Just hearing the name Zanzibar conjures mysterious and exotic images in my mind’s eye. Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean just south of the Equator, is a lush, beautiful tropical island with palm fringed beaches mingling with the scent of cloves and other spices grown and exported from there. However, Stone Town with its winding alleyways and markets is what I associate with Zanzibar. This ancient city has been a port of call for Arab traders since the eighth century. Traders from Persia followed the monsoons down the African coast to trade in ivory, spices, and slaves. Today Zanzibar is the most economically prosperous state of Tanzania.
The alleys of Stone Town along with its architecture and massive carved doors give this ancient city its allure. I have included several images that, for me, depict what is “Zanzibar.” Click the