Zanzibar Island                                         
Zanzibar's lasting mystique has attracted travellers from around the world for centuries. From its early days as a swahili port, Zanzibar has done a thriving business in the cargo of the day. In generations long past, ivory, slaves and spices were transported on large wooden sailing dhows across the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Peninsular and beyond. Although spices remaina main export, these days Zanzibar's main attraction is the beauty of the island itself. Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on what side of the island you’re on. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun. On the south coast of Zanzibar lies the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection area for the endangered species that come to breed on the island. Roads to the southeast coast take visitors through the Jozani Forest, home to Zanzibar’s rare Red Colobus monkeys and a number of other primate and small antelope species.

Zanzibar is an archipelago consisting of two main Islands of Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar Island), Pemba and about 51 other surrounding small islets. Zanzibar is a partner state in the United Republic of Tanzania with the Mainland. The name Zanzibar is derived from a combination of two Arabic words, 'Zenj', meaning black, and 'bar', being the Arabic word for land, resulting in the ancient title 'Land of the Blacks'. As Zanzibar absorbed peoples from as far as the Orient and Iberia, Assyria and India. Pemba is the second largest island of the Archipelago, named Al-khudra "The Green Island” by the Arabic mariners. It is famous for its clove production and its channels offer some of the best diving experiences in East Africa. 

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Zanzibar Island                     
General Facts
Time Zone :   GMT + 3 
Currency :  Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh) 
Exchange rate :  US$ 1 = 1,200 Tanzanian Shillings, but it varies from time to time 
Official languages :  Kiswahili & English 
Electricity :  220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz 
Religion :  Predominantly Islam 
International Dialing code :  + 255 plus code number, followed by 6-digit local number 
Ambulance, Fire and Police : 112; 111 and 999. 


Zanzibar consists of a multiracial and multicultural community. It is a society of many faiths and of different origins. Almost the entire population is of mixed races primarily of Arab and African decent and blended with local culture. The current population of Zanzibar according to 2002 census is 984,625 inhabitants with an annual growth rate of 3.5%.

Zanzibar is a part of the United Republic of Tanzania and has its own Government led by its president. It has a House of Representatives popularly elected and cabinet ministers for all matters which are not Union Affairs. Since 1995 election, Zanzibar is a multiparty democracy.

Hospitality and Culture 
Zanzibar cultures became more diverse in its range, more unique in its expression. Zanzibar is the birthplace of Swahili, a lingua franca forged from global dialects, upon which legends were carried, trade routes opened and a Sultan’s empire prospered. It is here that the Africa Culture blended with other cultures mainly Persian, Arabic and Indian to forms Swahili Culture. Today the romance, the splendor and legends of the past are still vibrantly alive, traditional sailing dhows, carved wooden and doors, chests, the scent of the clove and the smile of the hospitable people welcomes you to Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar archipelago is a tropical island and its climate is subject to the whims of monsoon winds. The northern monsoon (known as Kaskazi in Kiswahili) lasts three to four months from December to March. The South west monsoon (Kusi) lasts from April to November. The rainy seasons (Masika) starts in March or April and lasts in May. June to October is the dry season and temperatures are clement. There are short rains known as Vuli. Zanzibar gets about 60 inches of rains annually. The maximum temperatures are 88.50F in February and 810F in July. The minimum temperatures are 800F in March and 710F in June.

The two Islands are located in the Indian Ocean about 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at longitude 39 degrees East and latitude 6 degrees South of Equator. Pemba is about 40 miles long and 14 miles wide. It has a surface area of 608 square miles (2,332 square kilometers). It is located about 36 miles from the continent and 29 miles north-east of Unguja Island. Unguja Island is 50 miles long and 24 miles wide. It has a surface area of 995 square miles. It is separated from the continent by a 21 mile corridor at its narrowest point. Its highest point is 390 feet above sea level.

