Tourism in Zanzibar

Tourism in Zanzibar includes the tourism industry and its effects on the islands of Unguja (known internationally as Zanzibar) and Pemba in the United Republic of Tanzania. Tourism is the top income generator for the islands, outpacing even the lucrative agricultural export industry.[1] The government plays a major role in promoting the industry, with the official government tourist page stating, "The Vision of the Government of Zanzibar regarding tourism is “To become one of the top tourism destinations of the Indian Ocean, offering an up market, high quality product across the board within the coming 17 years.” The Zanzibar Commission for Tourism recorded more than doubling the number of tourists from the 2015/2016 fiscal year and the following year, from 162,242 to 376,000.[2] The main airport on the island is Zanzibar International Airport, though many tourists fly into Dar es Salaam and take a ferry to the island.


The principal grouping of attractions on Zanzibar are: coastal tourism, terrestrial wildlife, dhow cruising and spice tours.

Stone Town

Zanzibar's capital is the historical Stone Town, home to much of Zanzibar's tourism industry. It is also a World Heritage Site. The town is home to numerous historical and cultural sites, including Makusurani graveyard (where many of the islands previous Arab rulers are buried), House of Wonders (a four story building which was the first place on the islands with electrical lights), Hamamni and Kidichi Persian Baths (the first public baths on the island), Dunga Ruins (Ruins of a palace built in the 15th century by the rulers of the time), and the Peace Memorial Museum, which serves a national historical museum detailing the island's long history.

Coastal tourism

Zanzibar is home to large amounts of beaches and clear Indian Ocean water, as well as coral and limestone scarps which allow for significant amounts of diving and snorkeling. The diving and snorkeling are done in marine parks. The aquatic life seen includes; dolphins, moray eels, lion fish, octopus and lobster Tourists may also go dhow cruising around the small islands. Tourists can view the sunset and have refreshments on board.

Spice Tour

The town is famous for its spice tours. Tourists visit the various coconut and spice plantations in the island. Zanzibar is known for its variety of spices that are used to prepare food, cosmetics and medicines. Some of the fruits available include; banana, coconut, lime, jackfruit and breadfruit. The spices available include; clove, nutmeg, black pepper, vanilla and coriander. Zanzibar is also known for its salt and seaweed farms that may be visited by tourists on request.

Jozani forest and Kidike Root Site

The Jozani forest is located in the central east region of Zanzibar consisting of a large mangrove swamp. The forest is home to the rare red colobus monkey. The forest is also home to 40 species of bird and 50 species of butterfly. The Kidike root site is a great place to view the endangered Pemba flying fox.


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