Flag of Zanzibar.svg

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, with around 1.3 million inhabitants. Zanzibar is located approximately 40 kilometers from the African mainland and is politically a part of Tanzania.

Zanzibar's territory also includes the smaller island of Pemba and Latham Island. The main island of Unguja, better known as Zanzibar, is connected to the city of Dar es Salaam on mainland Tanzania by several daily ferry services. There are also several flight connections from Zanzibar International Airport to the mainland as well as to other European and Asian countries.

Despite the high annual number of tourists, half of the local population lives below the poverty line. The predominant language spoken in Zanzibar is Swahili, and English is also the official language. Arabic is also spoken in some island areas. The inhabitants of Zanzibar are almost exclusively Muslim.

The island of Zanzibar is also world-famous as a spice island; pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lemongrass, chili, vanilla, cardamom and other agricultural products such as cassava, starfruit, coffee, bananas, breadfruit, coconuts and pineapples grow there.

The capital of Zanzibar is the city of the same name, Zanzibar, with around 700,000 inhabitants. By far the largest city in the Zanzibar archipelago is both the state's seat of government and the cultural center. The most famous district of the capital is Stone Town with the historic old town and its colonial buildings.

The most important sights in Zanzibar include the famous white dream beach of Nungwi Beach, the Mercury House - birthplace of the famous Queen singer Freddy Mercury, the Old Fortress, the zoo "Cheetahs Rock", Nakupenda Beach, the old slave market, the cathedral Stone Town, Matemwe Beach, Turtle Sanctuary, Butterfly Center, Kiwengwa Beach, Stone Town Old Town, Prison Island, Darajani Market, Mtoni Palace Ruins, Nungwi Aquarium, Uroa Bay Beach , several spice farms, the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, the Kendwa Beach, the market in the Forodhani Gardens, the Shakti Temple, the famous Zanzibar Rock in the southeast of the island, the Malindi Mosque, the Marahubi Palace, the Fukuchani Ruins , the Kizimkazi Mosque, the House of Miracles, Kelele Square and other beautiful sandy beaches.

In February 2016 I traveled to the island of Zanzibar for the only time so far for three days. On the outward journey I used the ferry from Dar es Salaam, with the crossing taking about an hour.

The old, but very modern hotel I had previously booked was located directly on the coast of Stone Town and was therefore an ideal starting point for exploring the old town. Stone Town is very interesting with its colonial buildings and its many markets. I ended the evening with a fantastic view on the terrace of the well-known “Mercurys Restaurant”, right across from my hotel.

For the next day I had booked a full-day island tour for $80. First my taxi driver drove to the far north to the impressive Nungwi Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in the world. We continued along the tourist hotel complexes and white sandy beaches in the northeast of the island before we passed the many spice plantations in the interior of the island. I took a two-hour guided tour at a spice farm. It was very interesting to see, for example, how cinnamon is peeled from the tree trunks or how some other spices are harvested. Some of them, like nutmeg, I had never seen on trees or bushes before on my many travels.

After another final detour to Zanzibar City, I also took in the last colonial buildings that were not within walking distance the day before.

All in all, it was a very interesting day trip and a super pleasant stay on the island.

For me, Zanzibar is one of the three most beautiful destinations in Africa and one of the few that I would travel to again on the African continent.

The next day I continued with a flight to the legendary Kilimanjaro.