Mangapwani Coral Cave
More Zanzibar Specials 2012
Mangapwani Coral Cave, on the coast, about 20km north of Zanzibar Town. The Coral Cave is a natural cavern in the coralline rock with a tapered entrance and a pool of fresh water at its deepest point. Water was most likely collected from here by early inhabitants of Zanzibar Island but at some time in the past vegetation grew across the entrance and the exact position of the cavern was forgotten.
Mangapwani Slave Chamber
The Mangapwani Slave Chamber is a couple of kilometers up the coast from the Coral Cave. Although sometimes called the Slave Cave, it is a rectangular cell that has been cut out of the coralline rock, with a roof on top. It was built for storing slaves, and its construction is attributed to one Mohammed bin Nassor Al-Alwi, an important slave trader. Boats from the mainland would unload their human cargo on the nearby beach, and the slaves would be kept here before being taken to Zanzibar Town for resale, or to plantations on the island. It is thought that some time after 1873, when Sultan Barghash signed the Anglo–Zanzibari treaty which officially abolished the slave trade, the cave was used as a place to hide slaves, as an illicit trade continued for many years.