KARIBU means welcome in the Swahili vernacular. We welcome you to Zanzibar, the majestic spice islands of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar has many islands but the main two are the islands of Unguja and Pemba. Non Zanzibaris people often know Unguja as Zanzibar. Over centuries different cultures have influenced Zanzibar to become what it is today. Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Omani Arabs, Dutch and British have settled here at one time or another, influenced the local culture and gave birth to the present melting pot.
Stone Town, the old historical part of Zanzibar City was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2000. Hence in Stone Town one can experience a variety of arts produced by the locals, including paintings, wood craft sculptures, fabrics and textiles. Two important festivals take place annually: Sauti Za Busara (sound of wisdom) the East African music festival in February; and the Festival of the Dhow Countries (ocean countries) the international film festival in June-July.
Stone Town is a fairly developed city. There are good health facilities, however, clean drinking water should be purchased in bottles. Household waste is a big issue in Zanzibar and Tanzania in general. Nevertheless, there is a slight progress towards its better management and the TZIVA location as well as the central area of Stone Town enjoys a pleasant status.
Local people are very welcoming and helpful and due to the active tourism around the year Stone Town enjoys a mixed cultural diversity. The first impression you might get of Stone Town is that it is a very busy place at daytime with people rushing around, but that is just an illusion, as everyone is living under the slogan of ‘Hakuna Matata’ (Life is Easy).
The night life is full with enjoyment and music. Football is commonly practiced by almost every man in Stone Town, and there are many football fields nearby Malindi area, as well as basketball courts and beaches with white sand and crystal clear water which provide perfect conditions for snorkeling, kite surfing or just relaxing.