The Allure Of Spice Island
While the “Spice Island” of Zanzibar conjures up exotic images of sun-soaked beaches, kaleidoscopic sunsets and turquoise waters that offer some of the best diving in the world, it will also surprise you with a unique multicultural experience.
Located just off the coast of Tanzania, the Zanzibar archipelago was one of East Africa’s great trading centres. For centuries it was a gateway for international travellers, particularly traders voyaging between Arabia, India and Africa, creating a fusion of diverse cultures.
You can clearly see these cultural influences while walking around the World Heritage Site of Stone Town, Zanzibar City’s old quarter. Once the capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate and the flourishing centre of the spice trade, it is a town of significant historical importance.
Stroll through the maze of twisting streets and bustling bazaars, and you’ll see a fascinating mix of buildings: coral and stone houses that feature imposing wooden Zanzibar doors carved with Qu’ranic scripts; Indian houses that open onto courtyards and beautifully carved balconies; and Arab houses with their white-washed walls. Former palaces of Arab sultans, mansions that once belonged to Persian merchants, and the Old Fort also offer a glimpse into the town’s grand past.
Zanzibar is renowned as a spice capital. A visit to a local spice plantation is a wonderful way to learn more about and sample its legendary spices. Meanwhile, nature lovers can explore the Jozani Forest Reserve, which is home to a number of rare creatures including the Red Colobus Monkey.
Lounge on the beach, wander around colourful markets, enjoy plentiful watersports, encounter indigenous wildlife… Combining cosmopolitan flair with rustic charm, Zanzibar is an exotic destination that offers something for everyone.