Health and Safety   
Visitors to Zanzibar are no longer required by law to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. When you enter the country, please see your local doctor or Travel Clinic for further information about inoculations required for the area. Malaria is still prevalent in East Africa and so one should also take a malaria prophylaxis. There are many different kinds of medications for Malaria. However, precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Apply insect repellent and sleep under mosquito nets at night. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings. Zanzibar is not much infected by HIV/AIDS. However you are advised to avoid all AIDS fueling factors. As in almost all African countries, it is pleased to drink bottled water and avoid uncooked foods that may have been washed in untreated water. Sunstroke and heat exhaustion are common, so drink sufficient water, wear sensible clothing and use a high-factor sunscreen. Zanzibar is a safe country, and most locals are friendly and honest. Though simple precautions should be taken so as to have a relaxing and interesting stay in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Media and Communication     
Media and Communication provides access for tourists and investors to the latest technologies in sound, printing, and visual communication. There are numbers of media and communication companies that keep you home away from home. The most recommended media are Guardian, Sunday News, Daily News, The Daily Nation and ZANTEL, TTCL, ZAIN, VODACOM, TIGO for communication.

The majority of Zanzibar residents practice the Islamic faith which reflect also their life style and culture. Mosques are sacred places and usually no entry by non Muslims. During the holy month of Ramadhan Muslims are fasting from dawn to sun set and you may find difficult to find food during the day hours. However some specified restaurants are allowed to serve the tourists. There are also Christian churches and Hindu temples which offer regular services on Sunday and on special occasions.

As you stroll through Stone Town , you will find several shops selling wood carvings, Zanzibari chests, clothes, spices, jewellery, paintings and antiques. Most of the gift shops are situated along Kenyatta Road in Shangani, and Gizenga Street behind the Old Fort. Tourists are advised not to buy any products related to protected species on the islands, such as sea shells and turtles. A holiday to Zanzibar would be incomplete without visiting these souvenir shops.

Travelling to Zanzibar              
By Air
The principal flight to Zanzibar is Kenya Airways transit at Nairobi. Other carriers are Qatar Airline, Ethiopian Airline, Air India, South African Airways, British Airways and KLM stopping over Dar-es-Salaam, from where you can catch a ferry to Zanzibar. There are also a number of regularly direct charter flights to Zanzibar from Europe travelling direct. If your air ticket takes you only to Dar-es-Salaam, local air carriers such as Coastal Travel, Zan Air, Precision Air, Tropical Air provide scheduled flights in small twin-engined which would provide you with your flight from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar .

By Sea  
Regular fast ferries operate between Dar - Es Salaam, Zanzibar and Pemba. A ferry to Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar range from 75minutes to 90minutes and the same for a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, and a ferry to Pemba from Zanzibar can take about 3 hours depending on wheather. Timetables and prices are displayed on boards outside each office. Alternatively you can get the detailed information from a local tour operator.

Visa Procedures and Customs      
All visitors require a valid passport and visa for the duration of their stay. Visa can be obtained from Tanzania Diplomatic Mission or alternatively at the entry points. The rate of the visa is currently 50 US $ OR 50 Euros. However it is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate prior to your travel for updated information.

The following services are taxed in Zanzibar      
An Airport tax of 50 US $ per ticket must be paid on departure. Keep small denomination ready as change might be limited sometimes. A tax of 5$ for every ticket for the person traveling through sea port.

Sightseeing and Tours             
Spice Tours
A spice tour is probably the best way of seeing the countryside around the Stone Town and meeting the members of rural communities. Any guide or tour company can arrange a spice tour for you, with one of the best known being Mr Mitu's . Guides will take you on a walking tour of the spice farms at Kizimbani or Kindichi, picking bunches of leaves, fruit and twigs from bushes and inviting you to smell or taste them to guess what they are. Pretty much all the ingredients of the average kitchen spice rackjare represented - cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilies, black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla - the list goes on and on. Local children follow you all the way round, making baskets of palm leaves and filling them with flowers to give to you. At lunchtime, you'll stop in a local house for a meal of spiced pilau rice and curry, followed by sweet Arabic coffee and lemongrass cake. Many spice tours include a visit ti the Persian baths built by Sultan Said for his harem, and stop at Fuji beach just outside Stone Town for a swim on the way back.

