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About Zanzibar

Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, is steeped in history.

It is characterised by beautiful, white, sandy beaches edged with coral reefs, forests, and the magic historic Stone Town - possibly the only ancient town in East Africa that is still functioning. The island is 60 miles long, 20 miles wide, and occupies a total area of approximately 650 square miles.

Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and practiced by most Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christianity and Hinduism.

Population is estimated at 800,000, with the largest concentration being Zanzibar City which has approximately 100,000 inhabitants.

Zanzibaris speak Swahili (known locally as Kiswahili), a language which is spoken extensively in East Africa . Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar as it is the birth place of the language

Fishing and agriculture, including the farming of seaweed, are the main economic activities of the local people. Zanzibar was once the world's largest producer of cloves, and her economy was based on large incomes thus derived.

Although cloves are still a major export along with coconut products and spices, tourism has been ear-marked as the primary foreign exchange earner, with more visitors coming to Zanzibar each year. At this stage, the numbers are still low (less than 100,000 annually) and the potential for tourism is relatively untapped. Zanzibar 's tourism private sector is represented by the  Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI).