Discover the Zing in Zanzibar
Ever imagined what the Garden of Eden looked like? Well the archipelago that is Zanzibar should give you a good idea. Fringed by turquoise sea, coated by rich vegetation which lends to its nickname Spice Island, and embraced by white sand beaches it’s no surprise that the island has become a top honeymoon destination. If you aren’t in love when you get here, you will be by the time you leave.
Spellbinding with its exotic array of flora and fauna and fascinating with its colourful locals who are only too happy to tell you the history of their great land. And boy is there plenty.
Formerly under Portuguese rule, Zanzibar has a Med feel to it. The Portuguese ruled for over 200 years until the 1800s when the Arabs took control and Omani Sultans reigned until 1963 when the island was finally granted independence.
To truly get to grips with Zanzibar’s tumultuous history it’s best to head down to Stone Town, its Unesco heritage site. A maze of white washed walls, quaint homes and vibrant bazaars it’s still a hub of culture and life for the locals. Taking centre stage is House Of Wonders a colossal building named so because it was the first building to get electricity. In 1896 it was heavily bombed by the British, yet still intact it now serves as a museum. Neighbouring it is the Arab Fort, once a prison it now acts as an amphitheatre hosting annual film festivals. In the little alleyway to the side is a convenience store formerly the home to Queen legend Freddie Mercury.
The Swahili phrase Haukuna Matta, meaning no worries, is a popular one here, and this laidback attitude is evident in its people. Zanzibar’s community is made up of 40 per cent Muslims, 10 per cent Catholics and 10 per cent other religions yet everyone lives in unison. This is one of the few places in the world where you’ll find a mosque standing side-by-side to a church!
However, its history isn’t all too friendly, Zanzibar has a past that’s heavily involved in the slave trade. In Slave Market in Stone Town you’ll find the old whipping block, left as a poignant reminder of the oppression
The true beauty of Zanzibar can be found in its natural land – the beaches, forests and plantation farms. It’s thanks to its rich vegetation and its surrounding Indian Ocean that allows its cuisine to be one that is fruitful and heavily based around fresh fish. So go, relax, be healthy and imbibe the chilled characteristics of the gorgeous locals.
While You're There...
Go On A Spice Tour Zanzibar is also known as Spice Island due to its plethora of vegetation plants and there are many farmers all too happy to show you around their land, for a very small fee of course but it’s worth it. You’ll be introduced to fruit and spices you’ve never seen or heard of in your life. An interesting experience.
Monkey Around Jozani forest is teeming with monkeys including the Red Colobus which are an extremely endangered species. The last uncultivated and inhabited area on the island it’s a great place to really get back to nature. Join a tour or hire a car and drive to the wondrous forest.
Swim With Dolphins Surrounded by the Indian Ocean there is a colourful circus of fish living in its waters so scuba diving or snorkelling is a must. And if you’re lucky you may get close enough to a dolphin!