Zanzibar is popularly known as the "spice islands.” Zanzibar is located about 30Km off the coast of mainland Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar is actually an archipelago with the two main Islands of Zanzibar (also known as Unguja, the larger one) and Pemba (the smaller of the two). Zanzibar was incorporated into the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964.
Zanzibar, which in 1992 had only 723,300 people, does have its own democratically elected president and government that run the internal affairs of the Islands.
Zanzibar's Serena Inn on the Stone Town waterfront is a splendid example of the careful preservation of historic buildings. This project undertaken by the Aga Kahn Fund for Economic Development, owner and manager of the Serena Hotels, involved the restoration and rehabilitation of two historic buildings , the Old Extelcoms Building and the Chinese Doctors' Residence.
Zanzibar has the largest number of carved doors in East Africa. Zanzibar's Stone Town has 50 mosques and four Hindu temples. The House of Wonders is one of the first buildings in East Africa to have electricity and Stone Town's oldest existing building.