Arriving in Zanzibar, December 22 at 6 am
Zanzibar Travel Blog› entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
We arrived in the very small airport Karibuni in Zanzibar around 6 am. Unguja is the Swahili name for Zanzibar. It is often used to distinguish the island from the Zanzibar Archipelago(which also includes Pemba). The word Zanzibar comes from the Arabic Zinj el-Barr or "Land of the Blacks".
As soon as we got down from the airplane, we got our luggage. Very quickly and manual indeed. It was a very special, exotic and fascinating first encounter with the people of Zanzibar. Such a different culture, as if we were transported through the centuries, to the ancient kingdom of Persia, to the Oman days with its caliphs and sultans, to the coast of India with its sensual rhythms:):)Men wearing kanzu (white robes) and kofia (caps). Women in their flowing black bui-bui (cover alls).
Zanzibar is an archipelago 60 miles long and 20 miles wide and has a total area 610 squaremiles.. The local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds.A mix of influences from the Indian continent, the Arabian peninsula, the African mainland and Europe. Islam is the dominant religion and practiced by most Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christianity and Hinduism. Zanzibaris speak swahili. Fishing and agriculture are the main economic activities of the local people. Once Zanzibar was the worlds largest producer of cloves.
One of Zanzibar's most famous sons is Queen lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, born Faroukh Bulsara in 1946 in Stone Town to Parsee parents.. He lived on the island until he was about eight years old, when he was sent off to India to boarding school. His family left Zanzibar in the wake of the 1964 revolution, and never returned.