The archipelago of Zanzibar, sometimes known as the “Spice Islands,” is made up of a necklace of islands that bead their way down the Eastern Seaboard, off the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar is made up of the main island, which has a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its capital, a sister island called Pemba with its extensive clove plantations, as well as the neighbouring Mafia Archipelago, known for its majestic coral reefs and whale sharks.
The discovery of microlithic tools attests to Zanzibar’s human occupancy dating back 20,000 years. When Arab traders found the islands and exploited them as a base for journeys between Arabia, India, and Africa, they became part of the global historical record. Although the archipelago produced few valuable items, the Arabs landed at what became Zanzibar City (Stone Town) as a handy site from which to trade with East African coastal towns because Unguja offered a safe and defensible harbour. They erected the first mosque in the Southern Hemisphere and maintained garrisons on the islands.
The Stone Town Slave Market has been closed for decades, but plaques commemorate the atrocities that previously occurred here. Visit this site to reflect on historical injustices. Learn about the historical significance of slavery in Zanzibar. Arab traders ventured to the interior of Africa, as far as the Congo, for about 1,000 years, buying or kidnapping healthy young individuals. Slaves who survived the arduous journey to Africa’s eastern coast were loaded onto dhows and carried to Zanzibar to be sold.
Zanzibar has a mystical allure that can be felt all around the archipelago. If drinking cocktails on white-sand beaches under swaying palm trees has been a dream of yours, now is the time to book your flight. The island’s nicest beaches can be located all around the shore.
Zanzibar, particularly Pemba Island, was formerly the world’s biggest clove grower, but since the 1970s, yearly clove sales have dropped by 80%. A fast-moving global market, international competition, and a legacy from Tanzania’s failed socialist experiment in the 1960s and 1970s, when the government-controlled clove pricing and exports, have all been offered as explanations. With Indonesia contributing 75% of the world’s cloves compared to Zanzibar’s 7%, Zanzibar has dropped to third place. Spices, seaweed, and exquisite raffia are all exported from Zanzibar. It also produces a lot of fishing and dugout canoes. Tourism is a significant source of foreign currency.
Zanzibar’s main city is separated into two sections: Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Ngambo. The buildings are mostly made of white coral stone and have a distinct Arab architectural character. Balconies surround central courtyards and open-arched rooms in Stone Town to keep the interiors cool at all times. The brass inlay on the outer doors is beautifully crafted. Narrow streets wind between century-old buildings, leading to attractive bazaars filled with carpenters, jewellers, hawkers, tailors, and coffee vendors. A protective reef extends along the island’s eastern shore, and it’s as gorgeous as it is effective.