Zanzibar is a unique coral island lying in the Indian Ocean a short distance from Tanzania. With Pemba, and about 50 other islands, Zanzibar originally was an independent country until 1964 when it was united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania under President Julius Nyerere. Presently it has its own President and a degree of autonomy.
The island's history goes back many centuries. Its heyday came in the early 19th century when the Sultan of Muscat moved his court to Zanzibar. Spice cultivation was developed (particularly the clove tree), and the slave trade was at its height - Zanzibar became the most important town in East Africa.
Zanzibar town is located midway along the West Coast of the island. The old part of the town, known as Stone Town, is composed of a network of shady, winding narrow alleys between old stone buildings with ornately decorated entrances and balconies. Numerous tiny shops here sell everything under the sun. Along the seafront are located several luxury hotels, the old Sultan's Palace (House of Wonder), the old fort, restaurants and the docks. Photos
Zanzibar may be reached by speedboat from Dar es-Salaam, (about 2 hours), daily departures. There are also several flights every day from Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports. A luxury, air-conditioned coach leaves Moshi (Kilimanjaro) at 6am arriving in Dar-es-Salaam in time to catch the last ferry