FAQ - About Zanzibar




Where is Zanzibar located?

Zanzibar is the jewel of Tanzania. This is an island where the remnants of the past fuse beautifully with the island atmosphere and the friendly people. At one stage the island was controlled by the Arab Sultans and there was the time of the Portuguese explorers. Here you can enjoy the Turkish baths, view the Arab buildings in Stone Town or visit the Portuguese fort and gardens. Zanzibar is well known for water sports, the Spice Island Tours and a number of luxury hotels. Zanzibar covers an area of 1 464 square km.

How big is the Population of Zanzibar?

Zanzibar hosts just over 1,000 000 people on the Island. The population is 95% Black African people, with 5% being Asian, Arab and European.

What is the time zone of Zanzibar?

Both Zanzibar and Tanzania are on GMT + 3.

What is the Capital City of Zanzibar?

The capital of Zanzibar is Stone Town, a place where the past and present has mixed very well. Stone Town is an interesting mix of East African, Arab, Indian, Persian and European conquerors, traders and seafarers.

The city is filled with old buildings created in the different periods of time in Zanzibar. Being a small and busy island, the town does not provide the cleanest view, but its interesting to see the markets, harbour, and mosques, and to dine at a few restaurants.

What is the climate and weather like in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar has a warm and tropical climate with refreshing cool breezes coming off the ocean. Summer temperatures range from 20C/68F to 30C/86F, from December to March. Winter temperatures range from 19C/66F to 25C/77F, from March to May. From June to October it gets very dry on the island with hot days and cool evenings. Late October through to mid December is pretty hot with small thunderstorms.

What is the local currency?

The unit of currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). Foreign currency is usually accepted in most establishments in Tanzania. Travellers cheques and cash are widely accepted. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most of the upmarket hotels and lodges.

What are the Bank Opening Hours?

Zanzibar does not have any international banks. However, the local banks will readily exchange foreign currency. The banks are open from 9:00am to 16:00pm, Monday to Friday and closed on a Saturday and Sunday.

How much should I Tip?

At restaurants, the standard tipping is 10% of the bill. For lodge and hotel staff, get advice from the manager, but it usually is 10 15%.

Is there internet connectivity?

There are internet cafes in the town.

What other public communications media is there?

In Zanzibar, there are post office services, telephone, faxing and e-mailing services. You can usually get assistance at your hotel or resort.

What plugs and power voltage is used in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar uses 220v, so you will need adapters if you are using a different voltage. Most hotels have adapters, butit is wise to bring your own, just in case.

What are the weights and measures in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar makes use of Metric measurements.

What is the languages spoken in Zanzibar?

Swahili is the official language of Zanzibar but English is widely spoken throughout the island. Arabic is spoken as well.

What are the different cultures and religions that can be encountered in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim and filled with mosques. There are a few churches and temples for Christians and Hindus. Please do not enter the mosques if you are not Muslim.

What are the Visa and Passport Requirements?

Please note that when visiting Zanzibar, you should visit your local embassy to get details on your passport and visa. Depending on your nationality, you might be able to get a visa in Zanzibar or you might have to request it in your country.