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Zanzibar Travel Tips

The Essence of African Splendor

Are you seeking the quintessential African experience? Zanzibar offers a myriad of opportunities to immerse yourself in the continent’s rich landscapes and cultural heritage. Marvel at the stunning beaches and turquoise waters that fringe the island, providing a perfect backdrop for relaxation and exploration. Experience the spice-scented air and vibrant markets of Stone Town, where history comes alive in the narrow streets and ancient buildings. Delight in the mystical allure of Zanzibar’s spice islands, where the aroma of cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon fills the air, and the rich history of the spice trade unfolds before your eyes.

For those with a taste for adventure, Zanzibar offers plenty of opportunities to explore off the beaten path. Discover hidden coves and secluded beaches along the island’s coastline, where you can swim, snorkel, or dive amidst colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. Explore the island’s lush interior, where waterfalls and pristine forests await. After your adventures, unwind in luxury at one of Zanzibar’s exquisite resorts, where world-class amenities and warm hospitality ensure a memorable stay.

Concerned about safety? Rest assured that Zanzibar is a safe and welcoming destination for travelers. Before your trip, familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions, and obtain the latest travel information from experts to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience on the island. Discover the charm and beauty of Zanzibar with our comprehensive travel guide below.

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Visa and entry

For most visitors, obtaining a tourist visa to enter Tanzania is typically necessary. To ascertain whether you require a visa, it’s best to contact your local Tanzanian Consulate. Fortunately, acquiring a visa at the point of entry, whether it’s a border crossing or airport, is a straightforward process.

For travelers from the United States, the cost of a tourist visa is $100 USD per person, while citizens from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada are charged $50 USD per person. It’s crucial to note that USD notes used for payment should be from 2013 or later.

For those entering Tanzania via Kilimanjaro International Airport, it’s advisable to apply for an e-Visa. You can apply for an electronic visa through this link. Please note that the mentioned fees and procedures may vary slightly for entry into Zanzibar.

Health information

All visitors traveling to Zanzibar from East African countries must provide proof of yellow fever vaccination.

There is a risk of malaria in Zanzibar, so taking anti-malaria prophylactics is strongly recommended. It is also wise to carry mosquito repellent, especially in high-risk areas like safari parks and rural regions.

Dar Es Salaam, the capital, offers medical facilities that meet most international standards. However, as you travel further inland or to remote areas of Zanzibar, the availability of appropriate medical facilities and pharmacies may decrease. Therefore, it is advisable to bring all necessary prescription medicines with you.

Language and religion

In Zanzibar, Swahili and English stand as the official languages, with Swahili serving as the national language. Various local languages are spoken among different tribes, including Maasai, Meru, and Sukuma. Among the Asian communities, languages such as Gujarati are also spoken. Typically, individuals first learn their local language and are then introduced to Swahili and English in school.

Religiously, Zanzibar reflects Tanzania’s diverse landscape. Approximately one third of the population is Christian, another third is Muslim, and the remaining third adheres to indigenous or other beliefs. Muslim communities are predominantly situated in coastal areas and Zanzibar, with significant Muslim populations inland, particularly along former caravan routes. Among Christians, the majority are either Catholic or Protestant, with other denominations constituting the remainder. Additionally, Zanzibar hosts smaller religious communities of Buddhists, Hindus, and Bahá’ís.

Currency and cards

The official currency of Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling (TSZ), but most popular tourist spots also accept USD. Note that US dollar bills printed before 2013 might not be accepted, and those printed before 2009 will be rejected. When exchanging currency at authorized money exchange centers, always remember to collect your receipt.

To avoid card cloning at ATMs in Zanzibar, inform your bank before and after your trip to monitor and cancel any fraudulent transactions. Use ATMs located inside or at bank premises for added security. Visa is the most widely accepted card, though a surcharge may apply for transactions.

For more detailed information, our destination experts are ready to help. Contact us today for a customized, obligation-free Zanzibar tour itinerary.

Cultural Sensitivity

Zanzibar, with its diverse cultural tapestry, is a place where travelers encounter various customs and traditions deeply rooted in history. As a visitor, it’s crucial to respect and honor these cultural nuances to foster positive interactions and mutual understanding with the local community. Dressing modestly is a sign of respect, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas where more conservative dress codes are observed. Additionally, seeking permission before taking photographs of people demonstrates sensitivity to personal boundaries and cultural norms. By showing reverence for local customs and traditions, travelers can create meaningful connections and enrich their experiences in Zanzibar while contributing to the preservation of its cultural heritage.

