Zanzibar

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Zanzibar

Hakuna matata is Swahili for "no worries", and this is exactly the spirit that fills the atmosphere of Zanzibar —the Spice Island of Tanzania. A heavenly world sprinkled with charming colonial buildings, white sandy beaches, colourful markets, and flavours of exotic cuisines from all over the world.

Tanzania

Whether it's the mainland or the lesser-known islands of the archipelago, there is plenty of things in Tanzania to explore.

The Islands

The lush tropical forests and pristine beaches spread across what is officially called the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, made up of Unguja and Pemba islands. Latham Island, also called Fungu Kizimkazi, is very small and uninhabited. Mafia Island is home to about 46 thousand people and countless species of wild animals. Each island is surrounded by many smaller islands, most of them unsettled. Like mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar is an important centre of Swahili culture, and at the same time the meeting point of several ethnic influences. Following the Portuguese who arrived here in 1498, the island was heavily shaped by the Arabs during the Omani rule until the 18th century. The British empire, another addition to this eclectic mix of cultures, was also an important turning point that brought relief with the abolition of slavery. Besides slave trade, the island's strategic position also gave way to the rise of relevant commercial activity, and while the new era has brought the end of colonial conflicts (the region was granted independence in 1963), Zanzibar remains an important market for cloves, seaweed, and spices, all sold around the coral stone landmarks of Stone Town. For this reason, the Zanzibar Archipelago is also known as the Spice Islands.

Beaches

Unwind as you bury your toes in the warm white sand, or go active and try snorkelling or kite-surfing at one of Zanzibar's pristine beaches.

Dining

Nothing represents Zanzibar's rich cultural heritage better than its cuisine: from mishkaki, the East African beef to the octopus curry and chapatis inspired by India — there are plenty of flavours to spoil you throughout your stay.

Cafes

The hidden cafes in Stone Town are perfect for people-watching spots or a friendly chat with locals, made complete with a steaming cup of Tanzanian Arabica. Coffee has been a customary drink in Zanzibar ever since the arrival of Arab traders. Many locals will receive guests on their doorstep and share a pot of coffee together. Since Zanzibar is also known as the spice island, the fragrant cup is frequently spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, and served with plenty of milk and sugar. If you prefer your coffee unspiced and unsweetened, you'll find that the flavour of Tanzanian Arabica is bright and vibrant, with refreshing winy acidity.

Bars & Nightlife

Nungwi is known to have the most vibrant nightlife on the entire island, while in Stone Town you can enjoy cocktails with unforgettable sunsets. You can also party on the beach in Paje or Jambiani. The fun starts early in Zanzibar: as soon as the sun starts going down, the party lights and the music are turned on and the bars begin to fill up.

Shopping

Once you've soaked up the smells and colours of Zanzibar, don't forget to take them home with you. Stock up on some cinnamon and turmeric, and haggle a bit over the beloved tingatinga paintings.