The gorgeous island of Zanzibar is also called ‘Unguja’ and is a part of the Zanzibar Archipelago located in the Indian Ocean. Home to some of the finest beaches in the world, this island is a perfect place for you to escape the hustle-bustle of crowds and unwind amidst serene natural surroundings. It also gives you the chance to enjoy some exciting outdoor activities on the beaches as well as in the crystal-clear blue waters that rush to its shores. This island is one of the two large islands in the archipelago, the other being Pemba Island.
While thinking about your Zanzibar holidays, you’d probably think that the island is all about white-sand beaches and blue waters of the ocean. However, you might not be aware of the fact that this island has some fascinating attractions you’d like to explore during your time spent in this part of the world. One of them is the historic centre of the island’s capital city. This historic centre is called ‘Stone Town’ and it was recognised in the year 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While exploring this historical and cultural centre of the island, you’ll come across quaint alleys and old buildings with African, Arab, European, and Indian influences. You can also buy some fresh produce while exploring the popular Darajani Bazaar.
You also wouldn’t like to miss the spice plantations on the island, which have achieved worldwide fame in recent times. Today, no holiday on the island would be considered complete without a visit to the plantations of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, pepper, nutmeg and other spices. Led by a knowledgeable guide, the tours to these plantations allow you to know more about these spices and their culinary and medical properties. Your guide would also explain the historical significance of these spices. Another pleasing aspect of this tour is that you’ll get to witness the life of the locals staying close to these plantations.
A trip to the nearby Prison Island would be a great opportunity to unwind on its shoreline and feel the warm rays of the sun. It would take about half an hour to reach this island from Zanzibar by boat. The name of this island comes from the fact that it was once a place where the slaves were kept in captivity. During your Zanzibar holidays, you can make a trip to this island and relax amidst vast expanses of natural beauty. You’ll also get to see the giant tortoises roaming around freely in some parts of the island.
Butterfly Centre is yet another fascinating place worth exploring while holidaying on the island of Zanzibar. The different kinds of butterflies housed at this centre would be a delight to watch. By visiting this place, you’ll also be helping the authorities in their mission of alleviating poverty from the island. The centre also trains the local community in butterfly farming. The newly-trained farmers are then paid for bringing in the pupae of butterflies and the funds to pay them comes from the profits from the entrance fees charged for visiting the Butterfly Centre.