Beach Holiday


Zanzibar is an island steeped in culture and history – a destination which brought adventurers, seafarers and traders from far and wide. The Zanzibar archipelago is set in the Indian Ocean and made up of the larger islands of Pemba and Unguja (also called Zanzibar Island). Zanzibar is also known as the ‘Spice Island’ due to the delicious variety of spices grown on the island’s many plantations. Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, boasts a labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling marketplaces, beautifully carved wooden doors, breathtaking mosques and grand Arab residences. Another must-see attraction on Zanzibar includes the Jozani Forest Reserve – home to the rare Kirk’s red colobus monkey and Aders’ duiker. Off the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar is Mnemba Island – an idyllic private island featuring luxurious accommodation, breathtaking scenery and rich marine diversity.


Zanzibar’s history was significantly influenced by its geographical location. Situated along the Indian Ocean routes and blessed with prevailing winds, the island became easily accessible to traders and colonists from South Asia, Arabia, and the African Mainland. The earliest immigrants were Africans, with Persians following suit. However, it was the Arabs who exerted the most profound impact due to the island’s strategic position as a hub for Arab-led slave trade expeditions in Africa and extensive maritime commerce.

During the 16th century, the Portuguese took control of the seaports along the eastern African coast but were eventually ousted by Omani Arabs in the 17th century. As the demand for plantation slaves in North and South America surged in the late 18th and 19th centuries, Zanzibar emerged as the epicenter of the African slave trade. Additionally, the island played a vital role in the ivory trade, with slaves being employed as porters to transport the valuable commodity. In 1890, the British declared a protectorate over Zanzibar, which endured for 70 years. Then, in April 1964, the presidents of Zanzibar and Tanganyika signed an act of union, leading to the creation of Tanzania later that year.