Zanzibar is an archipelago, made up of Unguja (informally known as Zanzibar), Pemba Islands and about 51 surrounding small islets.
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 30 km from the Tanzanian coast, and 6° south of the Equator.
The name is a combination of two Arabic words, "Zenj"=black and "barr"=land, resulting in the title "Land of the Blacks". Pemba is named Al-khudra="The Green Island".
Over centuries, different cultures have influenced Zanzibar, e.g. Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Arabs and British have settled here and influenced the local culture.
The language, Swahili, comes from the Arabic "sãhil"=coast. It is an African language and the most widely used language in East Africa. It is spoken by over 80 million people. Swahili is the official language in Tanzania and Zanzibar. To most people, single words of Swahili are well-known from film and television, e.g. "hakuna matata" literally means "no problem", "safari" means journey, "daktari" is the doctor, "simba" the lion and "jambo" is used for saying "hello".
Main Islands: Unguja & Pemba
Capital: Zanzibar Town
Area: 984 km Square
Geographical Position: 6° S, 39° E
Population: 1.3 million (census 2014)
Religion: Approx 95% Muslim
Regime: Multiparty Democracy