Jozani Forest
Jozani Forest about 20 minutes drive outside Stone Town on the main road towards thr east coast, is a conservation project aimed at preserving some of the last indigenous forest on the island. The forest is home to a unique species of monkey, Kirk's Red Colobus, as well as the rare forest antelope, Ader's Duiker and many species of birds. A guided walk through the mangrove trees that form part of the forest takes about an hour.

Offshore Island
Zanizibar has many offshore islands, many of which provide a stunning location for a day trip or longer stay. Boats to any of the islands off Zanzibar or Pemba can be hired easily from local fishermen - in Stone Town, ask at the " Big Tree " opposite Mercury's restaurant on the seafront.

Prison Island
Prison Island is one of the nearest island to Stone Town - just 15 minutes or so by boat. It is also known as Changuu, and its original use was as a prison for renegade slaves punished by their master, an Arab landowner. Later it was taken over as a quarantine station by the British army, and another prison was built but never used. The large house on the island was built by British general Lloyd Mathews, commander of the army of Sultan Bargash.Today prison island is a pleasant destination for a day trip, with a nature trail that runs around its circumference, a small beach and giant land tortoises, some of which are reputedly over hundred years old, in a pen. The island has some excellent coral formations just offshore, providing a good opportunity for snorkelling, and the restaurant in Lloyd Mathew's old house sells snacks and drinks. A new resort development is completed on the island.

Chapwani Island
A slightly more upmarket choice than Prison Isalnd, Chapwani, or grave island is the site of a luxery hotel, but day visitors who come to eat and drink in the bar and restaurant are permitted. Chapwani is the site of British and German soliders that served befor and during the second world war. Chapwani has a beautiful white sandy beach and small population of duikers, as well as interesting birdlife.

Bawe Island
Bawe Island is further away from Stone Town than Changuu or Capwani, a good forty five minutes by motorboat, and consequently less visited. It has no facilities of any kind so bring enough food and water with you for a whole day. The beach is excellent at low tide, with unusual stone formations, and there is some good snorkelling to be had on the island's reef.

Chumbe Island
Six kilometers south of Stone Town, surrounded by pristine coral reef, Chumbe Island Coral Park is one of the world's newest and most successful eco-tourism projects. In 1994 the reef surrounding Chumbe Island was named Tanzania's first Marine >National Park. The island itself, covered with lush mangrove forest, is a designated forest reserve. Chumbe Island Coral Park won the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award in 1999, in recognition of seven years conservation work carried out in co-operation with local fishermen, now retrained as marine wardens. Chumbe Island contains a lighthouse, built by the British in 1904 and still operatiional, a ruined Mosque ant the lighthouse keeper's house, now converted into a spaectacularly - built education centre and restaurant. Visitors can come for the day to snorkel over the incredible coral reef, which contains over 90 % of all coralspecies ever recordded in East Africa. The reef declared the World's best shallow wte coral reef by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, is home to over 370 species of fish, turtles and dolphins . Guided walks ar also available through the island's coral rag forest, interspersed with intertidal pools and huge baobab trees, which supports a unique flora and wildlife population including the rare - and enormous - coconut crab. But to experience Chumbe Island properly, stay the night in one of the seven " eco-bandas "  that nestle in the forest. Each is a two-storey, private cottage  constructed out of local materials and decorated with hells,drifftwood an colourful local fabrics. Water and energy on Chumbe are self-sustaining and provided by nature - the roofs of the bandas and the education centre have been designed  to catch and filter rainwater,which is then heated by solar power. Beds are high in the palm-thatch roof, with a personal air-conditioning system that involves raising and lowering the front wall of the bedroom like a portcullis.

Zanzibar, and especialy Stone Town, is a shopper's paradise. he narrow winding streets are lined with stores selling local crafts, antiques, jewellery, clothes and spices. The Zanzibar Gallery, on Kenyatta Road, Shangani, sells a huge range of printed fabrics and clothes plus silver jewellery and local made massage oils and perfumes, as well as a range of handmade bubble baths in glass bottles. The Gallery is also a publishing company, and sells a range of books on local history, plus coffee table and photographic books, guidebooks, novels, address books, calenders and postcards featuring photografs by the shops owner, well-known photographer Javed Jafferji. The Zanzibar Gallery also sells batiks, paintings and antiques from all over Africa alongside printed T-shirts and other clothes. The rphanage Sho, near the Old Fort, sells crafts and paintings by local artists and the orphanes themselves, plus bolts of brightly coloured fabric, which the in-house tailor can make up to your own design.

