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Zanzibar City simply referred to as Zanzibar, is the capital and largest city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. It is located on the west coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, roughly due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel. Zanzibar City has a population of approximately 205,870 people with a diverse culture.
Zanzibar City comprises of two areas, the Stone Town and Ng’ambo [“The Other Side”] which were historically divided by a creek, now marked by a large street called Creek Road.
Stone Town is the historical core of the city because of its unique architecture and culture also declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Ng’ambo is a much larger, modern area that developed around Stone Town after the Zanzibar Revolution, with office buildings and large apartment blocks such as those of the Michenzani neighborhood. Zanzibar flourished as a trading center during the 19th century, especially renowned for spices and slaves commerce, the origin of Zanzibar tourism.
Zanzibar people are of diverse ethnic origins, with the first being the ancestors of the Bantu Hadimu and Tumbatu. Zanzibar is today mostly inhabited by ethnic Swahili, a Bantu population, Arabs, as well as Indians. A great number of residents in Zanzibar speaks Swahili, English French and Italian as a result of Tourism.
Zanzibar City, is the best and origin of beach tourism in Tanzania and East Africa. The popular attractions just to mention a few includes the following:-
- The House of Wonders[or “Palace of Wonders”, also known as “Beit-al-Ajaib”], in Mizingani Road on the seafront, is the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town built in 1883 and restored after the 1896 Anglo-Zanzibar War. Since 2000, its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture
- Built from 1887 to 1894 is the Old Dispensary(or “Ithnashiri Dispensary”)to serve as a charity hospital for the poor but was later restored and is now used as a dispensary
- The Old Fort[“Ngome Kongwe” in Swahili], was built in the 17th century by the Omanis with a roughly square shape and an internal courtyard, now used as a cultural center with shops, workshops, and a small arena for daily live dance and music shows
- David Livingstone’s House, a palace that was originally built for Sultan Majid bin Said and later used by European missionaries to include Livingstone while preparing his last expedition to the interior of Tanganyika
- The Anglican cathedral of Christ Church, in Mkunazini Road, was built at the end of the 19th century to celebrate the end of slavery with its altar in the exact spot where the main whipping post of slaves market used to be
- The Hamamni Persian Baths built by Shirazi architects for Sultan Barghash bin Said at the end of 19th century as a complex of public baths
- Tippu Tip’s House is another large, historical house of Stone Town. It was the house of the infamous Zanzibar slave trader Tippu Tip
- Slavery memorial – Stone Town as well as a museum on the history of slavery, are beside the church
- The Forodhani Gardens in front of the Old Fort and the House of Wonders where every after sunset the gardens host a popular, tourist-oriented market selling grilled seafood and Zanzibar recipes
- The Darajani Market is the main bazaar of Zanzibar, one of the main attraction to visitors because of its colorful, chaotic maze of stalls selling everything from kangas to exotic fruits to consumer electronics.
Stone Town [Zanzibar City]is served by the Abeid Aman Karume International [ZNZ] Airport with both international and domestic flights from and to mainland Tanzania, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Moshi, and Tanga as well as Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya and Johannesburg, in South Africa.
At Stone Town’sharborr ferries that depart within an interval of every hour an on daily basis to and from Pemba Island and Dar es Salaam.