Zanzibar - a sound name, full of fascination and charisma.
As a part of Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government, a parliament and a president. Its highest court is not subject to the highest court in Tanzania. More than 95% of the population are Muslims.
Zanzibar was the most important slave and ivory trade capital of Africa in the 19th century .
The archipelago Zanzibar has an area of 4891 km². It covers the main island of Zanzibar and Pemba as well as almost 50 small islands and peninsulas. Zanzibar is located about 40 km from the mainland, in the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar and Pemba are part of a coral reef barrier, which stretches over hundreds of kilometers of the coast of East Africa. The surf on the coast is comparatively weak due to the upstream reefs. The tidal range is about 3 m.
The island of Zanzibar, with its palaces and oriental alleyways, awakens dreams of 1001 nights and enchants with the sweet scents of carnation, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom.
Zanzibar is often referred to as a spice island.
Zanzibar offers fantastic beaches with beautiful lodges and hotels that are perfect for relaxing after safaris or mountain climbing.
But many excursions can be undertaken as well. A must visit is Stone Town, with its city walls, steeples, minarets, magnificent palaces, the watchful weekly market and much more.
You can also get to know the the spices of the island better on a spice tour.
The following excursions are also possible:
- Safari blue: Day trip with a dhow, picnic and snorkeling
- Jozani Forest: visit the last remaining rainforests in Zanzibar,
Mangrove forest and observation of black and white colobus monkeys and
- diving and snorkeling tours, dolphin tour and Prison Island (giant tortoises).
Here, all types of water sports can be made.
Pemba is a small sister island of Zanzibar. There are less tourist on Pemba than on the main island. Pemba's original landscape with its irregularly shaped coastline and dense mangrove forests is dominated by steep slopes and deep valleys.
Due to the many reefs and sandbars the island can only partially be served by large ships.
Because of its four million carnation trees, some more than 100 years old, Pemba is also known as the Carnation Island of the Indian Ocean.
Mafia is the southernmost island of the archipelago of Zanzibar. It lies 25 km east of the river delta of the Rufiji River, which crosses the Selous Game reserve.
The coral reefs that surround the island are a paradise for divers and snorkelers. The underwater world of the island is protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park.
In the Chole Bay in the south of the island, sandbanks, small islands and tropical beaches invite you to dive, snorkel, sail and bathe.
On the east coast one can even observe sea turtles. With some luck you can also watch whale sharks, humpback whales and airbats. The vegetation consists of bushes, baobabs, palm trees, fruit trees and mangroves.
The northern islands of Zanzibar and Pemba are far more popular among Tanzanian travelers.
They offer more accommodation and excursion possibilities.