Arab and Persian traders arrived here during the 8th century and by the 17th century, Zanzibar was an important port on the spice, ivory and slave trading routes. Governed over the centuries by various sultans, the Portuguese and later, the Sultanate of Oman, Zanzibar became a British Protectorate in the late 19th century.
Famous European explorers like Livingstone visited before launching their explorations into the “interior”. The old Stone Town is a UNESCO Heritage listed site and a tour of the town reveals its complex history and dark slaving past, as well as graceful Zanzibari architecture. The maze of narrow streets are lined with elegant coral stone houses – which give the town its name – and feature ornate balconies and intricately carved wooden doors. You can visit the Sultan’s Palace, the Arab Fort, the Old Dispensary and the Livingstone house.
The northern and eastern coasts of the island are home to beautiful, peaceful beaches that boast a number of excellent resorts, which makes Zanzibar a perfect place to conclude an East African safari. The island also boasts white sand beaches, clear, turquoise water, and beach hotels offering barefoot luxury; a relaxing conclusion to any East African safari. The island is easily accessible and there are direct flights from Nairobi and the United Arab Emirates.