Look out for Arabic coffee sellers, strolling along the streets with their charcoal braziers and bronze pots hanging from a yoke across their shoulders. Or porters manoeuvring wheelbarrows almost as wide as the alleyways they're passing through, shouting " hodi, hodi " ( let me pass ). As evening falls, the seafrontcomes alive with stalls selling fried fish and chicken on skewers, hurricane lamps illuminating piles of squid and octopus and mounds of chips. Sugar cane is pressed through an antique mangle and funnelled into glasses - cool, sweet and instantly refreshing. Small boys strip naked and leap off the sea wall into the only sea, turning pink as the last rays of the sun fade and the muezzin begins his walling call to evening prayer. As well as the magic of the streets, Stone Town does have certain historical buildings that are worth a look. The Palace Museum and the Old Fort on the seafront both house collections of furniture and clothing from the days of the Sultans, and the Palace Museum has a room dedicated to Princess Salme, daughter of Sultan Said, who eloped with a German businessman in the 19th century. The Anglican cathedral, buil on the site of the old slave market, has a crucifix made from the tree under which the explorer David Livingstone's heart was buried. Nearby are the underground chambers in which slaves were kept, forced to crouch on stone shelves less than two feet high.
No one single attraction can beat an afternoon strolling through the narrow streets and winding alleys of ancient Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar. You'll get lost - everybody does - but don't worry, you'll emerge from the cool, shady lanes into the blinding sunlight of the seafront eventually.Until then, you'll find something of interest around every corner - an Arab arcway leading into a white-walled square, with the sound of prayer coming from behind the walls of a mosque. Or perhaps you'll stumble upon the Darajani market, with symmetrical piles of oranges, baskets of spices and enorous chunks of fresh fish arranged under palm-thatch shelters. Ladies will glide past, shrouded in black Islamic headdresses. Old , long-bearded men in white skull caps will look up from their games of Bao or dominos to greet you gravely as you pass, and small children will take your hand and invite you to join their games in the overgrown remains of Indian town-houses. Remember to keep looking up - below a blue strip of sky, ornate shutters are thrown open and neighbours lean across the narrow gap between their homes to swap gossip and jokes, hang out washing, or just watch the world go by three three stories below.

Zanzibar Souvenirs
Kanga and Kikois - the brightly patterned fabrics worn by locals as a matching skirt and head covering, or in the case of men as a casual alternative to trouses. For tourists, they make an excellent souvenirand can be used  as a bath towel, beach wrap or sarong. For ideas on how to wear your kanga , along with a few cheeky cartoons, look for the Krazy Kanga Book by Pascal Bogaert, on sale in the Zanzibar Gallery. Bao games - Bao is played on stree corners and in village squares across the whole of East Africa, with regional variations. It consists of a carved wooden board, with rows of largish holes, into which seeds are dropped , functioning as both counter and dice. it's surprisingly easy to pick up and very addictive. Bao boards come in all shapes and sizes, from small folding ones ideal for rucksacks, to huge, ornate antique boards which double as tables. Be sure to buy some spare seeds at the same time as they have a habit of grtting lost. Zanzibar Chests - Arab-style wooden chests inlaid with brightly polished brass are hand carved in many workshops in Zanzibar and come in all sizes, from tiny jewellery boxes to enomous trunks. Beware of buying large polished shells, lumps of coral or tortoiseshell products in Stone Town or on the beach. Their collection and sale is illegal, and many of the species they derive from are already endangered. 

