraz appeared here. The locals still refer to themselves as “Shirazi”, although the Persian settlers were quickly assimilated. They brought Islam to Zanzibar. Currently, Muslims make up to 88% of the population, the rest are followers of African pagan cults and Christians.
In the Middle Ages, a slave trade developed in Zanzibar, who were caught in the African jungle. Over time, the slave trade was concentrated in the hands of merchants from Oman, who formed the core of the local aristocracy. In the 16th century, Zanzibar was part of the colonial possessions of Portugal, along with Mombasa and Hormuz. All R. In the 17th century, the Omani Arabs recovered from the blow dealt by the emergence of European colonizers and began to push them out of the western Indian Ocean. True, in Zanzibar, the power of the Sultan remained nominal for a long time.
In 1505, the entire Zanzibar archipelago came under the control of Portugal, and in 1698 – under the control of Oman. The Sultanate of Oman reached its greatest prosperity in the first half of the 19th century under Sultan Said ibn Sultan.
In 1840, Said ibn Sultan moved the capital to Stone Town on the island of Unguja. Unguja in his reign was the largest trading center, where trade was carried out throughout the Indian Ocean, primarily in slaves and cloves, which were grown on plantations right on the island.
By 1853, the most powerful of the Omani sultans, Said ibn Sultan, had established control over large swathes of the African coast and moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar. The island was experiencing a new upsurge associated with an increased demand for ivory and slaves – goods that were supplied to local markets from Africa. Under the Sultan, extensive construction was carried out in Zanzibar; The architectural monuments of the island are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1861, the Zanzibar Sultanate seceded from Oman, and in 1890 it became a British protectorate.
In early 1964, the British government handed over Zanzibar to the Arab Sultan, and a week later Zanzibar was proclaimed an independent state. After the departure of the British, an uprising began on the island: the black population did not want to be under the rule of the Arabs anymore and overthrew it. The revolution was accompanied by the killing of Arabs, Indians and Europeans. In early 1964, during the Zanzibar Revolution, the monarchy was overthrown and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba was proclaimed. In April 1964, Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika, becoming an autonomous region within the state of Tanzania.
In 1964, the authorities of Zanzibar and Tanganyika signed an agreement on the creation of a single state – Tanzania (the name is a combination of the words “Tanganyika” and “Zanzibar”). The Zanzibar Islands are a semi-autonomy within Tanzania with the administrative center in the city of Zanzibar. Since 2005, Zanzibar has had its own flag, parliament, and also has its own president.