Location and Size

The two Islands are located in the Indian Ocean about 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at longitude 39 degrees East and latitude 6 degrees South of Equator. Pemba is about 40 miles long and 14 miles wide. It has a surface area of 608 square miles (2,332 square kilometers). It is located about 36 miles from the continent and 29 miles north-east of Unguja Island. Unguja Island is 50 miles long and 24 miles wide. It has a surface area of 995 square miles. It is separated from the continent by a 21 mile cor¬ridor at its narrowest point. Its highest point is 390 feet above sea level.

Climate Zanzibar

Zanzibar experiences warm tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity all the year. The average temperature is 27 ºC. This mainly caused by ocean breezes during daytime and the continental wind in the night, it makes the condition more comfortable. February is the warmest while August is the coolest. There are two rainfall seasons, the heaviest in March to June and lesser rains is in September to November. Tourists are advised to note heavy rain season to avoid inconveniences.

Population

In 2012 Zanzibar had a population of 1,303,569 in which the male population is accounted to 630,677 while female have a lion share of 672,892 with an increasing rate of 3 per cent per annum.

Religion

The majority of Zanzibar residents practice the Islamic faith which reflect also their life style and culture. Mosques are sa¬cred places and usually no entry by non-Muslims. During the holy month of Ramadhan Muslims are fasting from dawn to sun set and you may find difficult to find food during the day hours. However, some specified restaurants can serve the tourists. There are also Christian churches and Hindu temples which offer regular services on Sunday and on special occasions.

Hospitality & Culture

Zanzibar cultures became more diverse in its range, more unique in its expression. Zanzibar is the birthplace of Swahili, a lingua franca forged from global dialects, upon which legends were car¬ried, trade routes opened and a Sultan’s empire prospered. It is here that the Africa Culture blended with other cultures mainly Persian, Arabic and Indian to forms Swahili Culture. Today the romance, the splendor and legends of the past are still vibrantly alive, traditional sailing dhows, carved wooden and doors, chests, the scent of the clove and the smile of the hospitable people wel¬comes you to Zanzibar.

Shopping

As you stroll through Stone Town, you will find several shops selling wood carvings, Zanzibari chests, clothes, spices, jewelry, paintings and antiques. Most of the gift shops are situated along Kenyatta Road in Shangani, and Gizenga Street behind the Old Fort. Tourists are advised not to buy any products related to protected species on the islands, such as sea shells and turtles. A holiday to Zanzibar would be incomplete without visiting these souvenir shops.

WILDLIFE

Zanzibar boasts an abundance of flora and fauna. The verdant dynamism of Jozani National Park, the rainforest endemism of Ngezi and the coastal profusions of endangered mangrove offer a compelling experience to our visitors. In deed there is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas that make Zanzibar a unique destination in the world.

Heritage

Zanzibar is a unique and the right destination for heritage tourism. Apart from Stone town – a world heritage site, a collection of buildings have been marked as the most cultural and architecturally important in Zanzibar including Maruhubi Palace and Kizimkazi Mosques. Many of these demonstrate classic feature of this unique architectural and cultural synthesis.

Pristine

Zanzibar is a unique and the right destination for heritage tourism. Apart from Stone town – a world heritage site, a collection of buildings have been marked as the most cultural and architecturally important in Zanzibar including Maruhubi Palace and Kizimkazi Mosques. Many of these demonstrate classic feature of this unique architectural and cultural synthesis.

Scenic Sea Adventure

Sea Safari is the one of the popular activities and it offers an ideal opportunity to view diverse marine species. A Sea Safari across the coast of Zanzibar, journeying through the famous Chumbe Island and Mnemba Marine Nature Reserve, cruising close to the Pemba Channel and much more. The tour enables you to search for unique sea birds and other marine life.

FOOD

Zanzibar food tells much about the history of Zanzibar, reflecting many different influences from many different places around the world. In Zanzibar you will enjoy the diversity of our cuisine whereby spices, fruits, and sea foods are 100% fresh. There are several restaurants serving special cuisine: Indian Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine and Swahili cuisine

FESTIVAL

Zanzibar is never short of festivals and celebrations. It is one of the countries with highest number of celebrations/festivals in East Africa. Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Mwaka Kogwa, “Sauti ya Busara”, Cultural Festivals, Mangapwani Festival and Makunduchi Food Festival are among the events that showcase the best of Zanzibar culture.

VISA INFORMATION

All visitors require a valid passport and visa for the duration of their stay. Visa can be obtained from Tanzania Diplomatic Mission or alternatively at the entry points. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state within Tanzania, although visitors won’t need a separate Visa to enter, you will need to show your passport on arrival. It is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian embassy or Consulate prior to your travel for updated information.

Immigration

Getting To Zanzibar

By AIR

International flights which arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport

– KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Fly Dubai, Ethiopian Airlines and Etihad Airways.*flight schedule subject to change.

International flights – Kilimanjaro International Airport

– KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Fly Dubai, Ethiopian Airlines and Etihad Airways. *flight schedule subject to change.

International flights – Zanzibar

– Fly Dubai, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines and Oman Air *flight schedule subject to change.

By SEA

If you prefer access by sea a number of speed boats operate on regular base. Travelling by boat allow you to experience the sight and sound of the country up close in an unforgettable journey. Bookings and reservations can be made at the ports and in towns or from the travel agent. Normally non-Tanzanian are required to pay in foreign convertible currencies. The time taken to travel between Dar –es- Salaam and Zanzibar varies depending on the type of the vessels, while the fasten may takes 60 minutes. Note: some cruise ship anchor or dock at Zanzibar port occasionally.

Health and Safety

Zanzibar Commission for Tourism is committed to ensuring visitors have an enjoyable, safe, and memorable experience throughout their stay. We also make every effort to keep visitors and residents aware of any health risks or warnings.Travelers who arriving from Yellow Fever countries should vaccinated from Yellow Fever and poses a valid International Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. Travelers transited from endemic countries for 12 hours or more are also entitled to be vaccinated and possess a valid International Valid of Vaccination. However, travelers exempted from Yellow Fever Vaccination are:

  • Under Medical ground or
  • Age below I year and above 60 years
  • Pregnant woman.

Malaria is still prevalent in East Africa and so one should also take a malaria prophylaxis. There are many different kinds of medica¬tions for Malaria. However, precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Apply insect repellent and sleep under mosquito nets at night. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings.

Code of Conduct

All visitors to Zanzibar are advised to observe the following:

  • Swim suits and skimpy dresses are restricted at public areas, but allowed at hotels and resort premises.
  • Taking alcohol in the public may offend the residents.
  • Nudity on the beach is not acceptable.
  • Kissing in public or display of affection is not customary to Zanzibar.
  • Taking photographs of residents without asking their permission is considered offensive.
  • Military and security sensitive areas cannot be photographs.