Facts


Map of Zanzubar Island

Related image

Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. On its main island, Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar, is Stone Town, a historic trade center with Swahili and Islamic influences. Its winding lanes present minarets, carved doorways and 19th-century landmarks such as the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace. The northern villages Nungwi and Kendwa have wide beaches lined with hotels. 

The name Zanzibar is an Arabic word that is translated as ‘the coast of black people’. The Zanzibar archipelago is a series of islands on the Indian Ocean about 16-31 miles from the mainland Republic of Tanzania. It is a semi-autonomous region of the Tanzania. The island has the best beaches in the world – and this is not an exaggeration. If you love lazing around in the sun, then this is the place to go. Below are a few facts that will give you an overview of the Island country.

Population: 157,634 (1988)
Capital: Zanzibar City
Area: 950 mi²

Language


English and KiSwahili are the official languages, spoken by most Zanzibari; beside this, there are many ethnic groups, who speak localised dialects and languages. Some basic KiSwahili will help you to enjoy your trip even more – and even poor attempts to speak it will be hugely appreciated by most islanders.


Currency

Zanzibar’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). Currently (Aug 2009) £1 = Tsh2,275. Most lodges on Zanzibar charge in US$; very few will take travelers’ cheques, although most accept credit cards.

Image result for Tanzanian shilling note bank

Geography

Zanzibar is one of the Indian Ocean islands. It is situated on the Swahili Coast, adjacent to Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania).

The northern tip of Unguja island is located at 5.72 degrees south, 39.30 degrees east, with the southernmost point at 6.48 degrees south, 39.51 degrees east. The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel, which at its narrowest point is 36.5 kilometres (22.7 mi) across. The island is about 85 kilometres (53 mi) long and 39 kilometres (24 mi) wide, with an area of 1,464 km2 (565 sq mi). Unguja is mainly low lying, with its highest point being 120 metres (390 ft). Unguja is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs.The reefs are rich in marine biodiversity.

The northern tip of Pemba island is located at 4.87 degrees south, 39.68 degrees east, and the southernmost point is located at 5.47 degrees south, 39.72 degrees east. The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel some 56 kilometres (35 mi) wide. The island is about 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 23 kilometres (14 mi) wide, with an area of 985 km2 (380 sq mi). Pemba is also mainly low lying, with its highest point being 95 metres (312 ft).

Climate
The heat of summer (corresponding to the Northern Hemisphere winter) is often cooled by strong sea breezes associated with the northeast monsoon, particularly on the north and east coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm year round. Rains occur in November but are characterised by brief showers. Longer rains normally occur in March, April, and May in association with the southwest monsoon


Economy
Zanzibar’s economy is based primarily on the production of cloves (90% grown on the island of Pemba), the principal foreign exchange earner. Exports have suffered from the downturn in the clove market. Tourism is an increasingly promising sector, and a number of new hotels and resorts have been built in recent years. Zanzibar exports spices, seaweed and fine raffia. It also has a large fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism is a major foreign currency earner.
The Government of Zanzibar legalized foreign exchange bureaux on the islands before mainland Tanzania moved to do so. The effect was to increase the availability of consumer commodities. The government has also established a free port area, which provides the following benefits: contribution to economic diversification by providing a window for free trade as well as stimulating the establishment of support services; administration of a regime that imports, exports, and warehouses general merchandise; adequate storage facilities and other infrastructure to cater for effective operation of trade; and creation of an efficient management system for effective re-exportation of goods.
The island’s manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and processed agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-producing zones and encouraged the development of offshore financial services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, petroleum products, and manufactured articles.

Religion

According to the CIA World Factbook, Zanzibar’s population is almost entirely Muslim. with a small Christian and indigenous minority.

The Catholic minority is served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Zanzibar.

Safety
Although Zanzibar is generally safe, tourists should be aware that problems do occur from time to time. For example there was a series of armed robberies at east coast hotels during 2008 until the suspect was shot and killed by police. The best practice is to wear the minimum jewellery, never carry large amounts of cash and do not confront attackers.


Health
As long as you stay up-to-date with your vaccinations and take basic preventive measures, you’re unlikely to succumb to most of the possible health hazards. While Tanzania has an impressive selection of tropical diseases on offer, it’s more likely you’ll get a bout of diarrhoea or a cold than a more exotic malady. The main exception to this is malaria, which is a real risk throughout most of the country. Road accidents are the other main threat to your health. Never travel at night, and choose buses or private transport over dalla-dallas to minimize the risk.
Recommended vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella.


Education
In 2000 there were 207 government schools and 118 privately owned schools in Zanzibar. There are also two universities and one college: Zanzibar University, the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) and the Chukwani College of Education. SUZA was established in 1999, and is located in Stone Town, in the buildings of the former Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Language (TAKILUKI). It is the only public institution for higher learning in Zanzibar, the other two institutions being private. In 2004, the three institutions had a total enrollment of 948 students, of whom 207 were female.
The primary and secondary education system in Zanzibar is slightly different from that of the Tanzanian mainland. On the mainland, education is only compulsory for the seven years of primary education, while in Zanzibar an additional three years of secondary education are compulsory and free. Students in Zanzibar score significantly less on standardized tests for reading and mathematics than students on the mainland.
In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, national service after secondary education was necessary, but it is now voluntary and few students volunteer. Most choose to seek employment or attend teacher’s colleges.


Culture
Zanzibar’s most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favorite music, Taarab.
Important architectural features in Stone Town are the Livingstone house, The Old dispensary of Zanzibar, the Guliani Bridge, Ngome kongwe (The Old fort of Zanzibar) and the House of Wonders. The town of Kidichi features the Hamamni Persian Baths, built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Barghash bin Said.
Zanzibar also is the only place in Eastern African countries to have the longest settlement houses formally known as Michenzani flats which were built by the aid from East Germany during the 1970s to solve housing problems in Zanzibar.


Cuisine
Zanzibari cuisine reflects several heterogeneous influences, as a consequence of the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic nature of Zanzibar’s and Swahili heritage. It is a mixture of various culinary traditions, including Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British and even Chinese cuisine.

Sports

Football is the most popular Sport in Zanzibar, overseen by the Zanzibar Football Association. Zanzibar is an associate member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), but not of FIFA. This means that the Zanzibar national football team is not eligible to enter national CAF competitions, such as the African Nations Cup, but Zanzibar’s Football Clubs get representation at the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League.

The national team participates in non-FIFA Football tournaments such as the FIFI Wild Cup, and the ELF Cup. Because Zanzibar is not a member of FIFA, their team is not eligible for the FIFA World Cup.

The Zanzibar Football Association also has a Premier League for the top clubs, which was created in 1981.

Since 1992, there has also been Judo in Zanzibar. The founder, Mr. Tsuyoshi Shimaoka established a strong team which participates in national and international competitions. In 1999, Zanzibar Judo Association (Z.J.A.) was registered and became an active member of Tanzania Olympic Committee and International Judo Federation.

March 2013 the Zanzibar Shotokan Karate (ZASHOKA) has joined the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF).

Transport
There is no government-owned public transportation in Zanzibar. The privately owned Daladala, as it is officially known in Zanzibar, is the only kind of public transportation. The term Daladala originated from the Kiswahili word DALA or five shillings during the 1970s and 1980s when public transport cost five shillings.
There are five ports in the islands of Unguja and Pemba, all operated and developed by the Zanzibar Ports Corporation.

Comments are closed.