Explore the islands with us and discover the evocative heritage of Shirazi and Omani sultans, slave traders and spice merchants! Learn about the fascinating culture of the Zanzibaris, swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, and relax on the white sandy beaches beneath palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze!
Zanzibar is mysterious, romantic and intriguing.
Once it was one of Africa’s most prosperous countries, due to its position on the ancient trade routes between the countries along the Indian Ocean and the African interior. Spices, ivory, slaves and minerals were among the treasured goods that were traded in Zanzibar for centuries. Immigrants from Arabia, India, Persia and China came to settle on the islands and mixed with the local Bantu people to create the distinctive Swahili society and culture.
Later, European colonial powers left their mark, too: the Portuguese during the 16th and 17th century, before they were ousted by the Omani Arabs, who maintained power until the revolution in 1964, and the British, who took it as a protectorate following the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty in 1891.
Now no longer very prosperous in the fiscal sense, the islands still have a wealth of culture and many historical monuments which commemorate the African, British and particularly Arab influences – sultan’s palaces, cathedrals, mosques, Hindu temples, fortresses and old colonial houses.
Zanzibar is an island partner in the United Republic of Tanzania. It is located in the Indian Ocean about 35 km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at Longitude 39° East and Latitude 6° South of the equator. It is an archipelago of around 50 islands, of which Unguja (Zanzibar) and Pemba are the largest. The highest point is 130 m above sea level.