MYSTERY AND MAGIC - THE LURE OF THE SPICE ISLANDS
From the labyrinthine streets and alleys of Zanzibar's stone town to the laid0back beach culture of Pemba and Mafia, Tanzania's islands range from the culturally exotic to the simply stunning. Spice, sails, and nature all combine to make Tanzania's offshore islands a rich and heady mixture of history and culture in a setting of paradise.
Think of Zanzibar and images of romantic dhows with curved while sails, veiled women of mystery, ancient ruins and exotic spices float before your eyes. Zanzibar is known throughout the world as the jewel of the Indian Ocean and has a romantic, colorful history of seafarers and explorers, of riches and tragedy, and of the dark stain of slavery.
Every year between 10,000 and 40,000 slaves was sold in Zanzibar. The Anglican Christ Church stands on the site of the old slave market, the alter occupies the stop where the whipping block used to be.
Visiting the bustling market where anything and everything is for sale. Explore the House of Wonders with its intricate lattice wood-carving, a famous sight in Zanzibar. The National Museum is an excellent place to learn more about the islands.
The popular spice tours involve a walk in the western and central regions of the island through plantations, private gardens, and forests. These are more than 50 different spices and fruits, including cinnamon, pepper, pimentos, ginger, tamarind, coffees, ylang-ylang and sugar cane. Coconuts are another main produce of the islands.
An island is a nonpareil place for beach holidays, picturesque villages fringe white beaches and crystal water all around the island.
The Fish Beckon
South od Zanzibar lies Mafia, a favorite haunt of big-game fishermen and scuba divers. Sports fishermen come from all over the world for the superb specimen of kingfish, marlin, horse-mackerel, sailfish, and huge rock cod. The rare and exotic dugong breeds in the Mafia Channel as does the great white. Turtles lay their eggs on the smaller islands east of Mafia during the northeast monsoon.
These are ruins of a settlement at Raps Kisimani a 13th-Centrury mosque has been excavated here.
A marine park in the island was gazette in 1995 and covers an are of 400 square kilometers. Mafia is surrounded by small islets rich in underwater resources and aquatic species including corals, green turtles, and the threatened dugong. Some of the most spectacular complexes of estuarine mangrove, coral reefs and marine ecosystems in the world are found here.
Mafia is a popular diving and snorkeling destination; night diving is also possible in Mafia.
Chimpanzees in Natural Habitat: MAHALE National park lies 120 kilometers south of Kigoma on a peninsula that cuts out into Lake Tanganyika. The park is dominated by the Mahale mountain chain running from the north-west across the middle of the park. The highest peak is 2462 meters above sea level.