Zanzibar is one of Africa’s, and Tanzania’s, most storied places, and it’s one of those few locations on Earth that seems to embody the notion of a tropical paradise. Located on an island archipelago off of Tanzania’s mainland, Zanzibar City is the largest town in the region, at a steady population just over 200,000. Within reach of the town is everything Zanzibar has to offer.
The city is a nexus for Western travelers, so there is a thriving international community, and it’s not difficult to arrive here from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city.
Within the city, the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the Old Town/Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site. Its Swahili architecture incorporates Arab, Persian, Indian, European and African styles, and cars are often too wide to navigate the area’s charming, narrow, winding streets.
Of course, from the city you have access to all of Zanzibar’s resorts and spectacular beaches. Seafood is exquisite here, and culture is vibrant. The island was also the birthplace of rockstar and “Queen” frontman, Freddie Mercury.
Although Zanzibar is dominated by a Sunni Muslim culture, the island is more relaxed with these values than you’ll find elsewhere. For instance, although prayer calls are regular, alcohol is often served throughout the day regardless of the schedule.
The city’s international flavor has also been an inspiration to its natives, who have branched out into communities around the world. There are Zanzibari communities in the US, UK, Greece, Italy and Canada.
Whether to live or visit, your life isn’t complete without experiencing Zanzibar!