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The Magic Zanzibar

Travel Tips

 K A R I B U N I

Travel Tips:

Visa:                                 Visitors to Zanzibar (Tanzania) are required to have a valid passport. Visa can be obtained on arrival at all entry points. You may seek assistance at your nearest Tanzanian Embassy.

Airport Departure Tax:       Zanzibar International Airport       Included in tickets

                                        Domestic - Harbour                              $15

                                        Domestic - Airport                       Included in tickets

Population:                        Around 2.1M (Unguja and Pemba).


Area:                                2300 sq.meters


Head of State:                   President - His Excellency Dr. Mr. Ali Mohammed Shein


Language:                        Kiswahili is the lingua franca. English is spoken widely.


Religion:                           Islam & Hindu & Christians


Culture:                             Zanzibar is a Muslim oriented country - Dress code to be observed clothes must be practical and comfortable. Ladies upper arms and legs must be covered at all public places. Shorts and beachwear is restricted at swimming pools and beach areas.


Personal Effects:               Any reasonable amount of personal effects. There is little else one needs to bring that cannot be purchased locally.

Currency:                          Tanzania Shilling ($1 approximate = Ts2300)

Credit Cards:                    All international - Visa, Master, American Express, are accepted.

ATMs:                               Available at all registered BANKS

Photography:                     Zanzibaris are courteous and helpful. We strongly advise you seek permission from the person you would like to photograph of. Most suitable time for photography is between 0800 and 1700. Only films hermitically sealed in tin canisters (tropical packing) should be purchased and once the spool is inserted in the camera all the exposures should be made as soon as possible as the humidity of the climate is detrimental to emulsion. There are various photo shops where films may be bought and developed.


Health Precautions:           Visitors are advised to wear some form of protective headgear when walking outside in the heat of the day. Dark Sunglasses are also a comfort to those who suffer from the suns glare. There are few, if any, dangerous snakes on the island, while sharks are seldom, if ever, found inshore. You need not to worry about bathing on any of the beaches round the coast, or walking in bush or long grass. Malaria is endemic in Africa and we stress the importance of taking prophylactics. We suggest you consult your doctor for advice. Prophylactics should be taken before, during and after your visit as prescribed by your Doctor.

Yellow Fever Vaccination - a must if you have travelled through an endemic country within the last 24hous.                                                                                                                  

Reconfirmation of Flights: Please reconfirm all your domestic and international flights within 72hours of your arrival.


Insurance:                        Holiday Insurance Cover is advised to be taken for lost luggage, medical, theft etc.


Time:                                GMT + 3hours


Security:                           Zanzibar is no different from other major towns in Africa or in Europe or Americas. 


Useful Tel. Nos.                Zanzibar

Medical Emergency           Al - Rahma Hospital - Kilimani +255 24 223 6715

Medical Emergency           Global Hospitals - Vuga +255 24 223 2241

Emergency                      Medical - 0747 413 102

Police                               112


Business Hours:                Banks/Post Offices: 0800 - 1600 (Mondays to Friday)

Supermarkets:        0900 - 1300 & 1500 - 2100 (Daily)

Shops:                              0900 - 1300 & 1600 - 1800 (Daily)


Drinking Water:                 Bottled Mineral Water is recommended


Electricity:                         230/240 voltage 50Htz. Sockets 3Pin square, applicable. It is recommended to bring your own adaptor for video battery charger and other appliances for 110-220 voltages.


Car Hire:                           Driving is on the left. Foreigners must be 21years of age and in possession of International Driving Licence.


Climate:                           Hot / Dry, and during periods humid

December to March - Northeast monsoons - hot, comparatively dry

April to May - heavy rains (masika season)

June to October - cool and dry

November & December - short interval rains



Public Holidays:                Fixed: Good Friday; Easter Monday; Christmas Day; New Year; Independence Day 09/12 - (mainland); 12.01 - (Zanzibar); Labour Day - 01.05; Saba Saba Day (07.07. Peasant Day); Religious Holidaysvary from year to year - Prophet Mohammeds Birth Day; Muslim Festivals of Ramadan, Idd-el-Fitr; Idd-el-Hajj; Muharram; Maulid; (If any of these holidays fall on a Sunday the following Monday is observed)


Mementos of Zanzibar:      Brass and copper trays; coffee pots, etc; Baskets, Mats, Arab and camphor wood chests; carved wooden spoons; Pemba stools; Arab swords and daggers; ebony articles; Silver Arab bangles, anklets, etc; Amber beads, Persian rugs, silks, pottery.

                                         (All are obtainable at the shops in Main Street and Bazaar)


Tipping:                            For exceptional service, tipping is always appreciated and is largely at your discretion.


VAT:                                 A value added tax of 18% is payable on services and goods including restaurants and hotels.