The Slave Trade

Zanzibar and its ports served as a major center for the slave market between Africa and Asia, particularly the Middle East. Slave traders would bargain with local chiefs exchanging guns, beads and cloth for ivory and humans. Militarized tribes would sometimes raid other tribes and sell their prisoners as slaves. Convicted criminals were also sold as slaves, and often their penalties included enslaving their families.


Visiting some of the historic sites of the slave trade is a sobering way to remember this dark period of our relatively recent history.

Mangapwani Caves

The Mangapwani Caves were used to hold and hide slaves

Slave Memorial at the Anglican Cathedral

Slave Memorial at the Anglican Cathedral in Zanzibar

Old Slave Market

Hundreds of slaves were held in this small, dark cell in the old slave market

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