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  • Writer's pictureAlexa Renee

5 Interesting Things to Know About Zanzibar

The island that's not really an island? Let's dive into some cool facts I learned during my recent trip to Zanzibar.

1. The shortest war in recorded history happened in Stone Town, Zanzibar and it was less than 45 minutes long

The Anglo Zanzibar war of 1896 goes down in history as the shortest war ever fought. Lasting just under 45 minutes, the war was the product of what happens when you defy British rule and declare yourself as Sultan of Zanzibar (TLDR it doesn't go well). Read the story here.

2. Zanzibar is NOT an Island

The island of Zanzibar doesn't exist (kind of). Zanzibar is an archipelago full of many different islands. The island many people mistake for "Zanzibar" is called Unguja which is the largest island in the archipelago. But most people gather if you're talking about Zanzibar island, you're talking about Unguja. The second largest island is Pemba, located north of Unguja. Stonetown is not the capital of Zanzibar either, that would be Zanzibar City located on the island of Unguja.

3. Zanzibar is the birthplace of music legend, Freddie Mercury

Zanzibar does not seem like real life (or fantasy) especially after knowing that it's the birthplace of Freddie Mercury. Mercury was born in Stone Town in 1946 and is said to have partially grown up in Zanzibar until fleeing during the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964.

His childhood home, Mercury House, recently became the first museum in the world dedicated to the Singer's life. Make sure to check it out on a tour in Stone Town.

4. There are several spice islands in the world- Zanzibar is one of them

Zanzibar is known for its world-coveted spices. When you visit, make sure you go on a Spice tour to a spice plantation where you can sample spices straight from the source, and of course, bring some home to cook with.

5. Zanzibar experiences equal lengths of night and day

Like most of East Africa, due to its proximity to the equator, Zanzibar experiences equal day and night. Which is a win-win for travelers who want to experience the beauty of the day and the party at night. Make sure to visit the Forodhani Night Market!

Zanzibar is an incredible destination that you should add to your list!


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