zanzibar information


"...Oral traditions of the Swahili people are replete with the stories of migrations of people not only from the African mainland, but also from Arabia, the Persian Gulf, India and even beyond. They represent a heterogeneous society in a constant process of homogenisation. The cosmopolitan character of the people is fundamental to a consideration of their cultural heritage. Nowhere is the cultural synthesis so visible as in the architecture of Zanzibar". ( Zanzibar Stone Town an architectural exploration - Prof Abdul Sheriff and Javed Jafferji )

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sustainability and being green

In a recent Government action the use by shopkeepers and market stall holders of blue plastic carrier bags was banned. The "national flower of Zanzibar " so called because of their prevalence on the ground is to become a thing of the past. The recent past.

more information on zanzibar sustainability

nature and the marine environment;
people and craft

The culture and gastronomy, economy and trades of Zanzibar are there because of what nature has brought to this part of the world. The seasonal monsoons brought traders in search of spices, ivory from the mainland and ambergris. The Zanzibar is grow spices and are adept fisherman.


Again the location of Zanzibar at the heart of the monsoon winds has brought musical influence from the regions around the Indian Ocean and the resulting taarab is a glorious harmony of these combined sounds from Africa and the Middle East and India.

more information on zanzibar music

B i b l i o g r a p h y

Early Histories of Zanzibar
Pearce, Major F B, Zanzibar: the Island Metropolis of Eastern Africa (Fisher Unwin, London, 1920)
General Histories of Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean
Hall, R, Empires of the Monsoon (HarperCollins, London, 1999)
Zanzibar and Oman
Bhacker, M R, Trade and Empire in Muscat and Zanzibar (Routledge, London, 1992)
Architecture and History
Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town (Gallery, Zanzibar)
Mwalim, M A, Doors of Zanzibar (Gallery Publications, Zanzibar, 2002)
Pitcher, G and Jafferji, J, Zanzibar Style (Gallery Publications, Zanzibar, 2001)
Sheriff, Prof A, Zanzibar Stone Town: An Architectural Exploration (Gallery Publications, Zanzibar, 1998)
Travel and Exploration
Moorehead, A, The White Nile (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1960)
Waugh, E, Remote People (Duckworth, 1931, republished 1985 by Penguin Books, UK)
Large-format photo books
Jafferji, J, and Rees Jones, B, Images of Zanzibar (HSP Publications, London, 1996)
Jafferji, J, Jafferji, Z, and Waterman, P, A Taste of Zanzibar: Chakula Kizuri (Gallery Publications, Zanzibar, 2001)
Marine Wildlife
Forstle, A, and Vierkotter, R, Marine Green Book (Green Ocean, Zanzibar, 1997)
Koornhof, A, Dive Sites of Kenya & Tanzania, including Zanzibar, Pemba & Mafia (New Holland)