A trip to the many ruins and old buildings of Zanzibar is a voyage of discovery through time. The journey can take one from Stone Town’s narrow streets and coral-rag walls - clad with rank lichens and sun-faded plaster, to tended gardens and lily-ponds; overlooked by towering pillars who stand like sentinels of the past, guarding the hidden tombs of time gone by. Like sweat from the pores of a slave, the ruins ooze history and legend from their cracked stone and mossy walls, and the echoes one hears within are not just of these tropical isles, but of desert lands and ancient civilisations far away in distance and time. Put down your camera and move away from that gaggle of noisy children. Sit on that tumbled column, look around you and listen... The laughter of sloe-eyed concubines echoes within the hollow chambers of the Persian baths. From the deep dark pit, moaning and wailing wafts up on the thin, clear air and evaporates like tears in the sunlight. From beyond the sturdy wall.
MARUHUBI PALACE RUINS
The Maruhubi Palace is about 4 km from Zanzibar Town. Outside, surrounded by undulating lawns, there are many remains of the buildings some massive stone pifiars, which once supported a large overhead balcony and aq one side is a low stone basin, containing water lilies and pond life. This site is an peaceful place for a picnic and to escape the bustle of Stone Town for a couple of hou walk brings one to the beach where local fishermen carry out net and boat re preparations for their fishing trips.
Dunga ruins are those of a palace and are located on the main road to Chwaka halfway across the island. The palace was built and used by the last and most feare the line of rulers of these the Islands. The ruins date back to the 15th century, when e settlements on the coast flourished.
MTONI PALACE RUINS
Mtoni Palace lies next to Mamhubi. The area was chosen by Sultan Said bin Suit palace, which was constructed between 1828 and 1834 after he left Muscat and made his seat.
8eitei4 AS PALACE RUINS
These ruins are situated on the shore. The fine arches are all that remain of this Persian-built structure. Although building started in 1847, Sultan Sciyyid Said died before its completion, and custom prevented his successor form continuing the work. Many of the stones were moved and used in constructing a seven-mile stretch of the Bububu Railway .
THE SLAVE CHAMBERS & CORAL CAVES
Just north of Mangapwani Beach, on the northwest it that, following the abolition of the slave trade this cave was used by illegal traders to secrete their slaves before spiriting them away through the tunnel to awaiting pirate ships. It is somewhat surprising that, despite its location and convenient and arcane access to the sea, there is no evidence this cave was ever used for this clandestine purpose.
The nearby Slave Chambers, however, were specially constructed for holding slaves prior to transportation. Some 3km north of the Coral Cave, one can see two large sloping stone slabs, just above ground level. These slabs are actually roofs, which cover a set of small underground chambers in which over one hundred slaves would have been packed, awaiting the arrival of the merchant ships to transport them away. To descend the steep and moss-covered steps leading down into this “bottomless pit” is, even now, like entering the gateway to doom.
BUINI PALACE RUINS
This palace, built by Sultan Barghash, lies on an artificial terrace behind a creek which the participants was so enthralled by Bi Khole’s looks, he did not realise he had pierced himself with his sabre until he noticed blood flowing from his lap.
The ancient Mosque at Kizimkazi . Kizimkazi, almost at the southern tip of the island, is the site of a Shiraz mosque dating from the early 12th century and considered to be one of the oldest Islamic buildings on the East African coast. Restoration of the mosque to the condition we introduction of Islam into southern East Africa. Nearby, just above the high water mark on the beach, are the remains of an 18th century stone wall, which once formed a defensive perimeter around the whole settlement. The merchant who built the wall, and for whom the village is named, resisted the Portuguese invaders and was taken prisoner. He pleaded with his captors to be allowed to go and pray on the beach before being taken away. They permitted this... and never saw him again!
KIDICHI PERSIAN BATHS
Kidichi Persian Baths are located about 11km northeast of town on one of the Spice Tour routes. Sultan Seyyid Said built them in 1850, for his Persian wife. The Baths are well maintained both inside and out, with some very good examples of the domed skylights that allowed light to enter the windowless buildings.
FUKUCHANI RUINS & MVULENI RUINS
The Enclosure Houses at Fukuchani and Mvuleni are located about halfway between Mkwajuni and Has Nungwi on the northern part of the island. These 16th Century coral rag houses, built in stone wall enclosures, represent a group of the finest domestic stone houses of this period.