Zanzibar Travel Tips

Our destination experts have compiled a list of the most important Zanzibar Travel Tips for you. Pristine beaches, heritage buildings and bustling spice markets make Zanzibar a highlight of your Tanzania travel itinerary.

Getting there

Zanzibar Island has an international airport. You can travel to the spice islands by a ferry from the Dar Es Salaam port. However, please be careful while choosing a ferry service as many providers do not operate regularly or on time. Further information is available on the website of your Foreign Office on with your Travel Consultant.

Language

Swahili and English are the official languages spoken in Zanzibar, the former being the national language.

Cash & Credit Cards

The currency of Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling. Generally, US Dollars are sufficient for travel and can be used at most accommodations to purchase or pay for extras such as food and drinks – please note that only notes from 2007 onward are accepted. Some hotels and businesses accept credit cards. The few ATMs of Zanzibar are found only in Stone Town, so make sure you always have some cash on you.

Out and About

Always use a taxi for traveling after dark. Ask your hotel or at your restaurant for a taxi – this is generally more safe and reliable. Most stretches of Zanzibar beach are completely safe for long walks, however, it is not advisable to walk on lonely beaches after dark.

Safety

As tourism is the biggest source of income in Zanzibar, the safety of travelers is of paramount importance to the local authorities. While the island itself is safe, be careful while navigating the waters around Zanzibar. Follow this link to read more safety tips for Zanzibar.

Safety in Zanzibar

Health Information

Currently, yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for entering Zanzibar, especially if you are traveling from another African country. Please consult your doctor or visit a Tropical Medicine Institute before you travel.

Swimming

Zanzibar experiences strong currents during high and low tides so it be best to be careful while swimming. During the low tide, the sea can retreat several hundred meters and bathing is nearly impossible. If you wish to go for a walk during low tide, please use bathing shoes to protect your feet from corals and urchins. Most hotels are equipped with swimming pools so you can refresh yourself during low tide.

Clothing & Traditions

Zanzibar has a significant Muslim majority and some sensitivity to cultural dress codes is important. We advise you to cover up your shoulders and up to your knees, especially if you are in areas less visited by tourists. On the beach however, there are no objections to swimwear.

Best time to travel

Located south of the equator, Zanzibar enjoys warm tropical weather throughout the year. On an average, the island receives eight to nine hours of sunshine every day – perfect for working on that tan! Follow this link for more information on when to visit Zanzibar.

Best time to visit Zanzibar

Zanzibar Travel Tips from our experts

Our destination experts are happy to advise you further about your Zanzibar vacation and share their personal travel tips. Contact us for your customized and complimentary itinerary.

Zanzibar Tours

Please note: Despite careful research, we cannot assume complete liability for the information provided here. Further updated information is available at your local Foreign Office.

View Zanzibar Vacations

Example private tour: Kenya Safari and Zanzibar

Kenya Safari and Zanzibar

13 Days from $ 7,230 / person

Places: Nairobi (1 day) → Laikipia - Community Reserves (3) → Masai Mara (3) → Zanzibar Stone Town (1) → Zanzibar (4)

Tour Highlights: Contemporary African Art & Culture, National Museum, Nairobi National Park, Cultural Encounters with Pastoral Communities...

Ideal For: Beaches Heritage & Culture Wildlife & Safaris

Example private tour: Classic Tanzania and Zanzibar

Classic Tanzania and Zanzibar

12 Days from $ 4,678 / person

Places: Arusha (1 day) → Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro (2) → Serengeti (Central) (2) → Zanzibar Stone Town (2) → Zanzibar (4) → Dar es Salaam (1)

Tour Highlights: Stunning Views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, Bike Rides, Walking Tours, Weekly Markets, Migrating...

Ideal For: Beaches Heritage & Culture Nature & Landscapes Relaxation & Spas Wildlife & Safaris

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