Situated in the Indian Ocean, 36 km off the coastline of mainland Tanzania lies Zanzibar. Zanzibar officially refers to the archipelago that include Unguja and Pemba, surrounded by about 50 smaller ones.
The 18 th Century the Sultan of Oman visited Zanzibar and was amazed by the favourable climate of the Island. Comparing with his homeland's climate, the Sultan decided to stay in Zanzibar. As a result of his decision to settle in Zanzibar, he brought and planted spices, traded slaves, gold, and ivory.
Covering an area of 1464 sq km, Zanzibar is a mainly low lying island, with it's highest point at 120 meters.
Zanzibar is an island state within the United Republic of Tanzania, and has its own semi-autonomous government made up of a Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives.
Once the trading centre of the whole of East Africa, Zanzibar attracted Sumerians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Chinese and Malays. The great explorers, Burton, Speke, Livingstone and Krapf continued their journeys from these shores.
The historic Stone Town with its narrow winding streets, vivid markets and colourful bazaars makes for an interesting cultural visit.
Commonly known as the "Spice Island"; famous for spices such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom, peper and others). Spice tours are a popular excursion.
At Stone Town you will see the following things: The Stone Town Cultural Centre (Old Dispensary) situated along the Mizingani Road, the four storey building originally built as a private residence, but later used by colonists as Dispensary. These are very important sites to visit during your tour in the Archipelago of the Island.
Mafia Island lies off Rufiji River delta about 120 Kilometres south of Dar es Salaam. It is 160 Kilometres south of Zanzibar and the same distance east of the Selous. It is reached in 45 minutes from Dar es Salaam, one hour from Selous and Zanzibar, by light aircraft. The island was an important trading post from 11 th to 13 th centuries.
Today the island is known as a Resort Island for deep-seas fishing and scuba diving. With 40,000 inhabitants, Mafia is an archipelago ringed by pristine coral reefs.
It offers ideal conditions for diving, snorkeling, big game fishing, surfing, sailing, windsurfing scuba diving, swimming and boats excellent cuisine. The park also offers bird watching and picnic excursions
Located about 80km from Zanzibar Island, about the same distance directly east of Tanga on the Tanzanian mainland. With its hilly landscape its highest point is less than 100 metres above sea level, by size Pemba is smaller than Unguja.
Arab sailors once named Pemba as 'El Huthera', meaning the Green, due to her dense and lush vegetation. There are more natural forests and plantations than on Zanzibar Island, and Pemba grows more cloves than her Zanzibar. Today, earnings from the clove crop are supported by other agricultural products, cattle raising, and by fishing, which is an important source of livelihood. Pemba is also popular for its voodoo and traditional healers.