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Activities, Tanzania
 28 Apr '24
 6 |  0 

Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean located 25 to 50 km (16-31 miles) off the coast of the African mainland. It consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, informally called Zanzibar) and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City. It is located on the island of Unguja and has a historic center, Stone Town, which is on the World Heritage List. Politically, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island that, together with Tanganyika, has formed the United Republic of Tanzania since 1964.

Zanzibar’s industry

Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia and tourism.


Zanzibar produces cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper. Hence the nickname “Spice Islands”.


Zanzibar has not been doing tourism for very long. Driven by government promotion, the number in this sector increased from 19,000 to 376,000 between 1985 and 2016. The islands are also very easily accessible via five ports and the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport with a capacity of 1.5 million passengers per year.

Zanzibar’s ecology

Marine: The marine ecosystem is important for the survival of fishing and algae culture. It also serves as a fish farm for the fish populations in the Indian Ocean.

Land: The land ecosystem is home to a few endangered species:
– the red colobus of Zanzibar,
– the servaline genet from Zanzibar
– the extinct or rare Zanzibar leopard.

However, not only the pressures from the tourism industry and fishing, but also larger threats such as sea level rise due to climate change, are raising environmental concerns across the region.

Zanzibar Attractions & Tours

Some insights about life on Zanzibar?

Swahili time is up, which means that Zanzibar operates on its own time zone. This might surprise newcomers. If someone says they’ll arrive at 1 (nitakuja saa moja) in Swahili, they might actually show up at 7 pm or 7 am. The day starts in the evening, unlike the Western concept of starting in the morning. Swahili is the primary language, and learning a few basic phrases will help you connect with locals. The culture is rich, with traditional foods like ugali, rice, and chapati, as well as fresh fish from the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar also has a tight-knit community. People are friendly and willing to help without any reason. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, expect kindness from your neighbors. But Zanzibar takes environmental conservation very seriously. Plastic Bags Are Illegal. They are banned, so you’ll need to adapt to reusable bags for shopping.
While Zanzibar is a tropical paradise, it’s also essential to be aware that malaria is still a concern. Take necessary precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Zanzibar offers modern comforts, despite being a developing nation. There is high-speed internet, satellite TV, and international cuisine all accessible to residents. So, enjoy their beach-centric lifestyle. The beach is the heart of Zanzibar’s daily life. Women walk along the shore, fishing or tending to seaweed crops during low tide. Men repair their dhows (traditional sailing boats) by the water. If you would ever consider moving to Zanzibar, embrace the laid-back lifestyle, immerse yourself in the local culture, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty!

Real estate and architecture on Zanzibar

Zanzibar, with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, has some distinctive real estate and architectural features that set it apart from other parts of Africa. Here are a few notable ones:

Stone Town Architecture
Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar City, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its architecture is a fusion of Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences. The iconic carved wooden doors, narrow winding streets, and coral stone buildings create a captivating atmosphere. Many of these buildings have intricate balconies, latticework, and rooftop terraces. The doors in Stone Town are a work of art. These elaborately carved doors often feature geometric patterns, floral motifs, and Arabic inscriptions. Each door tells a story and reflects the status and profession of the homeowner.

Beachfront Villas
Zanzibar’s coastline boasts stunning beachfront properties. Luxury villas with private beaches, infinity pools, and panoramic ocean views are popular among investors and tourists. These villas blend modern amenities with Swahili design elements.

Beach Resorts
Zanzibar is home to some of the world’s most exquisite beach resorts. These resorts often feature thatched-roof bungalows, open-air restaurants, and direct access to pristine beaches. The fusion of traditional Swahili architecture with contemporary comforts creates a unique experience.

Dhows and Beach Bars
Dhows (traditional wooden sailing boats) are an integral part of Zanzibar’s coastal life. Some beachfront properties incorporate dhows into their design, repurposing them as bars, lounges, or seating areas. Imagine sipping a cocktail on a dhow-turned-bar while watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean!

Spice Plantations
While not exactly real estate, Zanzibar’s spice plantations are worth mentioning. Some properties include private spice gardens where guests can explore cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and other aromatic plants. These lush green spaces add a unique touch to the island’s real estate offerings.

Remember that Zanzibar’s real estate market is still evolving, and there’s a mix of traditional and modern properties. Whether you’re interested in a historic Stone Town house or a beachfront villa, Zanzibar offers something for everyone!

Most important things to look for on Zanzibar

The most important thing to look for in **Zanzibar** is its **unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and historical significance**. Let me elaborate:

1. **Cultural Richness**: Zanzibar has a fascinating cultural heritage shaped by centuries of trade, migration, and colonial influences. Explore the narrow streets of **Stone Town**, where Swahili, Arab, Indian, and European architectural styles converge. Visit the **Old Fort**, the **House of Wonders**, and the **Sultan’s Palace** to immerse yourself in the island’s history.

2. **Beaches and Ocean**: Zanzibar’s beaches are pristine and idyllic. Look for accommodations near **Nungwi**, **Kendwa**, or **Paje** for soft white sands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Whether you’re into snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing by the shore, Zanzibar’s coastline is a treasure.

3. **Spices and Plantations**: Zanzibar is known as the “Spice Island.” Take a spice tour to discover cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and other aromatic plants. The lush green spice plantations are a sensory delight.

4. **Dhows and Sailing**: Keep an eye out for traditional **dhows** along the coast. These wooden sailing boats are not only functional but also part of Zanzibar’s cultural fabric. Some beachfront properties even incorporate dhows into their design.

5. **Local Cuisine**: Seek out local food markets and restaurants. Taste dishes like **pilau rice**, **seafood**, and **Zanzibari pizza** (a unique street food). The fusion of Swahili, Indian, and Arabic flavors is delightful.

6. **Sunsets**: Zanzibar offers breathtaking sunsets. Find a spot by the water, perhaps on a dhow or at a beach bar, and watch the sky transform into hues of orange and pink.

Remember, Zanzibar isn’t just about physical amenities; it’s about embracing the island’s soul, connecting with its people, and savoring the laid-back lifestyle.

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