Zanzibar City – The Amazing Stone Town and the "Other Side"
Location: On the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago
Zanzibar is located on the west coast of Unguja, due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel. Boats to the city can be boarded from Dar es Salaam or Pemba. The island’s only airport, Zanzibar International, lies about 10 km south of the centre.
Culture: An enticing mix of cultural influences
Stone Town is a city of profound historical and artistic importance, thus subsequently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The city flourished as a commercial centre, exporting clove and other spices, while the slave trade was also prominent here. Built in 1883 as a ceremonial palace for Sultan Barghash, the House of Wonders forms a perfect rectangle and rises topped by a high clock tower over several storeys, enclosed by tiers of pillars and balconies. In its prime, the palace interior had fine marble floors and was installed with electric lighting. It was also the first building in east Africa with an electric lift, righteously claiming its name "House of Wonders".
Activities: Swimming in the Indian Ocean
Stone Town is a profound cultural and architectural marvel, and whilst shopping for exotic spices and woven raffia cloth in the local bazaars allows you to experience local culture, the true gems of Zanzibar are the spectacular sandy beaches with the greyish fishing canoes floating in the deep blue water of the Indian Ocean. In the evenings, head to the popular waterfront street food market near the Forodhani Gardens and mingle with locals.