Unguja Pemba Tumbatu
that lie "like a jewel in the lap of Africa"
main islands of ZANZIBAR are Unguja, Pemba, Tumbatu and Mafia. Stone Town, on
the western shore of Unguja Island, is the Capital of this region. The city
gained its name from the many large multi-story "stone" buildings that
fill the old town area. These structures are actually constructed with coral and
mortar, not stone. There are currently about 1700 of these buildings in the
Stone Town section of Zanzibar City. 1100 of these have been classified as
having architectural significance. In this small area, which was originally a
peninsula, almost an island at times, and which is only about 83 city blocks
square, there are 23 "landmark buildings", two cathedrals, over 50
Mosques, 157 balconies, verandahs and loggias and more than 200 carved doors.
Zanzibar's Stone Town has been designated a "World Heritage Site" by
the United Nations.
age of Stone Town is in some dispute. Did it rise from a fishing village known
to have existed on the point of the peninsula since the 12th century; or is it
even older? Is it the result of 10th century immigration from Persia? The
visits of 9th century Islamic Disciples? A 1st century outpost of the Queen of
Sheba? All have been suggested by historians. Or must we look even further back,
to five or six thousand years ago when indigenous Africans crossed the great
Rift valley and first occupied the islands of East Africa? Was it they who truly
created the Swahili Coast by conquering the reefs and tides of the Azanian sea?
Was it they who cultivated a civilization of Island City States from Lamu to
Lindi, an archipelago of Stone Towns spanning almost a thousand
the site of the largest Swahili Stone Town in the world, Zanzibar is well worth
a visit. Tourists are now welcome on Zanzibar and the infrastructure for guests
has greatly expanded in the last few years. Hotels and Guest Houses are
available in all price ranges. Accommodations extend from basic backpacker
support to luxurious private islands. There is an international
airport about 5 km. from Stone Town and many modern Ferry's now ply the short
sea routes between the Islands and the mainland.
those who cannot yet visit please enjoy the rest of the pictures, links and
information about Zanzibar, its history and people.
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