Zanzibar

Island in the sun

Print edition : July 24, 2015

A view of Zanzibar from the ferry arriving from Dar es Salaam.

Stone town, the heart of Zanzibar and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a maze of alleys winding through white-washed colonial grandeur.

In 1964, a communist revolution ended both British rule and the sultan's sway over Zanzibar. This orphanage in Stone Town was built after 1964 to house orphans of the conflict.

An example of the Afro-Arab architecture in Stone Town.

Part of the facade Africa Palace, Stone Town

The marketplace where slaves used to be auctioned. They were chained to an iron ring fixed to a platform, below which is the cell in which they were incarcerated before being sold.

The fort in Stone Town. It was built by the Omani Arabs after the expulsion of the Portuguese from the island.

A game of Bao in progress on a street in Stone Town.

The doorway at the House of Wonders, built by Barghash bin Said, the second Arabic ruler of Zanzibar. The building got its name because it was the first on the island to have both electricity and an elevator.

Stone Town has a variety of exquisitely carved wooden doors gracing every household and shopfront.

Brisk trade in the fish market in Stone Town.

The profusion available at a market.

The Indian Ocean dominates Zanzibar. You get glimpses of it every now and then, as you turn a corner or come down one of the island's snaking narrow lanes.

The quaint thatch-and-bamboo bridge on Prison Island, or Changuu.

At low tide on Prison Island, the shore is strewn with starfish (shown here), sea urchins and other creatures.

The jail on Prison Island was never used as one but served as a quarantine point for immigrants from the mainland who might be carrying yellow fever.

Aldabra giant tortoises on Prison island.

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