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Are you planning a trip to the beautiful island of Zanzibar? 

You are in for a real treat! Zanzibar is known for its stunning white sand beaches, spice farms, and colorful culture. If you’re wondering what else there is to know about this paradise island, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here are the top 20 frequently asked questions about Zanzibar, so you can learn all you need to know to plan the perfect trip!

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1 What is the best time of year to visit?

When it comes to deciding the best time of year to visit Zanzibar, it depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. If you want to enjoy a tropical paradise with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, the best time to visit is during the dry season which runs from June to January. During this time of year, the average temperature ranges from 24-30°C, and rainfall is low. If you’re looking for warmer temperatures and an opportunity to experience the unique cultural experiences of Zanzibar, then the wet season from November to May is the ideal time to visit. During this season, temperatures range from 26-32°C and there is much more rainfall. Generally, the months when it is possible to rain are May, June, and July. 

If you choose to visit, there are always plenty of activities, attractions, and opportunities to experience the unique culture of Zanzibar, regardless of the weather.

2 What are the entry requirements?

Visitors to Zanzibar must have a valid passport and a visa. Visa-on-arrival can be obtained at the airport or other entry points. Alternatively, a single-entry e-visa is available online. You should also be able to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination if asked. Any minors entering the country must have an accompanying adult with them. 

It is also important to check if your destination has any specific requirements or restrictions on what items you are allowed to bring into the country. Generally, prohibited items include illegal drugs, guns, explosives, and counterfeit goods. You should also check if any special permits are required for certain activities such as fishing or diving.

3 What vaccinations do I need?

When visiting Zanzibar, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary vaccinations for your trip. The most common vaccinations recommended for travelers to Zanzibar include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, meningococcal, and rabies. 

It is also recommended to check with a healthcare provider if there are any additional vaccinations or immunizations that are recommended for your particular situation. Additional vaccinations may be necessary depending on where you’re traveling from and where you plan to go while in Zanzibar. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that everyone traveling to Zanzibar receive a booster shot for measles, mumps, and rubella before their visit. 

Be sure to get all of your vaccinations at least four weeks before you leave for your trip. Additionally, be sure to bring a copy of your vaccination record with you when you travel as it may be required when entering the country. 

It is also important to practice safe food and water safety when visiting Zanzibar. Avoid eating or drinking anything from street vendors, and only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and cooled. Additionally, avoid undercooked meats and uncooked vegetables when dining out. 

Taking these precautions will help you stay healthy and enjoy your time in Zanzibar!

4 What is the currency in Zanzibar?

The official currency of Zanzibar is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). However, US Dollars (USD) and Euros (EUR) are widely accepted as well. It is always a good idea to have both Tanzanian Shillings and foreign currency on hand as some places accept one or the other, depending on the location. Credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs can be hard to find, so it’s best to bring enough cash to cover your needs while in Zanzibar. Many people choose to exchange money at the airport upon arrival.

5 How much spending money will I need in Zanzibar?

The amount of spending money you’ll need while in Zanzibar will depend on what type of trip you are planning. If you are traveling on a budget, you can get by with as little as $20-$30 per day. For a more luxurious experience, you’ll want to set aside at least $50-100 per day. 

Accommodation is one of the main expenses when visiting Zanzibar. Hotels and resorts range from around $50-500 per night, depending on the type of room and amenities offered. There are also many affordable guesthouses available for under $20 per night. 

When it comes to food, the cost will vary depending on your chosen restaurants. You can expect to pay anywhere from $3-15 for a meal at a local restaurant. Prices will also vary depending on the type of cuisine you choose. For example, seafood is more expensive than traditional Zanzibari dishes. 

Transportation is relatively inexpensive in Zanzibar. Taxi fares start from around $3, while public buses cost between $1-2 per ride. 

In terms of sightseeing and activities, prices will vary greatly depending on the excursion or attraction you choose. Many experiences are free or cost less than $10, while others can cost up to $100 or more. It’s best to do your research ahead of time and compare prices to get the best value for your money. 

Overall, how much spending money you’ll need in Zanzibar depends on the type of experience you want to have. With careful planning and budgeting, you should be able to find plenty of fun and affordable activities that won’t break the bank!

6 What is the climate like?

Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Tanzania, and it experiences a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The hot, humid season is between December and March and the cooler, dry season is between June and October. The average temperature in Zanzibar is 25 degrees Celsius.

