• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 1 month ago

back to the Geography page, or to the Pulp Index

ZANZIBAR, Zanzibar Protectorate

Population 40,000


Legal Aid. Port Officer.

Hospitals. Government Hospital (colored). European Hospital (white).

Venereal Disease Clinics. At the hospitals (8 a.m. to 12 n.; 2 to 4 p.m.; free).

Physicians. (Telephone by name.) Dr. E. J. Blackaby. Dr. J. D. Robertson. Dr. R. S. Taylor. Dr. Said Aboud.

Dentists. I. S. Rutter. Soud Mohammed el Kharnsi.

Laundries. (Vuga St.) Pereira's. Dhamji's.

Amusements. Moving pictures:  Majestic; Empire. Recreation park.

Points of Interest. Apply to District Commissioner for guide book.

Excursions. Chwaka (20 miles). Mkokotoni (25 miles). Jozani Forest (22 miles). Ras Fumba, bathing (13 miles). Chukuwani, bathing (6 miles). Cost 6d. a mile.

American Consulate. Nairobi, Kenya, 600 mi.


-- from The Seamen's Handbook For Shore Leave



stereo view of a street in Zanzibar


The island territory of Zanzibar has been under a British protectorate since 1890. The colony was established by the Persians, and since then has been controlled by the Portuguese, then the Omani, and now the British. 


The population of the entire island territory is 235,428 (census of 1931); of that, about 15% are "Arabs", 6% are "British or Portuguese Indians", 278 are Europeans, and less than 100 other non-European "non-natives" (including a few Chinese, Japanese, "and other Asiatics"). 95% of the inhabitants follow Islam. Most Zanzibaris speak Swahili; a small number also know English or Arabic.


There is a sultan (His Highness Sultan Sayyid Sir Khalifa II bin Harub, Sultan of Zanzibar, KCMG, KBE), related to the Omani royal family; the British are represented by a Resident (Sir Richard Rankine KCMG, a veteran of the Colonial Office).


Zanzibaran rupees (exactly equal in value to Indian rupees) are used as the local currency until January 1st, 1936, when the East African shilling is introduced, at a rate of 1.5 shillings per rupee.


Opportunity for Pirates!

     In June of 1935 a Currency Decree will be issued by the Zanzibaran government, stating that East African shillings will replace rupees in the coming January. The decision has been seen coming for a couple of years. At some point between July and November of 1935, the colonial government will ship 900,000 East African shillings to Zanzibar, to begin exchanging for rupees in December.

     About 10% of that will be in paper notes:  10,000 five-shilling notes, 2,000 ten-shilling notes, 500 twenty-shilling notes, and 100 hundred-shilling notes (all about 1 gram each). The silver coins will be 250,000 shillings (7.7759 grams) and 715,000 half-shillings (3.8879 grams); 1,000,000 bronze ten cent coins (6 grams) and 2,000,000 bronze five cent coins (3 grams) will make up the rest. 


28 pounds of paper currency

2 short tons of shillings (80 chests)

3 short tons of half-shillings (120 chests)

6.6 tons of ten cent coins (264 chests)

6.6 tons of five cent coins (264 chests)


     The money will probably be sent from Nairobi by rail to Dar-Es-Salaam, and then on the ferry to Zanzibar. From the railway station, onto the ferry, and to the Treasury in Zanzibar, the money will be in 18 bullock carts for the coinage; the paper currency will probably be in a case handcuffed to a senior police officer. The paper money is worth about £4,500 if you don't want to mess with tons of coins ...

     The bullock carts will probably each have a police officer riding next to the driver, so expect about two dozen policemen on the ferry boat for the 4 hour journey.

     Bonus opportunity:  the Zanzibaran government is going to ship a roughly equivalent value of silver Zanzibaran rupees, probably to Mombasa, in early 1936. Almost no paper currency or bronze coinage will be involved in that shipment; the coins will be sent onward to either Britain or India to be melted down and recast (there's no actual coin-stamping mint in Kenya).



the British Resident and the Sultan


There are no military or naval forces stationed in the protectorate; the Zanzibar Police Department does have an armory with rifles, a few machine guns, etc. Police constables are mostly veterans of the King's African Rifles and other military services.


The city of Zanzibar is divided into Stone Town and New Town. The older area, Stone Town, has the palaces, cathedrals (Anglican and Catholic), government offices, etc.; most of the streets are too narrow for automobiles. It has a population of 15,000. New Town (also called Native Town, or Ngambo) has about 25,000 people. In the countryside nearby is the English Club, established for the benefit of expatriates, and a golf course.


There is a electrical power supply within about 5 miles of Stone Town; the voltage is dimmed each night at 8 p.m. as a time signal. A set of diesel generators powers the system. A few hundred telephones are in service within about the same 5 miles. Telegraph cables connect Zanzibar directly with Dar-Es-Salaam, Aden, Mozambique, Mombasa, the Seychelles and Mauritius; and from those points to the rest of the world's telegraph systems. The colonial officials have access to a radio transmitter/receiver station, installed in 1927. There is an airstrip at Dunga (about 8 miles inland from Zanzibar city), 2400' long; air mail services are available (since 1931). 


There are a couple of daily ferry services from Dar-Es-Salaam to Zanzibar; the 40 mile trip takes about 4 hours. There are four cargo steamships based in Zanzibar:   the Cupid (611 tons, built 1909), the Khalifa (600 tons, built 1920), the Al Hathera (279 tons, built 1927) and the Al Said (1657 tons, built 1922, brought to Zanzibar in 1935). The Cupid is sold out of service about 1935, and replaced by the Al Said; both of those ships, and the Khalifa, are owned by the Government. They travel about the Zanzibaran archipelago on a weekly schedule.


Ships of the Union Castle Line, the British India Steam Navigation Company, the Messageries Maritimes, and various other colonial nations stop at Zanzibar as they pass along the African coast. The most notable of these services is the British India fortnightly service from Durban, to Zanzibar, and on to Bombay.


The monsoon weather changes occur in October/November and February/March; the level of malaria infections increases quite a bit at those times (especially after March, as the principal rainy season begins then). The use of mosquito nets is recommended. Tuberculosis and gonorrhea are also common causes of death.


Cloves and copra are the major exports; minor industries exist for pottery, rope, soap, oil, jewelry and mats. In 1933 the gross tonnage of all ships entering and clearing the port was 3,044,000 tons.


"Zanzibar Unveiled" is a very good website for Zanzibaran history.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.