Ex­plor­ing Zanz­ibar

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL - For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.bookall­sa­faris.com

There is much to see and do in Zanz­ibar, whether you are looking for an ad­ven­ture, a touch of his­tory or just pure re­lax­ation. Zanz­ibar's scenic land­scape is sec­ond to none and is home to unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world. Is Zanz­ibar your next escape? Here are 5 splen­did to-do ac­tiv­i­ties that you should add to your travel itin­er­ary!

True to its name, Prison Island is a for­mer prison for slaves and a quar­an­tine sta­tion fro Zanz­ibar. Strate­gi­cally lo­cated just off the Old Stone Town, Prison Island of­fers more than its no­to­ri­ous his­tory. It is also home to gi­ant land tor­toises known as the Gi­ant Aldabra Tor­toise. These large crea­tures were pre­vi­ously im­ported from the island of Sey­chelles in the 19th cen­tury and have made Prison Island their home ever since.

Gi­ant Aldabra Tor­toises can live up to 2 cen­turies long and is an her­biv­o­rous an­i­mal, eat­ing grass, leaves and woody plant stems. Take the op­por­tu­nity to feed and pet these gen­tle gi­ants when you take a stroll along Prison Island!

Get Up-Close & Per­sonal with En­dan­gered An­i­mals

Zanz­ibar is also home to some of the world's most en­dan­gered an­i­mals in­clud­ing the red colobus mon­key and the ser­va­line genet. The Zanz­ibar red colobus mon­key can be found on some is­lands of the Zanz­ibar Ar­chi­pel­ago in­clud­ing the larger island of Un­guja. Like most pri­mates, they are a so­cial species liv­ing in troops be­tween 15-30 an­i­mals. The Zanz­ibar red colobus is the most en­dan­gered mon­key species in Africa, with a pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mate of be­tween 2,000 to 3,000 in­di­vid­u­als.

An­other en­dan­gered species found in Zanz­ibar is the Zanz­ibar ser­va­line genet. You'd be in­ter­ested to know that this sub­species of the ser­va­line genet was only re­cently dis­cov­ered and named in 1995! Live Zanz­ibar ser­va­line genets were first pho­tographed in 2003, al­low­ing for new in­for­ma­tion about the genet to be doc­u­mented. As of yet, its con­ser­va­tion sta­tus is still un­known.

Both these en­dan­gered species can be found at the Jozani Chawka Na­tional Bay Park on Un­guja Island. Due to its close prox­im­ity to main­land Tan­za­nia, trav­el­ers usu­ally com­bine a Tan­za­nia & Zanz­ibar sa­fari trip to be able to catch a glimpse of these small an­i­mals in the wild!

Ex­plore Nungwi & Kendwa Beaches

Ask trav­el­ers what they think is the top thing to do in Zanz­ibar and most would prob­a­bly say to visit the is­lands' many beaches. Fa­mous for its pow­dery white beaches and pro­tec­tive bar­rier reef that line its Eastern coast­lines, beaches in Zanz­ibar are sec­ond to none. There are many beaches to choose from should you go ex­plor­ing but Nungwi and Kendwa beaches are the most pop­u­lar choices among lo­cals and tourists.

Nungwi beach is lo­cated north of the island and is unique be­cause it doesn't ex­pe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant low tides, al­low­ing swim­mers to

swim all day with­out hav­ing to chase the waves all the way out into the ocean. An­other pop­u­lar beach is Kendwa beach, lo­cated south of Nungwi. Kendwa is Nungwi's qui­eter coun­ter­part, boast­ing a lesser crowd and a more re­laxed at­mo­sphere. Kendwa is the per­fect place to just sit back, re­lax and per­haps en­joy a re­lax­ing dose of yoga or even an ex­hil­a­rat­ing surf ex­pe­ri­ence while you watch the sun­set!

Sa­ti­ate the Taste Buds

It is only fair that island life comes with it a scrump­tious selec­tion of fresh seafood! Find your­self in­dulging in the fresh­est seafood avail­able in Zanz­ibar at the Forod­hani mar­ket. This mar­velous night­time food mar­ket opens its doors to hun­gry food­ies in the late af­ter­noon. At the mar­ket, you will find your­self spoilt for choice as you in­dulge in row af­ter row of grills filled with fish, prawn, lob­ster, crab and squid. This is street food at its best – in­ex­pen­sive and de­li­cious. But as with all street food, do ex­er­cise cau­tion and choose only the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents. Pay at­ten­tion to the chef who is pre­par­ing your food to en­sure good hy­giene.

In­dulge in a Spice Tour

It is al­most un­think­able to leave the island also known as “Spice Island” with­out go­ing on a spice tour. In the 19th cen­tury, Zanz­ibar was known as one of the world's lead­ing pro­duc­ers of a va­ri­ety of spices in­clud­ing nut­meg, cin­na­mon and clove. Ini­tially in­tro­duced by Por­tuguese traders to the island in the 16th cen­tury, mod­ern day Zanz­ibar still pro­duces high qual­ity spices that are ex­ported in­ter­na­tion­ally.

On your spice tour, you will see how spices are cul­ti­vated, ex­pe­ri­ence first hand their smell and taste and get the op­por­tu­nity to buy some lo­cally grown spice home! The vi­brant col­ors of the spices are def­i­nitely as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds and a great photo op­por­tu­nity to share with fam­ily and friends. Per­haps you might also be inspired to cook up a storm in the kitchen!

Lo­cated in the In­dian Ocean just 15 miles off the coast of Tan­za­nia, Zanz­ibar is an ex­quis­ite gem in East Africa. The Zanz­ibar Ar­chi­pel­ago con­sists of many small is­lands and two larger ones. It is a semi­au­tonomous part of Tan­za­nia, with its cap­i­tal lo­cated on the island of Un­guja.

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