General Information About ZanzibaZanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. On its main island, Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar, is Stone Town, a historic trade center with Swahili and Islamic influences. Its winding lanes present minarets, carved doorways and 19th-century landmarks such as the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace. The northern villages Nungwi and Kendwa have wide beaches lined with hotels
Zanzibar Culture and History
HistoryThe name Zanzibar is of Persian and Arabic source. The Persians originate the name from Zangh Bar which means the Negro Coast. The Arabs derive Zanzibar from the Arabic Zayn Zâ€™al Barr which means Fair is this Land. The main language is Kiswahili. Even if you only speak a few words you will make many friends in Zanzibar. English is also widely spoken and many residents also speak Arabic. French and Italian are also spoken by some locals especially in the tourist areas.
LandscapeZanzibar or the Land of the Black People was used by the Arab traders as a base for voyages between Arabia, India and Africa. The finest exotic spices grown on the island on the ‘cash crops’, the ivory which came form Africa, and the most terrific ‘slave trade’, made it a centre of commerce, conquered and exploited along centuries by great empires: Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Omani Arabs, English. The very peaceful and secluded white sand beaches of Zanzibar, the Spice Island. The Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Omani Arabs, English used it for their voyages as a world trade point. Today the ‘Land of the Black People’ is a tropical and marine paradise in the middle of the green-turquoise crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean…. A place where the sun always sets over Africa
Given its British colonial influences and Muslim culture, most of Zanzibar’s nightlife centers on the sundowner tradition. Nonetheless, though relatively quiet after dark, there is still a terrific scene for dancing and drinks. Stone Town, the island’s urban center, offers the most opportunity for a night on the town. Nungwi, at the northern tip, and Jambiani and Paje, on the eastern coast, also have popular bars and beach clubs. Here are some of the constant favorites among tourists and locals alike: