TEMBEA : Spice of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is more just than a place. Many actually think of it as a sort of seventh heaven. Today, it is the idea of unbridled romance, resplendent of natural splendour. It is reinforced by the idea of a vibrant long running culture of traditional sailing dhows, carved wooden windows and doors, chests, the scent of the clove and the smiles of the hospitable people.

Zanzibar is more just than a place. Many actually think of it as a sort of seventh heaven. Today, it is the idea of unbridled romance, resplendent of natural splendour.

It is reinforced by the idea of a vibrant long running culture of traditional sailing dhows, carved wooden windows and doors, chests, the scent of the clove and the smiles of the hospitable people.

Zanzibar is home to pristine white beaches with white sand, palm trees, gorgeous shells, and amazing shades of blue and turquoise waters.

Zanzibar’s brilliant beaches lapped by the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean provide the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun and take a break from some busy sightseeing.

The beaches in Zanzibar are a paradise, interspersed with picturesque fishing villages, where the people live a simple way of life, unchanged over the years.

There are more than 25 fantastic beaches in Zanzibar, and some are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean.

Zanzibar is also the birthplace of Swahili as a result of the African Culture blending with other cultures mainly Persian, Arabic and Indian to form the Swahili Culture.

Curiously, the name Zanzibar is made of two Arabic words, ‘Zenj’, meaning black, and ‘bar’, being the Arabic word for land, resulting in the ancient title ‘Land of the Blacks’. Zanzibar Island is home to Stone Town (also known as Zanzibar Town or Zanzibar City), an historic, bustling city of narrow alleyways and stone coral buildings.

It enjoys a tropical climate that is largely dominated by the Indian Ocean monsoons. From the north are the kasikazi winds which occur during the short rains while with the long rains, known as mwaka.

Stone Town is known for its narrow alleyways, large carved doors and covered balconies. The doors, large wooden carved affairs with or without brass studs, are a part of the Swahili culture that was influenced by Arab and especially Indian motifs.

The large brass studs became decoration after first having served as spike covers; the spikes having been protection from elephant raids during wars in India. Doors with rounded tops, or lintels, reflect Indian influence while doors with flat lintels demonstrate a version popular with Omanis in Zanzibar.

Other attractions are the Peace memorial museum which is home to many of Zanzibar’s memorabilia including, most notably, Livingstone’s medical chest, a piece of East Africa’s railroad, and an old, palm oil-powered bicycle lamp.

In Jozani Forest, a protected forest, one gets acquainted with the Red Colobus monkeys indigenous only to Zanzibar Next is the famous legend of spice plantations. No wonder vanilla beans and extract, masala, hot chilies, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks or powder, saffron), ginger are very available on the spice island.

As if that is not enough other attractions are the Mangapwani Coral Cave, Mangapwani Slave Chambers, the island of Pemba and tens of other tiny islands which form the Zanzibar archipelago.

Ends

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