10 interesting facts about Zanzibar

Recently, I have been exposed to a little taste of what Zanzibar has to offer. The Zanzibar archipelago is a series of islands on the Indian Ocean about 16-31 miles from the mainland Republic of Tanzania. They say that Zanzibar has one of the best beaches around the world, the greatest history, and beautiful people!

Here are 10 interesting facts about Zanzibar


1. Real tourism in Zanzibar did not start up until 1995

2. This tiny island off the East coast of Africa dominated trade between Africa, India, and the Middle East. In particular, it was the key tripod for the highly profitable slave trade. Arab traders would use Zanzibar as their base to launch slave-raiding expeditions in the interior of Eastern Africa.

3. Due to its proximity to the Equator, Zanzibar is warm throughout the year and has equal days and nights (12 hours each) like most East African Countries.

4. The shortest war ever recorded by man is the Anglo-Zanzibar War where the British bombarded the Beit al Hukum Palace and after 40 minutes, a ceasefire was called.

5. Zanzibar is popularly known as the spice islands.

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

7. The name Swahili comes from the Arab word ‘Sawahil’ which means coast.

8. Zanzibar is an archipelago, which means it is not a single island but consists of many different islands. The two larger islands are Unguja and Pemba. Pemba and the smaller islands offer amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities. The east coast of Unguja boasts the best beaches.

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


10. Zanzibar was the first country in Africa to introduce color television. However, the first TV services on the mainland of Tanzania weren’t introduced until 1994, due to presidential opposition

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