Where is Zanzibar ?
Zanzibar is an island archipelago located off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar belongs to Tanzania, which is an East African country located between Kenya and Mozambique.
This archipelago of islands, known worldwide is famous for its magnificent fine sandy beaches, its seabed and all its practicable activities on this small paradisiacal island.
Zanzibar is composed mainly of two islands:
- Unguja, the largest island, which is referred to when talking about Zanzibar
- Pemba, the second island, located north of the first one
A little history of Zanzibar…
Zanzibar’s history goes back to the first millennium.
Between the 12th and 15th centuries, the archipelago found its way into trade with Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Trade with the East also brought Islam and Arab architecture that still characterizes Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar.
During the 16th century, Zanzibar fell under Portuguese control, then, at the end of the 17th century, under the domination of the Sultanate of Oman.
From the 19th century onwards, the growing interest of Europeans in East Africa and the end of the slave trade led to the decline of the Sultanate of Oman’s domination.
In 1890, Zanzibar entered the British « protectorate », led by Omani Sultans, supervised by British colonial representatives.
In 1963, Zanzibar was declared independent.
When to go to Zanzibar?
The Zanzibar archipelago has a pleasant equatorial climate all year round.
However, Zanzibar has two rainy periods:
- From March to May
- From October to December
The best seasons are therefore as follows:
- January and February
- From July to September
However, you should be aware that conditions are very variable.
I went to Zanzibar from March to May, the weather was very good in March and April. But I had a lot of rain in May.
Tanzania: is it safe?
Tanzania, a country in East Africa, attracts many tourists from all over the world every year. These tourists come mainly for safaris in the many national parks that are found there.
In cities, many cases of delinquency are reported to tourists. Indeed, many cases of assault and theft are reported every year. It is therefore essential to be very careful when walking around the city. This is especially true in large cities, such as Dar Es Salaam or Arusha. Tourists are advised not to walk alone in the evening. It is better to take a taxi when possible.
It is recommended to be very careful in places frequented by tourists (hotels, bars etc…).
Outside the cities, of course, you have to be careful, but you should know that the Tanzanians are still very kind.
I went to Tanzania for 3 months, as a woman, alone, and I had no problems. I met many locals who were willing to help me without asking for anything in return. These people have their hearts on their hands.
Avoid walking around with sophisticated items (phones, cameras, jewellery…) so as not to attract too much attention. Just wear all-purpose outfits and keep your bag with you.
Zanzibar: is it safe?
Zanzibar is an amazing archipelago because of the different cultures that can be found there.
Zanzibar inhabitants are proud of their archipelago, as Zanzibar is known for its low crime rate. However, as everywhere, don’t think there is no crime at all.
Of course, Tanzania is a poor country so don’t show your fortune on the streets. This may attract malicious people.
Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, has a higher crime rate, although still very low. There may be robberies, in particular.
Wherever you go, be careful, keep your belongings close to you.
Zanzibar being 98% Muslim, in order to avoid any problems, be respectful to the locals and dress appropriately (covered shoulders and knees for women).
I spent 2 months in Zanzibar, in a small village south of Stone Town, I lived in the middle of the village with the locals, I was the only « tourist » and I had no problems.
As long as you respect the traditions, premises and culture of the country and if you do not display your fortune before the eyes of all the inhabitants, nothing should happen to you. However, it is clear that vigilance and caution must be maintained at all times.
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