Getting to Zanzibar by Air From the Rest of the World
At present, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways offer international scheduled flights to Zanzibar. Several large carriers fly into Dar es Salaam, which is only a short trip by air or sea from Zanzibar. Amongst them are British Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines and Swiss.
From the Rest of Africa
Kenya Airways, Precision Air and Ethiopian Airlines have regular flights to Zanzibar. Dar es Salaam is also served by them, as well as Air Zimbabwe, Egypt Air, Air Malawi, South African Airways, 1Time, British Airways and others.
Precision Air and Coastal Aviation offer a range of scheduled flights between Zanzibar and Tanzania’s main cities.
Getting to Zanzibar by Sea
There are several sea ferry companies that ply the waters between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The largest of these is Azam Marine. You can book ferry tickets through a local tour operator. Links to these companies can be found in the Touring Zanzibar section of this website.
Maps of Zanzibar
Weather and Climate
|Time Zone||GMT + 3|
|Currency||Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)|
|Approximate exchange rate||US$ 1 = 1,400 Tanzanian Shillings = 100 cents|
|Official languages||Kiswahili & English|
|Electricity||220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz|
|International Dialing code||+ 255 24, followed by 7-digit local number|
Visas and Entry Requirements
All visitors require a passport, valid for the duration of their stay. Preparations are under way for visitors to obtain visas at any entry point, and this time-saving facility is available to visitors arriving at Zanzibar International Airport.
Other points in Tanzania currently offering visa on entry are Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airports, and Namanga on the road border between Tanzania and Kenya. Nationals of some countries do not require visas, so it is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate prior to visiting. Key Tanzanian diplomatic missions:
Tanzania High Commission
Latest entry requirements and visa information can be found at the Tanzania High Commission (London, UK) web-site.
Lobsters, kingfish, prawns, octopus, crabs and squid are just a few of the many types of seafood on offer. It is not surprising that Zanzibar’s specialties are centered around what is available locally, so take full advantage of the variety of spicy seafood dishes on offer. Coconut also features in many dishes.
Help us preserve Zanzibar’s magic
Zanzibar is unspoilt by the unpleasant effects of mass tourism – the number of visitors to the island is still low, but has been on the rise throughout the 1990’s. It is our hope that increases in tourism do not impact adversely on the magic of Zanzibar, and we humbly ask all visitors to follow a handful of guidelines, ensuring they will not offend the traditional values of the local people or harm the environment in any way.
It is typical of the Zanzibar is’ friendly nature that they will not harass you for infringing these guidelines, but you should be aware that this is merely politeness, and is not an excuse for ignoring them!
Please ensure that you dress modestly when off the beach. Women should not expose too much leg and chest, and topless sunbathing is also strongly discouraged.
If you have children and are bringing them to Zanzibar, please make sure that they don’t display their expensive toys in front of their Zanzibar contemporaries. This may instill a false sense of values in the local children, whose parents are unlikely to be able to afford such luxuries.
If you are diving or snorkeling, you may be tempted to collect some pretty shells from Zanzibar’s many coral reefs. Please do not, as this kills entire reefs, the devastating effects of which can be seen in the well-trodden areas of East African coast. Although there are shell sellers, you are asked not to buy shells from them, as it simply encourages this harmful industry.
Zanzibar is an amazingly photogenic place, but if you want to take photographs of people, please asks their permission first out of courtesy.
If you are non-Muslim, then please do not enter any of Zanzibar’s many mosques.