The charm of culture and pristine nature

Zanzibar and Tanzania

Zanzibar, also called The Spice Island, is part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar), and Pemba. Zanzibar City is the main urban centre of Zanzibar, and its old part is Stone Town also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “old town”): it is located on the western coast of Unguja. Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, with a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

The heat of summer (corresponding to the northern hemisphere winter) is often cooled by strong sea breezes associated with the northeast monsoon (known as Kaskazi in Kiswahili), particularly on the north and east coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm year round. Rains occur in November but are characterised by brief showers. Longer rains normally occur in March, April, and May in association with the southwest monsoon (known locally as Kusi in Kiswahili).

Endemic mammals with continental relatives include the Zanzibar red colobus, one of Africa’s rarest primates, with perhaps only 1,500 existing. Rare native animals include the Zanzibar leopard and the Zanzibar Servaline Genet. There are no large wild animals in Unguja, and forest areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs, small antelopes, civets, and, rumor has it, the elusive leopard. Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife and a large number of butterflies in rural areas.

As for Zanzibar, the tourism sector of Tanzania is steadily rising year after year. Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. In addition to Zanzibar you might want to consider a safari in Tanzania mainland, the country has dozens of National Parks like the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ruaha, Selous and other smaller parks, such as Mikumi National Park, which is located near Dar es Salaam or Katavi. In fact majority of visitors are combining a safari in Tanzania and a beach extension in Zanzibar, feel free to ask for more information…