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  • Zanzibar: facts & figures
    Officially, Zanzibar is called Unguja Island but informally people speak about Zanzibar. It is the main island with another big one called Pemba Island above and many small others around. Zanzibar is an autonomous region of Tanzania. The main land is about 75 kilometers away. The main industries are spices and tourism. Area: 3'354km Population: approx. 1'000'000 Language: Swahili (English widely spoken) Religion: Muslim with a few Christian and Hindu Capital: Stone town
  • Currency
    The main currency is TSH (Tanzanian Schilling). You can also pay in dollars, but the exchange rate mostly is not the best.
  • ATM
    There are not too many ATM's on the island. Depending where you are staying it is good to be prepared, otherwise you may have to drive quiet far. For foreigners, it is forbidden to import the local currency to Zanzibar. Therefore, the best is to plan a visit at an ATM upon arrival in Zanzibar. You will find some in the capital Stone Town (where you arrive), 3 are located in the east coast (Paje), and recently there is also one in the north (Nungwi). I would recommend you to bring a small amount of dollars for the first days just in case.
  • Zanzibar criminality
    The zanzibarian folk is in general very friendly, and the criminality quiet low. However, as in every culture, there can be a few troublemakers. Just be respectful and act as you would in other foreign countries. The poverty of the island is quiet big, even though they can survive easily as the island is very fertile. Of course, they do not have many belongings. Therefore, tourists who show all they have wide around can provoke criminality. Don't show all your expensive stuff (pack your camera away when you are just walking around, leave your Rolex at home;)) and then it should be fine. You can basically freely walk around and do excursions, walk home from a party at the beach with friends. Just do not walk alone when it is dark (especially not in dark areas like the village). These are just advices based on my experience and it is up to you to consider the situation.
  • Seasons & Temperature
    The best seasons for a visit in Zanzibar are the summer and winter seasons: Summer season: Mid-December to mid-March (temperature approx. around 30 degrees) Winter Season: June to September (temperature approx. around 28 degrees) In the other months, you can still have an amazing time but maybe there is going to be some rainy days. Kiting: Kiting is possible in both seasons (summer & winter), although, the winter season usually has more consistent and a little bit stronger wind.
  • Zanzibar prices
    The Zanzibar price level is definitely cheaper than in Switzerland, but also not as cheap as for example in the region of Asia. Prizes in touristic places: Beer: approx. CHF 2 for 0.5L Cocktails: approx. CHF 5 Meal with a glass of wine for 1 person: approx. CHF 10 - 15 There is always the possibility of "cheap" food in local restaurants, where you can eat for approx. CHF 5.- a very good portion. If you have a kitchen in your accommodation, you can even buy your food in the supermarket for quiet cheap and cook on your own.
  • How to get to Zanzibar
    There are flights from Switzerland to Zanzibar. I recommend flying with Qatar as they also offer free flight changes. Usually, you would fly from Zurich over Doha (stopover of about 2 hours) to Zanzibar. The whole travel takes about 15 hours. If you wish to do a Safari in Tanzania, you can easily fly to Dar Es Salam (main land of Tanzania), go on your Safari and then fly from Dar Es Salam to Zanzibar (flight of 20 minutes for about CHF 60.-). Prices: the prices of the flight (round trip) depend a lot on the season and more. You will find flights from CHF 700.
  • Visa Zanzibar
    To enter Zanzibar you will need a touristic visa, which you can apply for online: Tanzania eVisa - Welcome ( Fill in the form and take note of your application ID and the login information (with that, you can check the status of the application any time). Usually, you should get your visa within 2-3 weeks. Print the visa out and show it once you arrive in Zanzibar. Costs: A touristic visa (up to 3 months stay) costs USD 50
  • How much tip
    Tipping in Zanzibar is highly appreciated, as the local salaries are quiet low. A tip of around 10% is always a good way to say "thank you" (or "Asante" in Swahili) for a good service.
  • Tourists in Zanzibar
    You will get to meet a wide range of tourists in Zanzibar coming from all over the world. People come from Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria but also South Africa, England, Russia and many others. A great thing is, that even a busy Zanzibar is still great to relax.
  • Can I combine a safari with Zanzibar Holidays
    Yes, you can :) And this is actually is a great idea, if you want to see the main land and experience the wildlife followed by a few days on the beach. Right now, the safaris are beautiful as it is less crowded and from the main land Dar Es Salam you can get easily to the safari places. I recommend you having a planned holiday length of 10 days at least to combine both (approx. 3 days safari and 5 days beach - 2 days for travel).
  • Rules of Zanzibar
    In general, Zanzibar is a very easygoing island. Clothing rules: It is a mainly Muslim island; therefore, it is not appreciated and respectful to walk in the village with only bathing clothes or crop tops. When you go there, just wear shorts and a t-shirt and that is fine. Right at the beach, you can of course wear your swimwear (no nudist beaches). Beach boys: In Zanzibar, beach boys are a common thing. This means, that they will present you many things you can do or buy. Do not be mad at them - they do not have much of a choice, as tourism is a good possibility to make some money. Most of them are not hustling too much. If you do not want anything, a strict but friendly "No thank you" is usually ok. Sometimes, they just want to talk a little ;) You will find out that most of the tourists never tan straight at the beach. They relax on sunbeds in the private beachfront area of their hotel, where only several locals as for example massage women, are allowed. Kids gifts: The kids of Zanzibar are super cute, always smiling and styling. They usually live in poor circumstances. A gift like a pen, paper, an English book or other useful things would bring a huge smile on their faces. Please rather do not give sweets (even if they ask for it) or other unhealthy stuff. Smoking: Smoking is allowed in Zanzibar - do not through your Cigarette away. Bring a portable ashtray with you if you want to smoke everywhere. Plastic: The import of plastic bags is not allowed in Tanzania. As most of the third world countries, their garbage system is not as good as we know it from the eastern world. As responsible tourist, you do well by taking care of the place you visit and behave, as it would be your home. I recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle and refilling it on the island (or you can buy one at many places). In general: We are all sharing the planet and whether we are in holidays or in our own home, we want to do our best to keep our planet as beautiful as possible and limit our ecological footprint as much as we can. Travelling is amazing and a good opportunity to open our minds and appreciate even more, what we have. Act sustainable and respectful to keep up these possibilities for all future humans.
  • Healthcare
    Zanzibar has pharmacies and hospitals for small little injures. Bigger hospitals are in Dar Es Salam. It it best to bring your own small home remedy kit for your travels (Ibuprofen, diarrhea remedies, antiseptic, wound disinfection and so on) Water: You cannot drink tap water in Zanzibar.
  • Covid
    The entering rules of Zanzibar is a negative PCR test (72 hours). You also will have to fill in a health form 24 hours upon arrival: There is no need of quarantine. To return, with regards to the latest updates of March 2022, you will not need to get another PCR test as the Swiss goverment doesn't requier it and airlines like Qatar for exemple only ask for one, if the destination country does. As with this topic there are a lot of changes, please check the actual Covid information to have the latest update.
  • Vaccine
    Consult your doctor or the tropical institute for the latest information regarding your planned holiday. Get your appointment at least 1 month before your travel.
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