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Karibu Zanzibar

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​Zanzibar (also known as Unguja) is an island off the coast of Tanzania in Eastern Africa. The island of Zanzibar) is known as the ‘Spice Island' because of its long-standing association with the clove industry. Zanzibar is a low lying stretch of land, crab claw shaped and lying 37 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania. It has always exerted a powerful fascination over the imagination of the world that is out of all proportion to its size. Zanzibar Town, on the western side of the island is the main settlement, the best-known part of which is Stone Town. Directly east of Stone Town is the growing section of Ng'ambo whilst to the north of the town are a number of pristine beaches. At the northern tip of the island is the dhow-building centre and tourist resort of Nungwi, whilst some of Zanzibar's best beaches are to be found along the eastern shore.


​Travelers, traders, raiders and colonizers from around the world have been drawn to Zanzibar throughout the centuries, Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Malays, Persians, Portuguese, Arabs, Dutch and the British have all set foot on the island's beautiful white beaches, each leaving behind a different legacy. The original inhabitants of the island were the Bantu, who probably migrated from the mainland across an ancient land bridge. By AD 700, the first Muslim influence had been established on Zanzibar as Arabs sailing from the Gulf, via the trade winds, began to settle there. By 1107 the first coral stone mosque was built at Kizimkazi in the south west. The Arabs, many from the Oman, intermarried freely with the locals to form the foundations of the Swahili people. The Shirazi, settlers from the Persian Gulf arrived around AD 1200, adding yet another ingredient to the Zanzibar melting pot. Portuguese control In 1498, the Portuguese were the first European power to gain control of Zanzibar, and kept it for nearly 200 years. In 1652 the Omani Arabs sacked Zanzibar and in 1698 the Portuguese surrendered Mombasa to them. Under the Sultans of Oman In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman with a ruling Arab elite and a thriving economy based on trade and cash crops. Plantations were developed to grow spices and a flourishing ivory trade also developed using tusks from elephants in the African interior. Stone Town, Zanzibar's main city was also the main trading port for the East African slave trade, dealing with around 50,000 slaves a year. At this time, the Sultan of Zanzibar controlled a substantial portion of the East African coast, which was then known as Zanj, and which included Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. It also included trading routes which extended much further inland, such as to Kindu on the Congo River. Gradually, however, Zanzibar came under the control of the British, partly as a result of the political impetus for the 19th century movement for the abolition of the slave trade. The relationship between Britain and the nearest relevant colonial power, Germany, was formalized by the 1890 Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany pledged not to interfere with British interests in insular Zanzibar. That year, Zanzibar became a British protectorate (1890 to 1913). At first, traditional Viziers were appointed as ‘puppet' governors by the British; between 1913 and 1963 British governors were appointed. The succession of a sultan of whom the British did not approve led to the Anglo-Zanzibar War. On the morning of 27 August 1896, ships of the Royal Navy destroyed the Beit al Hukum Palace; a cease fire was declared 38 minutes later, and the bombardment subsequently became known as ‘The Shortest War in History'. The islands gained independence from Britain in December 1963 as a constitutional monarchy. A month later, the bloody Zanzibar Revolution, in which thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed, established the Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. That April, the republic merged with the mainland former colony of Tanganyika, or more accurately, was subsumed by the much larger entity. This United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was soon renamed the United Republic of Tanzania, of which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region. ​​


Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)
Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) presents the annual Festival of the Dhow Countries during the first two weeks of July. The festival celebrates the arts and cultures of the African continent, the Gulf States, Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands of the Indian Ocean, collectively known as the Dhow countries. The centre piece of the festival is a film programme consisting of both competition and non-competition screenings. Fiction and documentary film and video productions compete for Golden and Silver Dhow Awards. While competition films are limited to productions with Dhow country connections, the festival programme includes films/videos from all over the world addressing themes which reflect concerns within the Dhow countries. Activities and events include music, theatre and dance performances, workshops and exhibitions. A large music programme also runs for the festival featuring artists from Tanzania alongside international musician. Many of these events are staged in Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) and Forodhani Gardens and free to the public. There are also workshops and seminars for women and children, and Village Panoramas which reach about forty villages across the Zanzibar islands of Unguja and Pemba.
sauti za busara
Sauti za Busara Festival
Every February for the past decade, the island of Zanzibar has hosted East Africa's best -loved and now largest - music festival in East Africa. Sauti za Busara (Sounds of Wisdom). A three -day cultural extravaganza of focusing in showcase a diversity of performing arts which are all rooted in Swahili language and traditions . The festival attract artist from all edges of the continent and from an ever growing scope of languages,musical genres and political stances.
Mwaka Kogwa
A four-day-long celebration, The origins of this event is Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the New Year and some of the events include huge bonfires and mock fights. These fights are between men who defend themselves with banana stems (in place of the sticks that were formerly used), and this fighting, in which everyone gets a chance, is said to let everyone air their grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in. As the men fight, the women stroll through the fields singing songs about life and love. They are dressed in their best clothes and are taunted by the men - and hurl good-natured insults in return - after the fight is over. The festivities vary from village to village but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. The festival takes place at the end of July
Mwaka Kogwa


By Air
access to zanzibar
Ethiopian Airline, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai and Kenya Airways are providing direct international connection on scheduled basis. Other Airlines such as The Royal Dutch Airline (KLM), British Air, Swiss Air, Egypt Air, Air France, Alliance Air, Emirates Air, Royal Swazi, Zambian Airways, and Air Zimbabwe fly to Dar – Es – salaam, where you can connect to Zanzibar either by Sea or by small local charters, some of which operate regular schedule services. These include Precision Air, Zan Air, Coastal Travel, Tropical Air, Flight Link, etc. There are also a number of regular chatter flights from Europe traveling direct to Zanzibar. Most of them are from Italy and Germany including Air Europe, Air Italy, Blue Panorama, Lauder Air, Livingstone Air, Mery Diana, Noes, etc.
By Sea
Mwaka Kogwa
If you prefer access by sea a number of speed boats operate on regular base. Travelling by boat allow you to experience the sight and sound of the country up close in an unforgettable journey. Bookings and reservations can be made at the ports and in towns or from the travel agent. Normally non-Tanzanian are required to pay in foreign convertible currencies. The time taken to travel between Dar –es- Salaam and Zanzibar varies depending on the type of the vessels, while the fasten may takes 60 minutes. Note: some cruise ship anchor or dock at Zanzibar port occasionally
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