July 8th, 2015
The letter is Z for Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands located in the Indian Ocean about twenty-five miles from the Tanzanian coast. Sixty miles long and twenty miles wide it is known for its beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town, said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.
There are no large wild aimals in Zanzibar, and forest areas are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes - and rumour has it the elusive Zanzibar leopard! Various species of mongoose are also found on the island, and a wide variety of birds and butterflies..
The coral reefs surrounding the East Coast are rich in marine life and make them a great location for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and the 100,000 inhabitants speak Swahili.
People have lived in Zanzibar for 20,000 years. History starts when the islands became a base for traders voyaging between the African Great Lakes, the Arabian peninsula and the Indian subcontient. Although the archipelago had few products of value Stone City was a convenient point from which to trade with towns on the Swahili Coast. Zanzibar has been inhabited, perhaps not continuously, since the Paleolithic. A 2005 excavation at Kuumbi Cave foud heavy duty stone tools that showed occupation of the site at least 22,000 years ago.
A certain magic is attached to Zanzibar, with its aura of spices and ivory, blue waters and beaches,
and in recent years its great attraction as a tourist destination.
Cinnamon bark and nutmeg
In my own personal history I remember Saturday afternoon movies
and the "Road" series, starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour
and in particular "The Road to Zanzibar"
Don't ask me for any details, - it was a long, long time ago!
The last letter in the alphabet, and many thanks to Roger and Denise
and all their zippy de-do-dah helpers!
For more Zzzzs zip over here to ABC Wednesday.