Zanzibar History
Zanzibar's history stretches back to when the first dhows from Arabia and India discovered its natural harbour. Using the island as a stopover point for caravans that journeyed deep into the interior, permanent settlement soon created the beginnings of what became Stone Town. Merchant from Oman, Gujerat and around the Indian Ocean moved their families from across the Ocean to start a life in Zanzibar, some amassing great fortunes and building the high stone houses so indicative of Stone Town today. Although Swahili civilization in the area of Kilwa Kisiwani further south peaked in the 14th century, Zanzibar's prosperity came much later, with the arrival of Omani Sultans in the 18th century. Living and ruling from Stone Town, the sultans presided over the slave and Ivory trade, planting vast spice plantations that survive to this day. Remnants of the hey-day of Swahili civilization in Zanzibar still remain, vestiges of a vanished past that people still look to with a sense of heritage and pride. In Stone Town, the House of Wonders greets visitors arriving by sea, a grand building used by the  sultan for his administartive duties. His town palace stands adjacent to it, the walkaways that connected the two buildings still in dilapidated existence. Nearby, the Portuguese Fort recalls the brief occupation of the island by foreign rule, while the Anglican Cathedral built over the site of the old slave market soothes the wounds of a sobering past. Today Stone Town is as much of an attraction for visitors as Zanzibar's beaches, world-renowned for their idyllic seascapes and island charm. Guests have their pick of beaches famed for their temperate climate and soothing water. Swahili fishing villages, snorkelling, diving, or just beachcombing offer perfect choices of relaxing itineraries. For cultural connoisseurs, it's best to time a visit around one of Zanxzibar's many festivals. Vibrant occasions occure throughout the year, days of celebration when the island and its people truly come alive. The annual Zanzibar International Film Festval ( which includes the Festival of the Dhow Countries ) and the Swahili Music Festival ( Sauti za Busara ) are the main attractions, with the Swahili festival of Mwaka Kongwe not to be missed. Yet there's more to Zanzibar than the  main island of Unguja. To the north, Pe,ba Island offers world-class diving in pristine surroundings. Accommodation ranges from the most basic to the utmost in barefoot luxury and visitors agree that a visitit to Pemba is well worth the effort. To the South is the little -known Mafia Island    , the reefs affording perfect diving in tranquil surroundings. Covered in coconut palms and abandoned fruit groves left by Arab merchants centuries before, Mafia 's charm is unique to the Swahili Coast , its shores untouched by development or change. Other smaller islands surround Unguja, the main island in the archipelago, and make plesant day trips for visitors from Stone Town. Come to Zanzibar and you will experience the hospitality of the Swahili people, the beauty of the island, and the lasting mystique of its regal history. Visit Zanzibar, and you will understand why century after century, travellers have come to its shores in search of magic and romance.

Ramadhan  October - November
Eid-el-Fitr is the festival at the end of Ramadhan, the month of fasting. Also known as Iddi or Sikukuu ( days of celebration, festival or holiday ), this festival is a time of gift giving and giving alms. The fasting of Ramadhan is meant to remind people what life is like for less fortunate brothers and the  alms giving at Eid ( known as Zakat-el-Fitr ) is a continuation of the same idea. Both fasting and the giving of alms are two of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Because the Islamic calender is different from that of Christians, the dates for Ramadhan and Eid changes every year by about 11 days. The beginning of Ramadhan will fall in late October and last until last November. Ramadhan is a holy month in which drinking, smoking and eating is prohibited during daylight hours. Some restaurants are closed during this month and outside town it can be difficult to get any food at all during daytime hours during Ramadhan. Eid is a nice time to see all the little girls in their new dresses and the boys in their new sneakers. The girls wear kohl around the eyes regardless of age, and the boys run around firing cap guns. There is a general feeling of celebration as people go from house to house visiting friends and relatives, and attend Taarab concerts and discos at night. Ramadhan lasts for one full circle of the moon around the earth, followed directly by Eid, which lasts for four days. The festivities can be seen at the Mnazi Mojo grounds across from the National Museum or at the Kariakoo fair grounds near the Main Post Office.

