The verdant isle of Ungujua, the archipelago’s principal island commonly referred to as Zanzibar, is a green gem that lies some 50km off the coast of East Africa. Zanzibar has for many centuries been a destination for travelers and traders due to its position within the Indian Ocean’s trade wind cycle. In addition to the aquamarine beauty of Zanzibar’s coastline, its labyrinthine capital, Stone Town, is an exceptional heritage site. Arab, Indian and 19th century European houses, as well as mosques, churches and temples all attest to the influences on which Zanzibar’s unique culture draws. The island’s historic wealth was based on the trade of cloves, slaves and ivory under the Omani Sultans of Zanzibar who ruled (at least nominally) until shortly after Independence from the UK in 1963. Today Zanzibar is increasingly open to the interest shown by travelers drawn to its fascinating heritage, stunning beaches and marine life.
Zanzibar Town (“Stone Town”)
The restored Jodhani Gardens on Stone Town’s waterfront come alive at night with an array of cheerful vendors serving snacks and refreshments to visitors and locals alike against the imposing backdrop of the 17th century Omani-built Old Fort. Stone Town’s merchants and shops, often half hidden in side alleyways, offer an array of Zanzibari and East African products, including fine local carvings and spices as well as a growing choice of small clothes boutiques. Cafes and restaurants serve an array of local and international food, including Italian and Indian cuisine.
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