About the island
In a translation from Arabic Zanzibar means "The shore of black people".
It is the biggest in the archipelago of the three islands (Unguja and Pemba) with the main town of the same name. The oldest part of the town is called The Stone Town. It has the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
History and politics:
In the past Zanzibar was an important and flourishing centre of trade. It was visited by Assirians, Arabs, Egyptians, Persians, Dutchmen and Chinese. Next Portuguese, who were pushed out by the Oman sultans. In the XVIII and XIX century, Zanzibar was the center of the slave trade.
In the XIX century, Indian bankers and European merchants settled here. The British, German and French fought for the island. Since 1964, Zanzibar was under the British protectorate. On 26th of April 1964, Zanzibar together with Tanganyika created a new country - the United Republic of Tanzania. Its own laws govern semi-autonomous Zanzibar. It has its own government, consisting of the representatives of Arabic, Indian and African peoples. There are 1,7 million of Zanzibar inhabitants, who do not feel they belong to Tanzania.
Zanzibar is called "the island of spices''- the whole Zanzibar archipelago is well known for their abundance. In Zanzibar they cultivate pepper, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger which, apart from the coconut oil, are main products exported from the island. Moreover, seaweed and raffia are also popular export products of Zanzibar. Fishing is well developed here as well, but the most important role in the economy is still the developing tourism.
Each year, Zanzibar attracts tourists from all over the world. They seek beautiful beaches, colorful reefs and perfect cuisine, which is the unique combination of Arabic, Indian and African tastes. The natural wealth, perfect climate, friendly locals and varied touristic offer seem to be an attractive invitation to visit the island.
Just for a little while or for longer.