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Interesting Facts about Zanzibar

Name: Zanzibar

Capital:Zanzibar City

Populations:The population of Zanzibar is 1,303,569 (2012 Census)

Languages:The national language of Tanzania is Swahili. There is a total of 126 languages spoken in Tanzania.

Local Chitchat: Good Morning: Habari za asubuhi (Swahili)

Thank you: Asante  (Swahili)

Thank you very much: Asante sana (Swahili)

Popular sayings: Pole Pole-Slowly Slowly

: Hakuna Matata -No worries

Food: Some regular Tanzanian mainland foods are mshikaki (marinated beef), chapati (a kind of bread), wali (rice), samaki (fish), ugali (maize porridge), nyama choma (grilled meat), and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat). Spicy foods are common along the coastal regions of Tanzania. These regions also use a lot of coconut milk.

Currency: Tanzanian Shilling


Must do’s:

  • Changuu
  • Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park
  • Nungwe Beach and Marine Turtles
  • Chumbe Island
  • Stone Town
  • Old Fort
  • Spice Route
  • Darajani Market
  • Slave Chambers

✓  Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, was born in Zanzibar in 1946. His birth name was Farouk Bulsara.

Zanzibar is not one island; it’s a group of islands just off the coast of East Africa. There are two large main islands, Pemba and Unguja – the latter is sometimes informally (and incorrectly) referred to as “Zanzibar”. 

The shortest war in history was waged in Zanzibar. The Anglo-Zanzibar War between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate took place on 27 August 1896. It lasted between 38 and 45 minutes before a ceasefire was called. 

Zanzibar is a year-round destination temperature-wise with average daytime highs between 28C and 32C and night-time lows between 20C and 25C. February is the most humid month, while March to May are the wettest months. 

Zanzibar was the first country in Africa to introduce colour television– in 1973. 

Zanzibar never fails to evoke the exotic, the magic of ancient times, from early explorers and missionaries, to slave traders and colonial rulers. All this is mirrored in Stone Town and its historical architecture and the rich ethnic mixture of its culture.

With living reefs surrounding the islands, Zanzibar is a prime dive destination. The water temperature is warm, visibility is usually excellent, currents are weak and there’s an abundance of colourful fish, all of which contributes to an ideal location for first time and novice divers. Qualified divers must produce their certification and a log book.

Zanzibar is popularly called The Spice Islands, due its main economic activity after tourism being spice exports – mainly cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper.