Shadowing a DoctorMarch 6, 2014
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. It is located in East Africa by the Indian Ocean. The capital of Zanzibar is Zanzibar City, located in the Unguja Island. Stone Town is one of its most famous cities and a popular tourist destination due to its rich historical background. It is the only operational ancient town in East Africa and has been declared as a World Heritage Site.
The main industry is spice production and trade. Raffia production is also a major industry with raw materials used for a variety of purposes such as fibre for clothing and the sap for a local drink similar to wine. Aside from producing spice and by products of Raffia, Zanzibar is also famous as a hot tourism destination. Some must-see places and activities include Stone Town, the beaches, the Jozani Forest, and the Spice Tour.
Here are some of the highlights that this town offers you when you do a Tanzania medical placement through Gap Medics.
Stone Town is Zanzibar’s top tourist destination. It was declared a World Heritage Site due to its rich cultural and historical background. The site includes the Makusurani Graveyard which contains the remains of Zanzibar’s early Arab leaders.
The House of Wonders is also located within Stone Town and is famous for being the first building to have electricity in Zanzibar. It was also the first structure to have a lift in the entire East Africa. You will also see the first Persian public baths and the Peace Memorial Museum in Stone Town.
The Beaches of Zanzibar
Zanzibar’s coast is lined with white sand beaches that offer picturesque views of turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. You can swim, sail, or kitesurf in most of the beaches. Scuba diving and snorkelling are best done in the marine parks where underwater sea life has been preserved.
Sea life in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean include moray eels, dolphins, octopus, lion fish and lobsters. You will also see a lot of exotic looking shells when the ocean tide recedes. Go dhow cruising, island hop and watch the sunset while having drinks on board the vessel.
Zanzibar is also famous for its spice tours. You can visit the spice and coconut plantations. Learn what spices are indigenous to the island and what they are used for. Most spices are used for cooking while some are infused in cosmetic products and medicines.
During a spice tour, you will see plantations of nutmeg, clove, black pepper, coriander, and vanilla and you will get to taste several local fruits like bananas, jackfruit, coconut, breadfruit, and lime. Zanzibar is also famous for their seaweed and salt farms which you can also visit on the spice tour.
Zanzibar’s last remaining mangrove swamp is located in the Jozani forest in the central east section. This large mangrove is home to Zanzibar’s Red Colobus Monkey which is a rare primate specie. Jozani is also inhabited by 50 species of butterflies and about 40 types of birds.
These are pretty awesome places to visit. Zanzibar’s tourism industry caters to both the high end market and the budget traveller. For medical students on a placement to Tanzania, this is a rare opportunity to experience to travel to a place that most people dream about but very rarely get a chance to visit.