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Quick Now! Did you know these facts about Zanzibar?


List of interesting items in short form plus information links to the web.

Zanzibar is popularly known as the "spice islands.”

Zanzibar is located about 30 K off the coast of mainland Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar is actually an archipelago with the two main Islands of Zanzibar (also known as Unguja, the larger one) and Pemba (the smaller of the two).

Zanzibar was incorporated into the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964.

Zanzibar, which in 1992 had only 723,300 people, does have its own democratically elected president and government that run the internal affairs of the Islands.

Zanzibar's Serena Inn on the Stone Town waterfront is a splendid example of the careful preservation of historic buildings. This project undertaken by the Aga Kahn Fund for Economic Development, owner and manager of the Serena Hotels, involved the restoration and rehabilitation of two historic buildings , the Old Extelcoms Building and the Chinese Doctors' Residence.

Zanzibar has the largest number of carved doors in East Africa.

Zanzibar's Stone Town has 50 mosques and four Hindu temples.

The House of Wonders is one of the first buildings in East Africa to have electricity and Stone Town's oldest existing building.

In 1987, the Stone Town Conservation Authority was created to provide strict guidelines for architectural design and materials used in all renovations of public and privately owned buildings.

Above facts from Karen Hoffman's Stone Town story

• Zanzibar is the world's oldest functioning Swahili city.

• Zanzibar has seen an influx from the British, Dutch, Portuguese, Egyptian, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Arabs and Sumerians at various times in its history.

Zanzibar offers the visitor a variety of pristine beaches and stunning coral reefs.

Zanzibar's Muslim worshippers, during daylight hours of Ramadan lunar month, may not eat, drink, smoke or have sex. Exempt only are the sick, young children and travelers .

The earliest visitation to Zanzibar was in the 8th century, when the Arab traders arrived.

Zanzibar's oldest remaining building is the 11th century mosque at Kizimkazi .

The name Swahili comes from the Arab word sawahil which means 'coast'.


Many more facts and links to come.