It is always hard to choose a place whenever we plan to go on vacation. To be honest vacation planning is like world war three in my family and every one comes up with their own power point presentations ( yes literally, not kidding) to help us all decide where to go. And for me I am more into the tropical region or just sunbathing on the beach, soaking in the warm weather. Maybe some holiday resort kind of Island.
And then someone suggested Zanzibar. I googled it and it really does seem like an amazing place to party. Zanzibar is the semi-independent part of Tanzania in East Africa. It compromises of mainly small Islands and two large ones too. Pemba and Ungunja. The capital of Zanzibar is the Zanzibar City, which resides on the island of Unguja. Its historic epicenter is the Stone Town, which is considered to be a World Heritage Site.’
The name Zanzibar is actually derived from a Persian word. Zanzibar is to Africa what Hawaii is to America. Zanzibar is often referred to as a tourist’s paradise with its amazing weather and the best beaches in the world.
I do not want to bore you with the history of the place but one should know if somehow we get into a knowledge battle with some geography or history buff. You went to Zanzibar and don’t know squat about it, boo hoo. God I hate those know it alls. Anyways so Zanzibar used to belong to the Portugese in the 16th century (the time when people who were born in shitty countries just wouldn’t stay in their own and rampage the entire planet like some tantrum filled toddler who wanted more and more).At one point in time the Arabs also ruled Zanzibar. This makes me think, did it ever belong to its own people hm.
Persian traders used to use Zanzibar as a port and a base for their travel between India, the Middle East, the larger island and Unguja. The Persians founded garrisons on the Island and also constructed the first mosques in the Southern Hemisphere and Zoroastrian fire temples. Some of the Arabs also became rulers of the coastal cities due their immense wealth that they made from trading. Well as we have witnessed in history like a billion times, people from different origins never seem to live together in peace and the struggle for power continues. This happened between the Portugese and the Arabs and they began to slaughter each other like some gruesome scene from Game of thrones (well maybe it was not that intense but still it happened). And then the whities (the British) came in, surprise surprise. These people were seriously party poopers. Appeared where ever they were not invited. Anyways so long story short, they ended the slave trade that took place in Zanzibar.
All this history matters so much, is because now Zanzibar actually displays its ancient markings. Each invasive nation that came into Zanzibar left their cultural marks in the form of art and buildings etc. As of now, many of the high townhouses and winding streets remain the same and the tourists can roam around the Sultan’s palace, the Portugese fort and gardens, the House of Wonders, the Turkish baths of the old city and the houses which used to belong to the merchants. The African nations sure have seen their share of turmoil and they seem to be such peaceful people.
Zanzibar is known as the spice Island (Imagine if you wana be my lover being their national anthem, and with their intimate history with foreigners, I say why not). Anyways so Zanzibar does have many working plantations where the tourists can observe the cultivation of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves and a hundred other spices.
Zanzibar has an amazing coastline, lined with incredible beaches. And the waves are wicked, making it any surfer’s heaven. The surf and sand actually depends on the side of the Island that you are on. In the north, swimming in the ocean is less tricky due to the tides and the white and smooth sand makes for amazing days in the sun. While on the east coast, the waves break over sand bars and coral reef offshore and the low tide showcases small pools of small minnows, starfish and anemones. I am getting all pumped up just thinking about it. The oceans and the sea breeze has always been my cup of tea. The lazy, relaxing summers, pinacoladas with Marley on the stereo.
The west coast of Zanzibar is dominated by the Stone Town. There are slave claves that are visible at the time of low tide in the beaches of Mangapwai. Mangapwai and Bububu are less than an hour’s drive away. Just off the Stone Town is the Chloe Island Marine Park and nearby are the Grave, Snake and Prison Islands. So some days you can act like a history buff and go around visiting rural sites of the old city and then on other days you can lay back and relax on Zanzibar’s incredible beaches. This reminds me that I should definitely call my travel agent after writing this.
Menal Bay conservation Area is present on the south coast of Zanzibar. It is a sea turtle protection area where there are loads of endangered species of turtles present. They are breeded on the Island. Most people just come to visit the amazing display of turtles. The Jozani Forest is home to rare Colobus monkeys and small species of antelopes, another attraction in Zanzibar.
I don’t know about you but I am definitely going there again and again. Many travel websites offer insight and you can schedule your trip easily to Zanzibar.
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