Welcome to Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, and 6° south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town – said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.
For most visitors Zanzibar Town means Stone Town, the historic quarter where you can wander for hours through a maze of narrow streets, easily losing yourself in centuries of history.
Each twist and turn brings something new – a former palace, a Persian bathhouse, a tumbledown ruin, a coral-stone mansion with carved doors and latticework balconies, or a school full of children chanting verses from the Quran.
Today Zanzibar Town (sometimes designated Zanzibar City) is the capital of the state of Zanzibar, and by far the biggest settlement on Zanzibar Island. It’s divided into two unequal parts, separated by Creek Rd: to the west is Stone Town, while to the east are the more recently built areas known as Ng’ambo (literally, ‘The Other Side’), with other suburbs such as Amaani, Mazizini, Magomeni and Mwanakwerekwe, an urban sprawl of shops, markets, offices, apartment blocks, crowded slums and middle-class neighbourhoods.