History & Culture
When most of the western world was still sunk in the darkness of the Middle Ages, Zanzibar was already a meeting place for trader from the great Oriental cultures - China, Persia and Arabia. It nestled in the middle of a mercantile civilisation, stretching from Somalia in the north down the coast of East Africa to Mozambique in South. This kingdom and its inhabitants were known as the Swahili - the people of the coast. They traded gold ivory and cloth with visitors from across the Indian Ocean, built handsome stone houses and had well developed system of government. Envoys, merchants and even pirates from as far away as Japan and Russia came to Zanzibar and its environs in sailing ships,blown across the seas by the north east monsoon and returning, their holds laden with trade goods, on the south west wind. The first Europeans to 'discover' Zanzibar were the Portuguese, who arrived in the late 15th century. In keeping with their conduct in the rest of their empire, they had little interest in the place beyond keeping it out of the hands of their enemies. They built a fort or two, introdused the sport of bullfighting to Pemba, and added a few choice words to the Swahili language. In fact, the Portuguese words still in use in Kiswahili give a fairly good impression of how the Portuguese spent their time here: Meza - table, Mvinyo - wine, pesa - money. Chief among the trade visitors to Zanzibar were the Omani Arabs, who had developed one of the most powerful Navys in the Indian Ocean, the centre of a thrivingsea-going commercial empire. The Sultans of Oman accrued immens wealth by mounting slave trading expeditions into the African interior, shipping their cpatives back to the Persian Gulf and selling them as houshold servants or plantation labourers. It was Zanzibar which became the hub of this commercial empire, a handy storehouse for slaves fresh from the interior, who could be confined on the island until the shipd which were to transport them north were made ready. In 1928 the flagship of Sultan Seyyid Said, one of Oman's most powerful and influential rulers landed at Zanzibar. The Sultan had previously been too busy defending Oman against its many would-be conquerors to visit the island in person, but he was enchanted  by what he saw. In contrast to the dry , rocky desert of Oman, Zanzibar was green, lush and filled with sources of fresh water. More importantly, it had  strategic advantages - safe defensible and close to the African mainland, the source of his wealth. In his 1840 Said moved his entire houshold to Zanzibar and declared it the capital of his empire. Said and his many relatives and associates built numerous palaces,, bath houses and country manors on Zanzibar, and introduced the commercial farmin of cloves, suger and other crops. Said's empire  went from strength to strength, fuelled all the time by flow of miserable humanity that marched in chains from the regions of the great lakes and beyond, to be sold for ever higher prices in the great slave market in the middle of Stone Town. But it couldn't last. By 1890, the British had put an end to the once-great empire of the Omani sultanate. Through a combination of bribary ,diplomacy and the odd judicious naval bombardment, Britain abolished the slave trade in East Africa and ultimately declared Zanzibar a protectorate. The then Sultan, Ali became a British vassal, and between them Britain and Germany carved up the Sultan's domains, which had once stretched as far inland as Lake Mmalawi. Although the Sultans remained nominally on the throne, their power was ended and their wealth used up. The era of the British on Zanzibar, which saw the slave market destroyed and an Anglican cathedral built in its place, lasted until 1963, when power was formally handed back to the Omani Sultans. But the reign of thr new sultan was shortlived - he was ousted in 1964 by a violent revolution and today lives quietly on the south coast of England. After the revolution the new Zanzibari government joined with the post independence government of mainland Tanganyika to form a single state, renamed Tanzania. Zanzibar was run along socialist, single-party lines by the new revolutionary government, and received political support and financial aid from countries  such as Bulgaria, East Germany and China. However in the 1980s the first presidential elections took place ,and  Zanzibar's economy slowly became less state-controlled, with some private sector enterprise being allowed. The first half of the 1990's saw the rise of a multi-party system of government and the development of Zanzibar's newest industry -- tourism.

Zanzibar's most famous son - Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury, whose real name was Farouk Bulsara, was born in Stone Town, Zanzibar, on September 5th,1946, Freddie's parents belonged to the Parsee faith, the ancient Zoroastrian religion originating from Persia. Many Parsees emigrated to India during and after the Arabconquest of Iran, resulting in a sizable Parsee population in India, and many travelled to Zanzibar to work for the British government. Freddie lived in Zanzibar until the age of seven. At seven he was sent to a boarding school in India , returning to Zanzibar occasionally until his parents emigrated to the UK before the revolution of 1964. Freddie went to art school in England and eventual rock stardom with his band Queen, becoming the world's best known Asian pop singer before his untimely death from an AIDS related illness in 1991. Today fans from across the world visit Zanzibar to pay tribute to his musical genius.