There is a necklace of islands along the coast of East Africa known as the “Spice Islands”, this is the archipelago of Zanzibar and comprises of dozens of islands.
Let’s find out more!
It is the largest, best known and most populous of the islands, and is formally known as Unguja. It is situated around 35 kilometers away from the mainland. Ringed with white sand, palm fringed beaches, coral reefs for diving and snorkelling, and home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town, Zanzibar island is visitor’s delight. This island is 35kilometers wide and up to 85 kilometers in length. Along the shores of Zanzibar are several other islands which includeMnemba and Chungwe.
Mafia was derived from the Arabic name morfiyeh which refers to a group of islands and is only outdone in size by Zanzibar island.
Most people tend to think that Mafia island is an extension of the archipelago. However, it is part of the mainland as far as governance goes.
This island is situated at the south of Zanzibar. In the early days it was used as a stopping point for trading boats from as far as Greece, Egypt, Portugal and Rome.
Mafia island is known for its scenic diving experiences. The waters around this island are very fertile which is as a result of the rivers that stream in from the mainland.
This island can be identified with the tall lighthouse located at the center. Its white stone construction can be seen from miles around and was built back in 1904 by the British. But don’t think this is an old relic from the past. The lighthouse is still functional today and casts light at the waters and dhows which cruise by at night.
There is a lot of diversity at the reefs found at Chumbe island and are renowned for their beauty andmarine life the world over.
There are more than 200 hard coral species and over 450 different species of fish to be found here.
Compared to other islands in the vicinity, Mnemba island is tiny with a circumference of just 1.5 kilometers and half a kilometer in diameter. For tourists there is only just one lodge on the island.
This is quite the expensive place to have a vacation with a single night stay valued at $1,155. It explains why it’s called the millionaires island.
There are greenturtles that nest on the island’s shores. To ensure their continued protection and survival is the monitoring and protection project which has been around for over 20 years.
The native name for Thanda Island is Shungu Mbili. This is also among the smaller islands being only 250 meters in circumference. The waters around the island are perfect forDeepsea diving. It also features some deeper channels which are home to the endangered dugong as well as turtles.
These are some of the best islands in Zanzibar but there are many more and if you want to enjoy your time exploring islands as well as the Indian Ocean, then a visit to this part of the world will help fulfill your dreams.