Jambo! Karibu! Hello! Welcome!

The Zanzibar Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania, is a breath-taking spot to escape from the world. It is made up of several islands with the main ones being Unguja aka Zanzibar Island and Pemba. Our project is based on Unguja aka Zanzibar island.

It honestly is an island paradise with beautiful beaches with white sands, shallow sandbars, and turquoise warm waters with lots of activities to take part in but a highlight for us was snorkeling although kitesurfing is also very popular especially on the western side of the island near the city of Paje

Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper giving it the nickname “the spice islands”. The spice market, Darajani Market, and spice farms (shambas) are popular tourist attractions. Many of the locals are actively involved in fishing, farming, and collecting seaweed for processing too

Stone Town

The East African island has a mainly Muslim population and there is still a lot of poverty with many of the smaller villages not having access to electricity or water but this does not seem to hinder many of the people who we found to be so warm and friendly. You will also see a lot of Masai males on Zanzibar island as many of the resorts hire them for security which only adds to the fantastic cultures and colours of Zanzibar.

It is also home to (one of our favourite primates), the endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey and the Zanzibar Servaline Genet. For great viewings of the Red Colobus monkey, we suggest a hike through Jozani Nature reserve with a local

Baby Red Colobus Monkey

Stone Town, Zanzibar City’s old quarter and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic place to explore but do not get lost in all the narrow alleys as it is a virtual maze. Every July, Zanzibar’s most famous event is held in Stone Town, the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. This event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favourite music, taarab.

Food in Zanzibar is especially great with fantastic fresh exotic fruits and if you enjoy seafood, try the amazing lobsters and traditional coconut octopus curry called “Pweza wa nazi”. Curries with rotis are creamy and full of flavour without the heat so even those with not too adventurous palate, will enjoy them. Zanzibar pizza is a must and not what you would expect- a favourite of ours and nothing like Italian pizza! The exotic spiced coffees are also a must to try as are the spiced chai masala teas. Coffee and tea drinking is big in Zanzibar! For some evening fun in Stone Town, try the Forodhani Garden’s night market and enjoy a drink at Mercury’s Restaurant overlooking the seaport

There are also plenty of cultural tours to take part in one’s spare time like a trip to nearby Prison island to see the Aldabra Giant tortoises or the turtle sanctuary at Nungwi in the north or simple enjoy your day off from volunteering enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches that are found all around the island…paradise

Important architectural features in Stone Town are the Livingstone house, The old dispensary of Zanzibar, the Guliani Bridge, Ngome kongwe (the old fort of Zanzibar) and the House of Wonders. Stone Town is also famous for being the birthplace of the singer of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury.  The town of Kidichi features the Hamamni Persian Baths, built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Barghash bin Said.

We are sure you will enjoy this marvellous island with its beautiful people as much as we do!


Facts about Zanzibar

Population: in 2012 the population of Unguja aka Zanzibar Island was at 896,721

Capitals: Zanzibar City

Languages: English, Swahili, Arabic, and a smattering of European languages like French and Italian. The locals are brilliant with languages and often can converse in quite a few

Climate: Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year.  The heat of summer is seasonally often cooled by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm all year round, but officially, summer and winter peak in December and June, respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.

Short rains can occur in November but are characterized by short showers which do not last long.  The long rains normally occur in April and May although this is often referred to as the ‘Green Season’, and it typically does not rain every day during that time.

Currency: Tanzania Shilling and the USA dollar

Visa information for Tanzania (peninsula and Zanzibar) 

The famous Rock Restaurant

Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicine skills in Zanzibar

Volunteer with animal rescuers and veterinary staff on the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar assisting with the care and medical treatment of cows, goats, donkeys, dogs, cats and even the occasional monkey, rabbit and bird while educating the community on animal husbandry!