Learn more about Zanzibar
Although Zanzibar And Its Neighbouring Tropical Island Of Pemba Do Not Have Reserve Or Park Status, They Are Worth Mentioning Here For The Aquatic Life, Some Rare Primates And A Fascinating History. Zanzibar Is A Common Post-Safari Destination That Adds A Relaxing, Exotic Element To A Hectic Holiday.
These Islands Lie At The Top Of Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Coastline, Which Over The Centuries Have Been Influenced By Numerous Cultures Which Have Blended Together To Create The Zanzibar Of Today. The Confusing Mix Originates From An African Asian Combination Created By A Touch Of Persian, Arabian, Indian And Chinese Influences With Some Dutch, Portuguese And English Thrown In For Good Measure. Slaves And Spices Made These Islands Famous.
Shirazi Persians And Omani Arabs Settled And Ruled The Zanzibar Sultanate, Which Explains The Arab Influences And Muslim Religion Which Endures Today. Heavily Carved And Studded Zanzibar Doors Relieve The Plain Exteriors Of Many Houses, Many Of Which Are Peeling And Dishevelled. The Indian Influence Produced Coloured Glasswork And Ornamental Fretwork Balconies And Today Gujarat Traders Sell Just About Anything From Cloves To Curios. The English Legacy Is A Number Of Solid Imperial Buildings Occupying The More Select Parts Of The Stone Town. The Islands Conjure Up Everything One Could Want From A Tropical Escape. Spectacular Beaches, Simple Fishing Villages, Relaxing Resorts, Silence And Solitude If You Wish Or The Hustle And Bustle In The Narrow Streets Of An Ancient Town.
Best Time to Visit Zanzibar
The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of spring. Another popular time to visit this tropical island is from December to February when it’s hot and dry. We don’t recommend visiting Zanzibar during the two rainy seasons, from mid-March to late May and again in November.
Travel with Children
Zanzibar Island’s gentle beaches alone are enough to make the island the perfect family destination. Many hotels also have swimming pools (ideal for passing time while the tide is out) and spacious grounds, and there’s a wide choice of child-friendly cuisine.
Entry & Exit Formalities
Provided you have a visa, Tanzania is straightforward to enter.
Exporting seashells, coral, ivory and turtle shells is illegal. There’s no limit on the importation or exportation of foreign currency, but amounts over US$10,000 must be declared.
Almost everyone needs a visa, which costs US$50 for most nationalities (US$100 for US citizens) for a single-entry visa valid for a maximum of three months. Officially, visas must be obtained in advance by all travelers who come from a country with Tanzania diplomatic representation.
One month is the normal visa validity and three months (upon request) is the maximum. For extensions within the three-month limit, there are immigration offices in all major towns, including Dar Es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi; the process is free and generally straightforward. Extensions after three months are difficult; you usually need to leave the country and apply for a new visa.
Flights & Getting there
Many visitors to Zanzibar Island travel from Dar es Salaam on one of the fast and efficient Kilimanjaro ferries. Other ferries are Mandeleo, Serengeti and Flying Horse, but the best are Kilimanjaro ferries. All ferries arrive in Zanzibar Town.
It’s also possible to fly to Zanzibar Island (arriving in Zanzibar Town) from Dar Es Salaam, Tanga, Mombasa, Nairobi and other destinations in East Africa.
Only near the southern end of this natural coral barricade do two open passages permit safe