The humidity tends to be high throughout the year, but it is especially noticeable during the hot, humid season. Rainfall is unpredictable but there are usually heavy downpours during the wet season. The dry season is much more pleasant and sunny, but it can still get quite warm. 

It is important to be prepared for both seasons when planning your trip to Zanzibar. Be sure to pack clothes that are lightweight and breathable for the hotter months, and a few warmer layers for the cooler months. Sun protection is also essential, as the sun can be very strong year-round.

7 What should I pack?

When packing for Zanzibar, it’s important to consider the climate and activities you’ll be participating in. Zanzibar is a tropical paradise with hot temperatures all year round, so light and breathable clothing are essential. During the day, shorts and t-shirts are the best options and during the evening, pack some long trousers and a light jacket or sweater. Also, don’t forget to bring a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. You’ll also need to bring swimwear and if you’re planning on taking part in water activities such as snorkeling or diving, make sure to pack the appropriate gear. It’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen and insect repellent, as well as any medications you might need. Other essentials include a power adapter and converter, a small bag for day trips, sturdy walking shoes, and a refillable water bottle.

8 What are the beaches like?

Zanzibar boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with powder-soft sand and sparkling turquoise waters. The beaches vary in size and character, but all have a stunningly picturesque backdrop. Nungwi Beach on the north coast is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, while the east coast beaches of Bwejuu, Paje, and Jambiani are renowned for their kite surfing opportunities. Further south, the beaches of Pongwe and Chwaka Bay are excellent for sunbathing and relaxing. All beaches on the island are public, so there is plenty of room to explore and find your private spot. Be sure to bring along plenty of sun protection and stay hydrated as temperatures can be very hot during the day.

9 What are the best things to see and do in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is a beautiful destination with a lot of activities and attractions to explore. The beaches are pristine and provide great opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also a variety of historical sites to visit, including the old Stone Town which has many interesting buildings, markets, and shops to explore.

The Jozani Forest is home to many unique animals, including the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey and the Ader’s duiker. You can take a guided tour to see the wildlife in the park or take a walk through the mangroves.

For nature lovers, there are several Marine Parks that offer amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities. You can also take a boat trip to Mnemba Island to see the coral reefs.

Other great activities include visiting the spice farms, sailing around the island on a traditional wooden boat, or taking a boat trip to Prison Island for its giant tortoises.

No matter what you’re looking for, Zanzibar is sure to have something that will appeal to you. From its beautiful beaches and clear waters to its fascinating history and culture, this island has something for everyone.

10 What are the restaurants like in Zanzibar?

When it comes to dining in Zanzibar, you’ll find a range of restaurants offering both traditional and international cuisine. Many of the restaurants feature a combination of East African, Indian, and Arab dishes, with seafood being especially popular. There are also many street vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, and snacks. 

In the larger cities like Stone Town, Nungwi, and Kendwa, you’ll find an array of eateries ranging from local street food stalls to fine dining establishments serving Italian, French, and other international cuisines. These restaurants offer a variety of choices and are often very reasonably priced. For a unique experience, there are also beachside restaurants offering seafood freshly caught from the Indian Ocean. 

If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, there are plenty of local restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious Swahili meal. These establishments specialize in dishes such as pilau (rice cooked with spices and meat), biryani (fried rice cooked with spices, nuts, and raisins), and ugali (a stiff maize porridge). 

No matter where you go in Zanzibar, you’ll be sure to find something delicious to satisfy your appetite!

Our recommendation: The Rock, address: Pingwe, Michamvi, Tanzania

11 What is the Zanzibar nightlife like?

The nightlife in Zanzibar is vibrant and varied, offering something for everyone. The main entertainment areas are Stone Town and Paje Beach. In Stone Town, you’ll find several lively bars and clubs, many with live music, along with restaurants and cafes. Some discos and lounges are open until the early hours of the morning.

Paje Beach is the other main destination for those looking for a night out. It has a great variety of bars, beach bars, and nightclubs, where you can dance until dawn. There are also plenty of restaurants serving both local and international cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening or a wild night out, you won’t be disappointed.