Furthermore, engaging in cultural exchanges with an open mind and a willingness to learn can deepen your appreciation for Zanzibar’s rich heritage. Take the opportunity to participate in local customs or festivals, such as traditional dance performances or Swahili cooking classes, to gain insight into the daily lives and traditions of the island’s residents. By embracing cultural diversity and engaging respectfully with the local community, travelers not only enrich their own experiences but also contribute to the preservation and celebration of Zanzibar’s vibrant cultural identity for future generations to enjoy.

Popular Trips to Zanzibar

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Best Places To Visit

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area,

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Rubondo Island National Park

Rubondo Island National Park, located in the southwestern corner of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, is a pristine and

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Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National Park, located in western Tanzania along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, is a small but

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Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is a remote and untouched wilderness located in western Tanzania, renowned for its abundant wildlife

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Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park is a remote and pristine wilderness area located in western Tanzania along the shores

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Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika, located in East Africa, is the second-largest and second-deepest freshwater lake by volume in the world.

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Best Time To Visit

Located just south of the equator with little seasonal variation, Zanzibar tourism is possible at any time of the year. Here is an overview from our destination experts.

Safety In Zanzibar

As tourism is the primary source of income in Zanzibar, the local authorities take the safety of tourists very seriously. All you need to do is keep some basic tips in mind.

Part of Zanzibar

Stone Town for history, Northern Zanzibar for beaches, East Coast for relaxation, and islands like Pemba, Mafia, Mnemba, and Chumbe for unique experiences. Zanzibar caters to all travelers, from cultural enthusiasts to beach lovers and adventurers.

From the Blog

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What Our Guests Say

Dzigbordi A
Dzigbordi A
Unforgettable trip to Serengeti with African Diurnal Safari It was a fantastic trip especially with my escort driver. He’s very patient and makes sure I see what I want. It interesting see these wild animals in their own habitat. I was able to see big 3 out of the big 3; Elephants, lion and buffalo. I saw cheetah too so that will replace my leopard, unfortunately I couldn’t see Rhino. There were numerous animals at Serengati aside the big 5.
diakiss d
diakiss d
During our trip, we saw many famous animal, like chiter, elephants, lion, zebra buffalo, giraffe and many others animals The trip were really amazing and took many pictures and videos and we enjoyed a lot it was a great experiences that we are not going to forget.
Alessandro S
Alessandro S
Absolutely recommended Great experience absolutely recommended! Great driver too 💪🏻 we saw all the animals we wished to see! Everything was planned by African Diurnal so we could enjoy the most without any stress in planning
Deogratias E
Deogratias E
The fabulous African Safari Tour in Northern Tanzania it was an African safari that included my wife and I and another couple (our friends). We started in Arusha city, went to Seronera, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti, and then ended in Mwanza city. It was a very wonderful experience. My wife and I and our two grown sons did almost a very similar safari tour in June 2019 by the same company and we also experienced the same excellent/superior service. From hotel choices, services in the tour vehicle, meals, etc., it was fabulous
Rachael p
Rachael p
Remarkable Lifetime Safari Experience! I had an unforgettable safari with Lameck's team. The tailored made itinerary for me as solo woman traveller, quick and easy communication and well controlled within my budget with quality accommodations! My driver Samson was a great guide and he knows everything about wildlife and parks, within five days I was lucky to see all the big five up close. I would definitely recommend African Diurnal Safaris to anyone looking for remarkable lifetime safari experience.
Alexandra T
Alexandra T
Best experience ever This was an amazing experience! Our guide knew exactly where all the animals are and we were very lucky to see all of them! We will never forget this trip. What a beautiful region. Long way to drive from kilimanjaro airport to seregenti park.
Grace P
Grace P
Amazing! Wonderful experience! My tour guide taught me so much about the Serengeti and the animals that live inside. We had an amazing picnic lunch under a tree in the Serengeti while watching animals graze in front of us. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I highly recommend!
A great experience. I only had one day to do a safari. This company did a great job in providing a wonderful Serengeti experience. Lameck, the guide was very good at finding most of the big five animals including getting about 6 meters (20 feet) away from three lionesses feeding on a recent kill.
Amazing 7days luxury Safari with great Safari Company Me and my husband had the best times and best organised safari from the beginning when arranging the trip as well as payments. Everything was great and our guide Lameck was the best ever, he is very skilled and well informed. He showed us the most incredible places and gave us great information about every animal, birds and plant we saw. He knew the roads very well and took very good care of us. When it came to lunch he knew how to set a wonderful table and pampered us well enough. We had a very exciting adventure with Lameck. Wonderful trip that I recommend to all who love to see the fascinating wildlife in Tanzania. Thank you African Diurnal Safaris and thank you so much Lameck for this great wonderful experience. Will definitely recommend this trip to my friends.
David M
David M
Sensational safari We enjoyed a great 4 day Safari. Our friendly drivers were knowledgeable and helpful. Starting from the western side meant that our first day was extra special as we did not see any other vehicles but very many animals.