Few names evoke such romantic associations as this 85km long segment of coralline reef in the Indian Ocean, 40 km from the mainland of Tanzania. Steeped in history, the old town is a maze of narrow streets with whitewashed houses and magnificently carved brass-studded teak doors, quaint shops and bazaars.The Islands of Zanzaibar, once fiercely contested by Arabs and Europeans, have their own special allure. Approached from the sea, the House of Wonders dominates the main island’s skyline. Inland, particularly on Pemba, are the cloves for which the islands are famous.Narrow streets mark the ancient stonetown of Zanzibar, with cars, motorbikes and bicycles whizzing around corners. Zanzibar, and much of the coastline, has pristine white sand beaches.Zanzibar once produced over 90% of the world’s cloves, three quaters of this on Pemba. Cloves are a bud from the harvest and some trees are now 150 years old. While Zanzaibar is mainly known for cloves, the Islands produce about 50 other spices, including aniseed, bey leaves, black pepper, cardamon, chilli, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, dill seeds, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and tumeric.
Jozani National Park: Lying in a shallow trough on the fossil coral bedrock, this mature tropical forest is an hour’s drive southeast of Zanzibar town.The seasonal flooding, wooden freshwater lake and very high water table are vital components of this unique forest swamp.