Often known as the exotic spice island, Zanzibar, and the main port city Stone Town, was the starting and organizing point for slave traders, missionaries, and explorers before they went into the interior of Africa. Because of diverse colonial and Islamic influences, Stone Town has a strange mixture of eastern and western influences, very much different from mainland Tanzania. Today legions of tourists flock to Zanzibar after a long hot safari and come to relax on the white-sand beaches, swim in the deep blue Indian Ocean, and explore the hidden alleys of ancient Stone Town.