Zanzibar, also known as the Spice Island of the Indian Ocean, is located about 35km off the East coast of Africa, about 6 degrees south of the equator and belongs to Tanzania.
The Zanzibar archipelago consists of the main island Unguja, the sister island Pemba, as well as many small islands. The total population, including the inhabitants of Pemba, amounts to about 1 million people: a colorful mixture of Africans, Arabs, Persians and Indians. The immigrant ethnic groups mixed with the Africans, created a new culture which became known as "Swahili" (from the Arabic word "sahil" = "Coast"), and even developed a language of their own, which today is important all throughout East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania).
The history of Zanzibar is characterized by its fame in the trade of spices (mainly cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper), ivory and slaves. Still today, many clove-trees can be found, which have been growing there since 1818. Zanzibar reached its peak in 1850, when the group of islands was the world's largest producer of cloves, and unfortunately also the largest slave-trading center of East Africa.