The very name Zanzibar conjures up the scent of cloves and spices and visions of an
exotic island with a turbulent history. The islands of Zanzibar lie only 20 kms off
the mainland of Tanzania and consist of two islands, Pemba and Unguja - popularly
referred to as Zanzibar.
The history of Zanzibar goes back pre-10th century and has always been associated
with the slave trade. Much of this history is still evident in the historic
buildings which are now being restored. There are many tales of the slave trade,
but in fact slavery in Zanzibar only started after the 8th century.
In the later part of the 19th century, Zanzibar became an important stopping-off
point for vessels plying the Indian Ocean and developed as a major business centre
for cloves and ivory as well as slaves.
Zanzibar is now a peaceful island with its fascinating history well documented and
of much interest to the visitor. There are excellent hotels both in and close to
the Stone Town and on superb beaches which line both the west and east coast of the
The Stone Town:
A fascinating historic town with narrow streets, superb carved Arab doors and very
few cars! Here you can explore the winding paths, looking for antiques, stop off
for a cold drink in a modern bar and visit the beautifully restored Dispensary of
the Old Fort. A guided walking tour is highly recommended.
The Spice Tour:
Drive into the hinterland and take a guided tour of one of the spice plantations.
You will see the spice bushes and learn about harvesting and the uses for the
spices. Spice baskets, containing freshly picked spices, are available for sale. On
your drive you may come across a Persian bath, right in the country, brought by a
ruler whose wife could not leave her bath at home!
The Eastern Beaches:
Beautiful golden beaches, modern hotels, and friendly, welcoming people make the
east coast a perfect quiet getaway. Try deep sea fishing, scuba diving, sailing, or
just relax and enjoy the peaceful ambience.
|On February 15th, we met up with Evelyn's cousin Liz at Jo'burg airport for a flight to Zanzibar(Tanzania).
Liz and Evelyn already have their spots reserved and the Zanzibar beach, and just need to organize a
Safari through one of the agencies.
Our trip to Zanzibar has been organized via numerous emails and phone calls between Liz, Evelyn, and
myself in January before our RTW journey began. We've organized a hotel in Zanizbar's capital Stone
Town that is on the beach and walking distance to shopping and great restaurants. Our choice was the
Tembo House Hotel. A compromise between the ultra-expensive resorts on Zanzibar costing $400 per
night, and the ultra-cheap hotel with flea bag mattresses. A choice that made sight unseen from a
selection of hotels in the Lonely Planet Tanzania book. But a choice everyone was happy with.
Our trip to Zanzibar is a story of warm beaches, great dining, and fun spice tours.
|TALL WORLD TALES