The Island of Zanzibar consists of two main islands, Pemba and Unguja with some 50 smaller islands surrounding the archipelago.
Unguja is the main and most developed island. Many people refer to it as Zanzibar. Zanzibar has unique history and rich culture. For centuries, it has been a center trade links between the coast of East Africa and the people of Arabia, Persia, India and as far as China.

The dates are not known for certain but as early as the 1st century AD, Zanzibar and other coastal settlements in East Africa had established trade links with its northern neighbors of the Indian Ocean.

The period between 15th and 17th century was dominated by the invasion of Portuguese, who defeated local rulers and took control of almost all the coast of East Africa.
They first conquered Oman followed by falling of other coastal settlements one by one. Their rule revived strong resistance and discontent among the natives and Omanis finally succeeded in evicting the Portuguese out of their land.
It is claimed that, the local rulers in East Africa sought Omani's assistance in their fight against the Portuguese and it paid off towards the end of the 17th century.

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 Livingstone and Stanley, began their expeditions into the interior of Africa from Zanzibar during the second half of the 19th century.

On December 16, 1963, Prime Minister Mohammed Shamte, as the head of the independent and sovereign government of Zanzibar, delivered what was to be a historic speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Zanzibar was a British protectorate from 1890 until 1963, when the state gained independence.
In 1964, the sultan and the government were overthrown in a revolution.
In the same year, Zanzibar and the newly independent country of Tanganyika combined to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Zanzibar Maritime Authority

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