Zanzibar (Unguja) is perfect for every type of holiday: active holidays, adventurous holidays and beach holidays. Book a holiday to the islands of Zanzibar with Ajabu Adventures and enjoy the beautiful beaches, and the several possibilities for diving, surfing and other water sports.
‘Zanzibar’ sounds familiar to many people. They know about the exotic holidays with beaches and palm trees, in contrast with the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Reality is a bit different; Zanzibar is an archipelago and a part of the Republic of Tanzania. The Zanzibar archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean and consists of three larger islands, Unguja, Pemba and Mafia, and series of small islands. The local name of the largest island is Unguja, the one we know as Zanzibar. Zanzibar and Pemba have their own semi autonomous government which is settled in Stone Town (Zanzibar). Mafia is governed from the mainland. In the past, the three larger islands were part of the “monsoon trade routes” between Mozambique and the Arab world to trade primarily in ivory, slaves and spices. The three islands are also known as the Spice Islands. You can smell cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg all over the island. The islands are surrounded by magnificent white sandy beaches, coconut palms, warm turquoise water, mangroves and coral reefs and have extraordinary possibilities for an idyllic beach holiday and (under)water sports.
Ugunja, from now on called Zanzibar, is the largest and best known of the three islands, in particular to its tropical nature and exotic appearance. Over the centuries, a diversity of cultures, Arabic, Persian, African, Portuguese, Indian and many others have had its influence on the island. Zanzibar is a mixture of multiracial and multicultural backgrounds, whose styles and influences have made Stone Town a fascinating historic centre, a World Heritage Site. Zanzibar was one of the largest slave ports and the centre of the slave trade in Africa. There are many prominent reminders of it around Stone Town and Zanzibar island. The coast of Zanzibar has impressive beaches which offer plenty of opportunities for surfers, snorkelers, divers and sunbathers. The island has a rich and varied range of excursions.
Pemba Island is hilly, green and fertile and dominated by small scale farming and fishing. The residents lives mainly on income from agriculture and fishing; the island is not as rich as Zanzibar. Although Zanzibar is known as “Spice island”, Pemba is the predominant global producer, about 80-90%. You can recognize the smell of gloves all over the island. Along the coast you will find series of small unhabited islands. Pemba is, in terms of tourism, the least developed of the three islands and the most unspoiled. Though, it is Pemba offering world-class diving and snorkelling sites. The island has a strong reputation as a magic island; it has a rich tradition of voodoo and is frequently visited by Voodoo practitioners from all around the world.
Mafia Island has lush vegetation, coconut/cashew plantations and small and friendly agricultural farming and fishing villages. The history of Mafia dates back to the 11th century and you can find several historic sites here. Mafia is like Pemba not very well known as tourism destination. Its beaches are not nearly as good as those from the Zanzibar. About half of the island belongs to the nature reserve “Mafia Island Marine Park”. Due to the Marine Reserves of total protection the visiting numbers of the park is limited and will therefore never become a major tourist attraction. It is one of the most interesting marine ecosystems and coral reefs in the world. Mafia is the place to be if one wants to get away from the fast pace lifestyle of nowadays, explore the beauty of the nature and enjoy outdoor activities, such as discovering the wonders of the dazzling life below sea level.