Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Photo by M & M Valledor/age fotostock
Slave Market in Stone TownAs idyllic a tourist destination as Zanzibar is now, its history is undeniably dark. At the height of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, some 50,000 people were brought to Zanzibar each year, brutally removed from their homes in West Africa and made either to work on the coconut and clove plantations here or sold off at the market to buyers from around the world. A tour of the original site of the slave market (on whose site now stands an Anglican cathedral, once a building project for freed slaves and now a memoriam with exhibits) is an important reminder of this ugly time. Visiting the dim and suffocating underground chambers to see where human beings were bound and held in chains is chilling.