Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean

1 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Zanzibar Beach © Rcastino

Zanzibar Beach © Rcastino

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar), and Pemba. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site and is claimed to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard.   read more…

Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

26 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Dhow seen off the coast of Dar es Salaam © SajjadF/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dhow seen off the coast of Dar es Salaam © SajjadF/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dar es Salaam, formerly Mzizima, is Tanzania‘s largest and richest city, the largest city in eastern Africa by population, and a regionally important economic centre. It is the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region administrative province and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: northern Kinondoni, central Ilala, and southern Temeke. The region had a population of 4,4 million. Although Dar es Salaam lost its status as the nation’s capital to Dodoma in 1974 (not completed until 1996), it remains the focus of the permanent central government bureaucracy. Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the daytime, but after sunset the area is relatively quiet as much of the city’s nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city’s mainly commercial centre. The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities) and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.   read more…

Pride of Africa

24 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels

Dining Car © David Brossard/cc-by-sa-2.0

Dining Car © David Brossard/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Pride of Africa is a luxury train which is run by Rovos Rail. It is billed as the “World’s Most Luxurious Train”. It travels through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. Rovos Rail was established in 1989.   read more…

Country overview

9 November 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

In addition to the regular search function, a country overview is available here. Click on the country name to see all currently available blog entries.   read more…

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