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Dazzling Zanzibar

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What's so wonderful about the House of Wonders? Who was Tippu Tip, and how did he show off his wealth? Why would you ever want to visit the beach in the rainy season? Some of your questions (or not) about Zanzibar, answered.
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Sokoku St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
If you step off the ferry in Stone Town and don't know anything about Zanzibar, the House of Wonders (or Beit al-Ajab, as it's also known) has you covered. Just a few steps away from the ferry terminal, you'll get a crash course in Swahili...
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Zanzibar, Tanzania
Each evening as the sun sets, Stone Town’s Forodhani Gardens park transforms into an open-air food market. Skip the fish kebabs and head straight to the vendors selling urojo, a thick mango-and-tamarind soup served alongside chickpea...
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Paje, Tanzania
The east coast of Zanzibar is known for stunning beaches and fickle tides. When the water's out, it's way out; when it comes back in, arrange a sailing trip on an outrigger canoe to skim along the shore. The lower tides reveal the hangouts of the...
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Suicide Alley, Zanzibar, Tanzania
The crumbling architecture of Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the town’s carved doors are one of its most recognizable features. I spent a lot of time searching for the door of Swahili merchant Tippu Tip, a notorious 19th-century...
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236 240, Hurumzi St, Zanzibar 3417, Tanzania
Emerson on Hurumzi may be Zanzibar’s most exquisite hotel. The rooms are named after sultans, merchants, princesses and explorers, and the historical bric-a-brac dotting the walls give it an elegant, museum-y quality. The hotel's rooftop bar and...
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Jambiani, Tanzania
Taking a "spice tour" on Zanzibar is kind of de rigueur. Shops and touts throughout Zanzibar's main city, Stone Town, will invite you to clamber into a vehicle and journey up the coast to see the farms that gave "The Island of Cloves" its name....
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Zanzibar City, Tanzania
If you travel anywhere in East Africa, you’ll become acquainted with the women’s garment known as kanga: a bolt of cloth worn any number of ways and featuring a Swahili proverb printed along the bottom. Zanzibari kanga are well-known all over the...
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Bwejuu, Tanzania
Like so many paradises all over the world, Zanzibar's coast is in danger of overdevelopment. The stacks and stacks of resorts and budget hotels crowding the seafront can be a bit obvious in places like Paje, where the water is azure and the sand...
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Kendwa, Tanzania
Visiting Zanzibar during the "long rain" month of May means a few things: less tourists; lower rates; and, yeah, occasional downpours. My friend and I were enjoying a leisurely walk down the pristine beach at Kendwa, on the north coast of...