Practical Information Zanzibar

The beautiful island of Zanzibar, located on the East coast of Africa, is known as the spice island. This place in Africa is one of the most breathtaking, due to the interesting mix of culture, history and idyllic geography.  

Official name:  Zanzibar
Country: Tanzania
Capital City: Stone Town
Surface: 1462 km2
Inhabitants: Approximately 950.000
Government: Democrat
Official Language:       Swahili and English
Currency:                Tanzanian Shilling (10.000 TZS = €4)

About 95% of the population on Zanzibar is Muslim. There is also a mix of Christians and Hindu. The locals also believe in the African myths, customs and rituals.

Best travel time
On Zanzibar there is a tropical climate. This means the temperature is between the 25 and 30 degrees Celsius all year around. The temperature of the seawater in Paje is all year around 27 degrees. The long rain season is from March until the end of May, and the short rain season is in November. To enjoy the best weather on Zanzibar, it is best to avoid the rain seasons.

Capturing your trip
Zanzibar is a beautiful island, and it would be a shame if you would not capture the beautiful moments here. However, when you want to take a picture of the local people here, ask before you do. Many local people believe a part of their soul will be trapped in the photo. And besides, you probably do not like it either when tourists take pictures of you back home 🙂

How to get there
Every day there are direct flights from Europe to Tanzania. When flying to Zanzibar you will probably have a lay-over in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi or Dubai. This depends on which airline you take. If you are not a fan of small airplanes, you can fly to Dar es Salaam and take the ferry to Stone Town. This will take 75 minutes, and a ticket costs around $35 USD.

East Africa Time
Time zone in Zanzibar City (GMT+3)

Distance Amsterdam-Zanzibar:         7.351 km
Travel time: Approximately 11 hours

Zanzibar consists of a Tropical climate. Most of the time it’s hot and humid. All year around the temperature can vary from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. Zanzibar also has a wet and a dry season.

When travelling to Zanzibar, you need to have a passport which is at least valid for another six months when you arrive. You will also need a Tanzanian tourist visa. This visa is valid for 90 days. You can request your visa in your home country at the Tanzanian Embassy, or you can request a visa when you arrive at the airport. When you request your visa at arrival, the costs are 50 USD. Make sure to bring both your credit card and 50 USD cash. Sometimes they prefer credit card, sometimes they prefer cash.

Money matters
The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. In most hotels and restaurants it is also possible to pay with USD. In Paje there is an ATM, a five-minutes’ walk from our guesthouse.

Before you travel to Zanzibar, make sure you get in contact with your family doctor or your local Travel Clinic (in Dutch GGD). They will inform you about the vaccinations you will need. When entering Tanzania, you will need proof of the Yellow Fever vaccination.

Our guesthouse is a relaxed and safe place. However, it is of course of importance to be aware and conscious of the surroundings. Whether that is at the airport, during excursions or at a restaurant. Make sure you keep your belongings close to you. Do not bring too expensive things with you, and definitely no large amounts of cash. Do not walk alone through the village after sunset. We will happily arrange a taxi for you! Dress appropriate and act respectful. You would want the same when tourists visit your own country.