Our recommendation: Coral Rocks, Live music every Monday night, address: Near Paje, Jambiani Mfumbwi Zanzibar TZ, 4125, Tanzania

12 What are the Zanzibar shopping opportunities like?

Shopping in Zanzibar is an experience in itself, with something to suit everyone’s taste and budget. The best places to shop are in Stone Town, where you’ll find a vast array of markets, shops, and stalls selling everything from traditional African textiles and souvenirs to local spices, wooden carvings, and jewelry. For the ultimate shopping experience, visit Darajani Market, which is the largest and most popular market in Stone Town. Here you can find a wide selection of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, and spices. You can also purchase fabrics, carpets, clothes, handcrafts, pottery, and much more. If you’re looking for something unique and special, head to Forodhani Gardens Night Market for somelate-nightt shopping. There you will find traditional Zanzibari food, street performers, and colorful craftsmen. There are plenty of souvenir shops throughout Stone Town, so don’t forget to pick up something to remind you of your wonderful holiday in Zanzibar.

13 What are the people like?

Hakuna Matata! Zanzibar is known for its friendly people, who are welcoming to visitors. The majority of people living in Zanzibar are of African descent and most are Muslim. English is widely spoken among people, making it easier to communicate with them.

The people of Zanzibar are warm and hospitable, always willing to lend a helping hand. They are passionate about their culture, traditions, and history and they enjoy telling stories of the past. Most people have a strong sense of community and will often invite visitors into their homes to share meals or celebrate special occasions.

Visitors should keep in mind that Zanzibaris are quite conservative when it comes to dressing and public displays of affection. Therefore, it is important to dress modestly, especially for women, to show respect for their culture. Additionally, showing respect for religious practices is also expected from visitors.

14 What are the most popular tourist attractions?

The beautiful beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture of Zanzibar have made it a popular destination for travelers around the world. With so many exciting sights and activities to explore, here are some of the most popular tourist attractions:

  • Stone Town: This is the old part of the city, featuring a maze of winding streets, ancient buildings, and vibrant markets. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Jozani Forest Reserve: This lush forest is home to dozens of rare and endangered species, including the red colobus monkey. There are plenty of trails to explore and wildlife to observe.
  • Prison Island: This tiny island off the coast of Zanzibar is home to a historic prison and a colony of giant tortoises. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and diving.
  • Spice Tour: Zanzibar is famous for its spices, and you can take a guided tour through a spice plantation to learn all about them.
  • Beaches: From calm, sheltered bays to wild surf beaches, there’s something for everyone on Zanzibar’s long coastline. It’s also one of the best places in the world to go on a dhow safari.
  • Pemba Island: This is Zanzibar’s little sister island, located off the coast. It’s much less developed than Zanzibar itself and is a great place to get away from it all.

15 What are the less popular tourist attractions?

Though Zanzibar is well known for its world-famous beaches and historic monuments, some lesser-known attractions can make a visit to the island even more memorable. One of these is the Mbweni Ruins. Located just outside of Stone Town, this former 19th-century missionary college has been left in ruins and is a fascinating spot to explore. Another interesting place to visit is the Mtoni Palace Ruins. This 16th-century complex was the royal home of Sultan Sayyid Said and offers visitors a chance to explore a part of the island’s rich history. 

The Kidichi Persian Baths, located near the village of Chwaka, were built by Sultan Sayyid Said in the 19th century. These traditional baths are now open to the public and feature pools of hot and cold water, ornate archways and sculptures, and lush gardens. The Beit al Ajaib (House of Wonders) is another attraction worth visiting. Built-in 1883, it is one of the oldest buildings in Stone Town and was once used as a ceremonial palace. Today it is a museum housing ancient artifacts, historical documents, and artwork. 

Finally, if you’re looking for something more adventurous, consider exploring the Jozani Forest Reserve. This protected area is home to an array of wildlife, including monkeys, bush pigs, and various birds, and offers guided tours and nature walks. There is also a conservation project dedicated to preserving the reserve’s endangered Red Colobus monkeys.

16 What are the off-the-beaten-path attractions?

For those looking for an adventure off the beaten path, Zanzibar has plenty of options. From secluded fishing villages to picturesque walking trails, there are plenty of hidden gems in this tropical paradise.

In the northern part of the island, visitors can explore Mangapwani Beach Cave, a hidden cave located near the beach. The cave is filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, as well as ancient artifacts. Nearby is Nungwi village, a traditional fishing village with a rich cultural heritage and plenty of opportunities for exploring. 

