Zanzibar Towns, Cities, Locations and Districts
(Zanzibar, Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)
The main island of Zanzibar is Unguja. The north of the island is the centre of the country's tourist industry. Indeed, its sandy beaches, rich marine heritage and opportunities for water sports make it a perfect holiday destination.
Nearby is Pemba Island, which is often referred to as the 'Green Island' and is smaller than Unguja, being therefore somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbour.
South of Unguja is Mafia Island (Chole Shamba), an alternative holiday destination for those who prefer a quieter life and plenty in the way of tropical beaches.
Zanzibar Town - the capital of Zanzibar - is made up of two districts, Stone Town and Ngambo. Stone Town is the part that most visitors come to see, with its winding narrow alleyways and markets. Much of its historic architecture has managed to survive the centuries, albeit with lots of wear and tear, leaving us ample evidence of the town's status as the former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate. More information about Zanzibar Town
Mangapwani is a town situated on the north-western coast of the island of Unguja, just a short drive from Stone Town. Popular attractions include the Coral Cavern, which is part of a series of caves in the area, some of which have strong links with Zanzibar's slavery days.
At the most northerly point on Unguja is the pretty village of Nungwi. Whilst it embraced the tourist trade only relatively recently, Nungwi has since made up for the delay. Today, crowds of visitors come to the village, drawn partly by its beautiful beaches, such as the 'Jambo Square' beachfront, as well as the village's small but interesting aquarium.
A short drive south of Nungwi is Mkokotoni. This west coast fishing village isn't a popular tourist destination as such, although a few tours do make a detour here. As well as a lively market, Mkokotoni is renowned for being the place where a hoard of Chinese coins was discovered back in the 1980s, reflecting the fact that, in pre-colonial times, Mkokotoni was a wealthy and thriving port.
Chake Chake is the largest town on the island of Pemba and widely regarded as its unofficial capital. Tourist attractions in this part of Zanzibar are rather thin on the ground, although visitors can spend a pleasant time strolling around the busy market and admiring the town's old port district. Boat excursions to nearby Misali Island are also a popular day trip.
Kilindoni is the largest town on Mafia Island. In recent years, it has grown considerably in size. The town now even has its own airstrip, so for many visitors Kilindoni gives them their first impression of the island. Its main attraction is its lively market, although there is little to rival the stunning palm-fringed beaches found nearby.