- Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
- Language: Kiswahili, English, Arabic
- Climate: Warm year round
- Travel Insurance: Essential
- Time: 1 Hour ahead of SA
- Visa Requirements: None
Zanzibar is an archipelago of historic Indian Ocean islands, awash with atmosphere, intrigue, and idyllic beach experiences. There is plenty to see, do and discover.
As the birthplace of the Swahili, site of Sultans’ Palaces and renowned for its spice plantations, the little island republic of Zanzibar features larger-than-life on the world map and is a must-see at the end of any trip to Tanzania.
The heat of summer (corresponding to the Northern Hemisphere winter) is often cooled by strong sea breezes associated with the northeast monsoon (known as Kaskazi in Kiswahili), particularly on the north and east coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm year round. Rains occur in November but are characterised by brief showers. Longer rains normally occur in March, April, and May in association with the southwest monsoon (known locally as Kusi in Kiswahili).
No visa is required for stays of less than 3 months for citizens of South Africa, Namibia
Yellow fever inoculations are compulsory before entering Zanzibar. We recommend that you visit your nearest travel clinic 10 days prior to departure. Zanzibar is also a malaria risk area. We advise that you also chat to the people at the travel clinic about suitable medication for preventing catching malaria.
Zanzibar currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Kiswahili, English, Arabic
Zanzibar’s most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favorite music, Taarab
At the beach resorts, US dollars or euros are accepted but at a bad exchange rate. Best is to exchange some euro or dollars in Stone Town (best rates are given for 50 and 100 notes). ATMs are only in Stone Town where one can draw Tanzanian shillings against credit cards. There are NO ATMs outside Stone Town, not even at tourist centres like Nungwi! Credit cards are only accepted by the larger hotels and a few stores in Stone Town. Travellers cheques are not accepted in Zanzibar. There is an ATM at the Zanzibar Airport, however, it is mostly out of service.
It is highly recommended that you have travel insurance while travelling in Zanzibar. This means you will have peace of mind during your vacation as you know your medical emergencies will be taken care of.
Zanzibar is largely a Muslim community. Although they are used to Western ways, you should try to be respectful. This means:
At the south east coast, you find community projects to support the local women like Jenga in Pingwe/Michamvi with beautiful handmade clothing from Kanga or Kitenge, sandals, handbags, laptop/notebook covers made of old kites, jewellery etc. or the Seaweed Centre in Paje offering soaps, seaweed juice etc.