My first encounter with the name Zanzibar was at school when I was doing history. As I became an adult, I heard discussions about Zanzibar and my perception of this place was that it was an exotic destination in a faraway land. To top it all, even the name Zanzibar, immediately redirected my mind to a bar of chocolate. I am glad to say that my perception of the place being exotic was not far-fetched. I discovered that Zanzibar is on an island called Unguja in the Indian Ocean, which makes it a unique phenomenon.
Zanzibar was previously an independent country until 1964 when it was joined with Tanganyika to form Tanzania. However, it currently has its own President and government and runs its own affairs as a separate entity.
Zanzibar is the place to go for nature-lovers as it houses amazing flora and fauna. There are many forests that host an array of animals like monkeys, bush pigs, all types of avian species and even wild animals such as leopards. One of the most popular forests to see when there is the Joza Natural forest.
In addition to the wonderful greenery and animals, Zanzibar Island is the home of spice plantations. These spice plantations are a foodies’ haven because they have amazing high quality spices and also offer spice tours. You can tantalized your aromatic senses with the abundant choices of spices they offer. On the other hand, if shopping is your thing, the island is packed with markets which sell handcrafted artifacts made by the locals. Stone town is one of the places that is popular for enticing gift shops and market places. A trip to Zanzibar will give you the platform for indulging in rich food, spices and landscapes all the while treating yourself to some goodies and even buy some for your loved ones.
Dolphins are also a common sight in Zanzibar especially in Kizimkazi village. It is said that some of them get so close to the islands, if you are tempted to take a dip, you can swim with them if they allow. Ferry and boat rides are also popular mainly because there are used as a mode of transport from one island to another.
Tourism in Zanzibar is still developing and showing all the signs of massive success for the near future. There has been continual local support for the region, and many other travelers discover this island. Continued support of this tourist destination will help the local economy flourish. Travel in Africa is important. It is believed that when the tourism sector of one country escalates, it impacts the general development of the continent. Emerging local economies will grow from tourism and job creation grows.
I do hope that those who love globetrotting, have already started listing the beautiful Zanzibar in their traveling diaries on the “places to go” page. Do take time to explore and enjoy the splendor this African gem possesses.
Written by Gladys Mutemeri, Contributor Writer, SwaricMedia.com