The Spice Island
Zanzibar..! The name brings up images of pirates and seafarers, palm-studded white—sand seashores, and aromas of exotic spices. This serene island is a charming melting pot of Arabic, Indian, and Tanzanian cultures. It has developed from a turbulent past in its central role as a trading center for spices, slaves, and ivory.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
The National Museum is a good starting point for learning more about the history and culture of Zanzibar. It contains relics from the time of the sultans and the early explorers, as well as traditional carvings and exhibits of local wildlife, including a good collection of birds and reptiles.
HOUSE OF WONDERS
The house of wonders is filled with pillars, felted falconry, and intricately carved doors. It was built by Sultan Barghash in1883 and was occupied by the British in 1911 when the sultan moved to the less pretentious palace, now called the people's palace on the other side of the street.
This is a rare example of a still pristine coral island. A UN—protected area, it carries the accolade of one of the most spectacular coral gardens to be found anywhere in the world. Tanzania's first Marine Park and the first privately managed Marine Park in the world, Chumbe offers an opportunity to snorkel through the shallow water reef sanctuary or explore the forest reserve and historical monuments that include a hundred—year—old lighthouse and the only ancient mosque with Indian architecture.
Brilliant white beaches lapped by the warm water of the Indian Ocean provide the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, and take a break from busy sightseeing. Modern resorts nestle in the shade of coconut palms, providing cool and comfortable retreats. The beaches are a paradise. Just south of Zanzibar town are Fuji Beach and Chuini Beach, which both offer a range of facilities, while to the north there is Mangapwani where the only noise is likely to be the sound of the ocean. On the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, where visitors can watch fishermen’s boats being built here or swim in the coral lagoons.
On the northeast coast are the beaches of the Matemwe, Mapenzi, Kiwenga, and Uroa with their wide stretch of unclouded sands and opportunities to explore the underwater world. Other well—developed resorts are Pingwe, Bwejuu, and Jambiani are found in the southeast.