On the western side of Zanzibar, visitors can enjoy a peaceful day walking through the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of wildlife and rare endemic plants, as well as a chance to spot the red colobus monkey. There are also plenty of bird-watching opportunities here, so make sure to bring your binoculars! 

For a truly unique experience, head to the Pemba Island, located just off the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. This small island is a haven for divers and snorkelers thanks to its crystal-clear waters and spectacular coral reefs. You can also explore the Pemba Museum and learn more about the island’s history and culture. 

No matter what kind of adventure you’re seeking, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path attractions in Zanzibar that will be sure to satisfy your wanderlust. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape or an adrenaline-filled journey, this idyllic island offers something for everyone.

17 What are the transportation options?

When it comes to getting around Zanzibar, there are a few different options available. Taxis are widely available on the island and are often the most convenient way of getting from one place to another. You can also rent a car in Stone Town and drive yourself, although the roads can be quite tricky to navigate. The public bus system is another affordable option and is relatively reliable, although most of the buses don’t have air conditioning and can get very hot. Finally, if you want to explore some of the further out islands, you can take a ferry or hire a private boat for the day.

18 What are the accommodation options?

When visiting Zanzibar, you have plenty of accommodation options to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels, you can find something to suit your needs.

If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, there are plenty of options. Luxury resorts offer luxurious amenities such as private beach access, all-inclusive packages, and fine dining experiences. For those who are looking for a more affordable option, there are also plenty of mid-range and budget hotels in the area.

For travelers who prefer a more unique experience, there are plenty of guesthouses and private villas available as well. You can rent a villa for a week or even a month, giving you a more intimate feel for the culture and people of Zanzibar.

For those who prefer a less expensive option, there are also plenty of hostels and campsites in the area. These are perfect for travelers who want to save money while still experiencing all that Zanzibar has to offer.

Our recommendation: The Nest, address: Paje, Tanzania

No matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs in Zanzibar!

19 What are the safety concerns?

When it comes to safety, Zanzibar is generally considered to be a safe destination. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions and remain vigilant at all times. As with traveling anywhere, there is always a risk of petty crime such as pickpocketing or bag snatching, so it is advisable to keep an eye on your belongings. You should also avoid carrying large amounts of cash and using ATMs in isolated or dimly lit areas.

It is also advisable to be aware of local scams and be wary of those who approach you offering services or goods. It is best to research beforehand and stick to reputable companies or operators when booking tours, hotels, and activities.

In terms of health, Zanzibar is a tropical environment, and therefore there is a risk of contracting various illnesses and diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. It is important to speak to your doctor before traveling to ensure you are adequately protected against these. It is also wise to take some basic medical supplies such as painkillers, antiseptic creams, and antihistamines with you when traveling.

Overall, if you take the necessary precautions and stay aware of your surroundings then Zanzibar can be an incredibly safe destination to visit.

20 What are the tips for traveling on a budget?

When it comes to budget travel in Zanzibar, there are a few tips that can help you save money and make the most of your experience. 

First, plan and book your flights and accommodation in advance. This will usually save you money compared to last-minute deals. You can also look for discount packages or deals that bundle together flights and accommodations. 

Second, consider visiting during the shoulder season. April and May, September and October are great months to see as the crowds are smaller and the prices are lower. 

Third, try to stick to eating local cuisine. This is not only delicious but much cheaper than western meals. Stick to street food and cafes instead of higher-end restaurants. 

Fourth, avoid taking expensive tours or safaris. You can get around the island using public transport or you can rent a car or scooter. This is usually cheaper than organized tours and you can explore at your own pace. 

Finally, stay away from tourist traps. Many vendors try to overcharge tourists for souvenirs or services. Know what prices should be before you purchase anything so that you don’t get taken advantage of. 

By following these tips, you can have a wonderful time in Zanzibar without breaking the bank.


Further Read: 25 Best Vacation Spots & Places To Visit In The World 


Don’t you think these places to visit in Zanzibar are really interesting? Are you excited about visiting these places in one of the happiest archipelagos in the world? 

If yes, plan a trip to Zanzibar, head to your favorite destination, and spend some wonderful time with your family or friends! 

There’s a whole world out there for you to explore!


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