General info

Time Zone
GMT + 3

Currency
Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)

Approximate exchange rate
US$ 1 = 2,000 Tanzanian Shillings
€uro 1 = 2.300 Tanzanian Shillings

Official languages
Kiswahili & English

Electricity
220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz

Religion
Predominantly Islam and varios others.  All live in a very good way together.

International Dialing code
+ 255, followed by 9-digit local number

Visas and Entry Requirements

All visitors require a passport, valid for the duration of their stay. Preparations are under way for visitors to obtain visas at any entry point, and this time-saving facility is available to visitors arriving at Zanzibar International Airport. Other points in Tanzania currently offering visa on entry are Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airports, and Namanga on the road border between Tanzania and Kenya. Nationals of some countries do not require visas, so it is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy.

Food

Lobsters, kingfish, prawns, octopus, crabs and squid are just a few of the many types of seafood on offer. It is not surprising that Zanzibar's specialities are centred around what is available locally, so take full advantage of the variety of spicy seafood dishes on offer. Coconut also features in many dishes.

Help us preserve Zanzibar's magic

Zanzibar is unspoilt by the unpleasant effects of mass tourism - the number of visitors to the island is still low, but has been on the rise throughout the 1990's. It is our hope that increases in tourism do not impact adversely on the magic of Zanzibar, and we humbly ask all visitors to follow a handful of guidelines, ensuring they will not offend the traditional values of the local people or harm the environment in any way.

It is typical of the Zanzibaris' friendly nature that they will not harass you for infringing these guidelines, but you should be aware that this is merely politeness, and is not an excuse for ignoring them!

  • Please ensure that you dress modestly when off the beach. Women should not expose too much leg and chest, and topless sunbathing is also strongly discouraged.
  • If you have children and are bringing them to Zanzibar, please make sure that they don't display their expensive toys in front of their Zanzibari contemporaries. This may instill a false sense of values in the local children, whose parents are unlikely to be able to afford such luxuries.
  • If you are diving or snorkelling, you may be tempted to collect some pretty shells from Zanzibar's many coral reefs. Please do not, as this kills entire reefs, the devastating effects of which can be seen in the well-trodden areas of East African coast. Although there are shell sellers, you are asked not to buy shells from them, as it simply encourages this harmful industry.
  • Zanzibar is an amazingly photogenic place, but if you want to take photographs of people, please ask their permission first out of courtesy.