Posts Tagged ‘Zanzibar’
Zanzibar’s Indian Ocean offers world class watersports including scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, waterskiing and afloat on traditional local dhows.
Calm and peaceful paradise
The beaches in Zanzibar are a paradise, interspersed with picturesque fishing villages, where the people live a easy way of life, unchanged over the years. There are more than 25 fantastic beaches in Zanzibar, and some are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean.
At the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, approached by a road lined by banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees. This is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar island, so it is a good place to see traditional craftsmen at work.
On the west coast of Zanzibar, Mangapwani beach is worth a visit, and to the easterly are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani, all with stretches of beautiful and uncrowded sands.
Zanzibar also boasts several small offshore islands which are saint for a day-trip. Prison (or Changu) island is the most favourite with tourists because it is only a short trip from Stone Town. Originally, it was used by Arabs to detain recalcitrant slaves, and then a slammer was built by the British, but it was never actually used. Visitors to Zanzibar will notice a massive population of ancient Aldabra tortoises. Other islets near to Stone Town are Chapwani, Chumbe and Bawe.
It might not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, tiny changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with apiece other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors – there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating receptor of narrow streets and alleyways.
Stone Town was recently and deservedly declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Most of the houses that can be seen this day were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important trading centres in the Indian Ocean region. The coraline rock of Zanzibar was a good building material, but it is also easily eroded. This is evident by the massive number of houses that are in a bad say of repair. Several buildings have already been renovated and the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been established to co-ordinate the restoration of the town to its original magnificence. As a result of sensible policy, almost all of the major hotels built in Stone Town are housed in renovated buildings.