Located off the coast of Tanzania in Africa, the archipelago of Zanzibar is one of the most famous islands in the world. Its serene waters lay a warm turquoise cover to the corals reefs and exotic wildlife surrounding the islands. Zanzibar was a major port in the old trading days since it lies on the route between Asia and Africa. Vasco-da-Gama’s famous voyage to India brought Zanzibar into European attention and it was subsequently colonized by several countries like Britain and Portugal. Their influence can be seen to this day in Stone Town and Zanzibar city. Zanzibar was also important in the trade circuit because it plays an important role in the spice trade. As you go inwards in Zanzibar, you will see plenty of spice and herb cultivations. Zanzibar is also known as Spice Island because of this. A quirky trait on this archipelago is displayed on the streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town. Traditionally, when constructing a house here, work usually begins with the making of the door. Their designs are aesthetic wonders and tourists visiting this town are recommended a walk down the streets to see some samples. The archipelago is almost 90 kilometres long and the beaches on the northern and eastern coast are the best diving spots. The eastern coast also has several resorts if you want to be pampered in luxury. However, getting down and dirty in the local way is highly recommended because even the simplest things on these islands are an experience of their own. A word of caution regarding the climate, try and avoid the island during rains. It is wet and humid on land and the sea is rough throughout the year, more so when it rains. You can sail around in a dhow when it is sunny, but let the locals be in control of the craft. There are several amusement options for kids and large groups too. Zanzibar is the place to be if you wish to see the confluence of European, African and Arab cultures.
Essential travel information and Zanzibar tips for your visit
- Time zone: UTC +03.00
- Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
- Electricity: 220-240 volts, 50Hz
- Internet: Few public places and most hotels in Zanzibar offer free Wi-Fi.
- Languages: Kiswahili, English
- Security: Emergency contact: 999
- Zanzibar is largely a Muslim area so there are certain regulations that apply to everyone who visits the archipelago. Dress conservatively. Do not drink alcohol out in the open.
- It is impolite to eat or drink during the day in the month of Ramadan.
- Beware of pickpockets.
- If you own any flashy goods, it is best not to flash them openly. it can be an open invitation for thieves.
- Do not wander alone at night, especially on beaches.
Zanzibar Trip Planner
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The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Zanzibar
Save 5%Full-Day Stone Town and Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar
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Save 10%Shades of Zanzibar - Full DayNew on TripHobo
Save 9%Spices and Stone Town Tour in Zanzibar
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Stone Town tourNew on TripHobo