Tanzania comprises a pair of islands off the east coast of Africa
called ZANZIBAR ('Unguja') (1994 est. pop. 800,000, 1,554 km²)
and Pemba . They are, together with Mafia Island , sometimes referred
to as the Spice Islands, though this term is more commonly associated
with the Maluku Islands . The main town and economic centre is Stone
Town on the actual island of Zanzibar . Zanzibar 's main industries
are spices (including nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper) and tourism.
Zanzibar is also the only home of the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey.
The monsoon winds that blow across the Indian Ocean allowed contact
between Persia , Arabia , India and the coast of East Africa for
over 2000 years. The first European arrivals were Portuguese 'navigators'
looking for a trade route with India . They reached Zanzibar at
the end of the 15th Century and established a trading station here
and other points on the East African coast. At the end of the 17th
century Omani Arabs ousted the Portuguese.
During this period, Zanzibar became a major slaving centre. In 1840,
the Omani Sultan Said moved his court from Muscat to Zanzibar ,
and the Island became an Arab state and an important centre of trade
and politics in the region. Many European explorers, including Livingston
and Stanley, began their expeditions into the interior of Africa
from Zanzibar during the second half of the 19thcentury.
Zanzibar was a British protectorate from 1890 until 1963, when the
state gained independence. In 1964, the sultan and government were
overthrown in a revolution. In the same year, Zanzibar and the newly
independent country of Tanganyika combined to form the United Republic