Zanzibar slave route

Walk in the footprints of the slaves Historic slave route tour

The essence of the historic slave route tour

During the slave trade, 15 000 slaves moved through Zanzibar each year, making up a large part of the Indian Ocean slave grounds.

Begin the historical and moving tour at Dhow Harbour in Malindi, a 13th century Swahili settlement. At the height of the slave trade, Malindi was used as a port where slave ships docked with their captive cargo.

Next, head off to the house of the notorious Swahili-Zanzibari slave trader Tippu Tip. This appropriate nickname referenced his abundant wealth and the tip-u-tip rattle of his army’s gun arsenal. At the last stretch of the 19th century, Tippu Tip, owned over half a dozen plantations and 10 000 slaves and servants.

Visit the yellow Anglican Church built on the site of an old slave market, a square surrounded by small houses. The church was largely constructed by unskilled local labourers and supervised by the missionary, Edward Steer.

Drive past the missionary graves to Mbweni Ruins, once a school for freed slave girls. Next, head off to Livingstone House and Mangapwani Beach, where hundreds of slaves were kept in caves, awaiting the arrival of the dhows.

End the emotional day with a buffet lunch at Mangapwani Restaurant and reflect on the islands heart-breaking history, and encouraging and bright future.