10 Interest Facts you should Know About Zanzibar Island
The name Zanzibar is an Arabic word that is translated as 'the coast of black people'. The Zanzibar archipelago is a series of islands on the Indian Ocean about 16-31 miles from the mainland Republic of Tanzania. It is a semi-autonomous region of the Tanzania. The island has the best beaches in the world - and this is not an exaggeration. If you love lazing around in the sun, then this is the place to go. Below are a few facts that will give you an overview of the Island country.
1. Zanzibar is comprised of several islands, but two are the larger ones. Unguja is the largest one and is erroneously called Zanzibar. The other is called Pemba.
2. The island is home to the almost extinct Zanzibar Red Columbus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the Zanzibar Leopard.
3. Zanzibar has been home to intelligent humans (Homo sapiens) for more than 20,000 years.
4. The capital of Zanzibar is called Zanzibar City and its most historic feature is the ancient Stone Town.
5. Due to its proximity to Equator, Zanzibar is warm throughout the year and has equal day and nights (12-hours each) like most of the East African Countries.
6. Apart from tourism, the other economic activity in Zanzibar is spice growing. In fact, the island is sometimes fondly referred to as The Spice Island due to its cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper.
7. Some ancient potteries have been discovered in Zanzibar showing that it was a major trading route for the ancient Assyrians.
8. Amazingly, the shortest war ever recorded by man is the Anglo-Zanzibar War where the British bombarded the Beit al Hukum Palace and after 38 minutes, a ceasefire was called.
9. Thanks to Monsoon Winds, by the first century, Arabs, Persians and Indians were sailing to Zanzibar in their fast sailing dhows.
10. Throughout history, the Persians, Portuguese, Omani and British have fought to control the important island. It was seen as a gateway to mainland East Africa. In fact, the Sultanate of Omani was the first to trade slaves, cloves and ivory from East African Mainland.
The Island of Zanzibar boasts pristine white sand beaches, abundant sunshine, exotic Swahili dishes, a hospitable people and luxury tourists resorts. If your idea of fun is to mix a jungle safari with lazing on the beach, then you have just found a hidden gem in Zanzibar.
Where the pepper grows
Since the 7 th century the island supplied the world with spices and attracted migrants from the most exotic countries. Vanilla, cloves, nutmeg and pepper. Apparently they stayed "where the pepper grows" voluntarily. The location of this fertile island of Zanzibar also made the connection between East Africa and the rest of the world. Even distant fleets from the USA made their way down to Zanzibar not only to export the spices, but also settle there. Until today, besides tourism the export of spices is the main source of income. But the trade in spices has a dark side: Under arab domination it favored slave trade who were used as workers on the plantations in the 18th century. This was so lucrative that the simple city centre rapidly transformed into a thriving one – Stone Town. The slave trade was officially abolished in 1873 by the British.