zanzibar-island

Zanzibar

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.

bagamoyo-museums

Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo meaning lay down your heart is the oldest town in Tanzania and is designated as Tanzania’s seventh world heritage site. Its rich history is influenced by the German colonial government, Christian missionaries and by Indian and Arab traders. Bagamoyo lies beside the Indian Ocean, but is no longer a busy port city.

The Department of Antiquities is working to revitalize the town and maintain the dozens of ruins in and around it. We won’t tease you, we will arrange for an experienced guide to accompany you during your visits to the various historical sites.

Some 200 meters from the ocean lay the German and Mwanamakuka cemeteries. The tombs at Mwanamakuka are built in traditional Arab style. The oldest of these dates back to 1793. The Chuo cha Sanaa, or College of Arts, is located next to the cemetery where clients can take drumming or sculpture lessons from students at the college. The Roman Catholic Mission is home to the oldest Roman Catholic Church in East and Central Africa. The town’s history is explained in detail at the Bagamoyo Museum located at the mission.

Bagamoyo is historically known as the major slave trading post in East Africa where slaves were sold and traded through the end of the 19th century. You will visit the last place where slaves stayed before boarding ships to Europe and America, Other points of historical interest in Bagamoyo include the Kaole Ruins, the German Boma and the German hanging place.

pemba-island

Pemba Island

Pemba Island is still the world’s major clove producer, but has now slipped into its more traditional role of being an Island Paradise with small inter-island trade. Chake wharf is now mainly used for swimming & fishing.

Pemba is a magical island. Unlike Unguja, Pemba is hilly. Gentle, undulating hills and deep verdant valleys are covered with a dense cover of clove, coconut, and mango plantations.

Pemba was seized by the Sultan of Muscat in the 17th c. He was so enchanted by the Spice Islands that he put himself in Zanzibar and ruled Muscat (now Oman) from there. When the Western Colonial powers came to East Africa the British forced the Sultanates of Muscat and Zanzibar to separate and then administered the Spice Islands in the name of the Sultan.

All the while, the Arab dhows would ply their trade winds from the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa. With the winds they would take cloves to India, textiles back to the Arab lands and silver and wood to the Spice Islands of Unguja and Pemba.

The dhows have remained constant throughout the history of Pemba. To this day they from Wete to Shimoni in Kenya and, when the winds are favorable they plough through to Northern Mozambique.

A more fertile land is difficult to imagine then Pemba, but it is not just the landscape that gives Pemba its magical reputation. For many years Pemba has held a reputation as a centre for the juju traditions of medicine and magic.

Mafia-Island

Mafia Island

Mafia is an archipelago of islands at the mouth of the Rufiji River Delta, composed of Mafia Island, Juani, Jibondo and Chole. Their position as the south islands of the Tanzanian coast has made them strategically desirable throughout the long game of historical wrangling for rule, but visitors today find essentially small, rural farming and fishing communities whose lives continue in much the same style as has been traditional for ages. Mafia Island and its surrounding archipelago has a great deal to offer as an unspoiled, little-visited alternative to other Indian Ocean locations around Zanzibar and along the coast.

Mafia offers superb opportunities for diving and snorkelling, and for discovering abandoned beaches and offshore islands with rich natural and historic interest.Mafia Marine Highlights The deeper channels around the islands are known for world-class deep sea fishing, and home to two greatly endangered species; the docile dugong (manatee or sea cow), is still thought to cruise between Mafia and the Rufiji River Delta, and the small islands around the archipelago remain a popular breeding ground for giant and green turtles.

These islands are a tranquil natural haven for birds and wildlife, with over 120 different bird species sighted and recorded, (including five types of sunbird), and the whole area is best explored from the comfort of the deck of a traditional sailing dhow.

pangani

Pangani

The name Pangani comes from the river that runs from the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro through the northern part of the historical town of Pangani. Pangani was established before the Sixth Century BC. It was instrumental in the slave trade era as the port was used to move ivory and slaves to Europe, America and other places. The historical sites are strong reminders of the German, British and Arabic influences of its past. Today Pangani is a treasure to the tourist not only for its historical sites but for its white sandy quiet beaches, flanked with coconut trees. The primary industry in this area is fishing.