Drinking and Dining
The Zanzibari Cuisine is as delicious as varied. It comes with a blend of flavour from all around the Indian Ocean. In almost all Hotels you will have breakfast included -
Although being a Muslim country, there are no restrictions in regard to alcohol for tourists and prices are moderate. Local Beer is strong and tasty but don’t miss out on the fresh fruit juices -
Tanzania’s electricity has in theory 220-
Internet and Telephone
Meanwhile most of the Hotels and Restaurants offer WiFi to its guests, There are also some Internet Cafés available in Nungwi as well as in Stone Town.
Cell phones have swamped the island in recent years and almost everybody has got one. If you bring an unlocked mobile phone, you can easily buy a prepaid sim and start calling at local rates. Roaming fees of your home-
Health and Vaccinations
Zanzibar is less exposed to risk of malaria and other widely diffused diseases of Central Africa, such as yellow fever but certain precautions have to be observed (e.g. minor cuts and scrapes can easily become throbbing infections and traveller’s diarrhoea can be avoided by the good old wisdom: „cook it, peel it, wash it or forget it“). If of need you will find physicians and pharmacists in private health structures as well as the most commonly prescribed medicaments. Finally do not forget using sun screen lotions with high protections factors even if you are only in the shade.
Before you travel though, you should consult your family doctor to ask for advice and necessary vaccinations. Although there is no risk of yellow fewer in Zanzibar and officially there is no requirement to be vaccinated against unless you pass through an endemic area, health officials at the airport often ask for your vaccination certificate. If they try to make you a hard time, you have to insist that you arrived directly from Europe (or a non-
Most shops are open 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., occasionally to 7 p.m or even later. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday mornings until 1 p.m. Forex Bureaux have usually longer opening hours.
Although more than 90 % of Zanzibar’s Population is Muslim, all major Christian Holidays are also adhered and in addition there are quite a few national holidays that provide for another day off. Tourists usually are not much influenced by those holidays and even during Ramadan, public life goes on without major disturbances.
Religion and Ramadan
The vast majority of Zanzibaris are Muslim. Therefore the most important is that, unless at the beach, dress decently. Uncovered shoulders and heads are fine, but tiny mini-
Safety and Security
Zanzibar can be considered ‚safe’ in terms of African countries but still it is advisable to behave carefully. Do not take any valuables with you, especially when out in the dark. During daytime almost all areas of Zanzibar can be considered as safe but at night stay away from dark beaches or unlit narrow streets. Mugging is very rare but if you leave anything unattended, it might quickly attract someone’s attention who has a good use for it.
Zanzibar is on GMT +3 hrs which is one hour ahead of Central European Summer time and two hours during winter. However, if you want to switch to Swahili Time (which starts the day at 6 am, meaning that 7 am is 1 o’clock Swahili time) you might easily get confused.
If you arrive at the airport or ferry-
Most buses are leaving from the central bus terminal in front of the old market in Stone Town („Darajani“) and cover almost all places on the island.
Taxis are quite expensive and it is necessary to negotiate the price BEFORE entering the car. It is also possible to rent cars or motorbikes (International driving licence is not required but you will need a local driving permit) but driving on the left and in ‚African Style’ is not quite everyone’s cup of tea.
A passport (valid for at least six more months) is necessary to enter the country. Most nationals require a Visa that can be obtained from a Tanzania embassy abroad or on arrival at the international airports of Dar Es Salam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro). For most EU and US Citizens Visa on arrival works well apart from unpredictable waiting times at the passport control which is caused by an obscure administrative procedure. But do not worry, at the end you will be called, your fingerprints and photograph will be taken and off you go.
For the Visa on arrival Tanzania currently charges US.$ 50,-