Zanzibar: The spice of Africa

September 12, 2017

A tropical island off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is best known for its spice markets and beautiful beaches lined with palm trees.

Historic Stone Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2000, is one of the island’s treasures, with its distinct architecture and ages-old culture attracting visitors from around the world.

Zanzibar culture
A local dressed in beautiful, locally-made fabrics

Zanzibar’s main economic drivers are tourism, fishing and agriculture. Spice plantation tours are a popular tourist activity, and few visitors leave without fragrant cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper and other spices grown on the island. Zanzibar also exports seaweed and raffia.

Zanzibar Spice
Learn about exotic spices on a Spice Tour

The island has a thriving fishing industry, providing many locals with employment. Traditional dugout canoes and wooden dhows are still built on the island and used in its waters. 

Zanzibar Dhow
Stone Town's beachfront

With its beautiful coral reefs and warm, clear water, Zanzibar offers great scope for water sports and  snorkelling – one of the best spots to don your mask and flippers is at the Mnemba island reef. 

For a truly local experience, take a ride in a dala dala minibus taxi, and don’t miss a visit to the Forodhani Gardens night food market in Stone Town, or enjoy a typical Swahili sunset meal on the beachfront.

For a taste of the island’s nightlife, the monthly Full Moon Party held on the beachfront at the Kendwa Rock Resort is a fun way to let your hair down and dance the night away. 

The annual Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries, usually takes place in June in Stone Town and celebrates and showcases the island’s film, arts and cultural industries.

Book your ticket to visit Zanzibar at

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