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About Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island is situated on Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar is one of Africa's top backpacking tour destinations.

Zanzibar Island Budget Travel

Below is a list of Zanzibar Island's top activities, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Moped Hire - Zanzibar, Nungwe Snorkel Trip, PADI Dive Course - Zanzibar, Prison Island Excursion, Prison Island Snorkelling Trip, Stone Town City Tour, Stone Town Spice Tour, Swimming with Dolphins, Zanzibar Scuba Diving

View all activities in Zanzibar Island


Zanzibar Island HIV/AIDS precautions include the following:
•Don't ever share needles or syringes
•Practice safe sex at all times
•Equipment should be sterilized
•If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
•Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing


Nearest Zanzibar Island airports include:
•Zanzibar International Airport
•Julius Nyerere Dar es Salaam International Airport


Zanzibar Island birdlife is rich and diverse, with about 400 species to be found across the island. The primary habitats are garden, coastal areas, and palm forests, and a wide range of birds can be found including green pigeon, Scops owl, white-eye and sunbird which are also found on neighbouring Pemba Island.


The relatively small size of the island makes Zanzibar Island conservation much easier to regulate than the larger areas within the Tanzania mainland, and a number of preservation and protection projects can be found, with national parks and pristine marine reserves among these projects.


Zanzibar Island cultures include the following:
•Cuisine and food is inspired by the East as well as traditional African cuisine
•Architecture is influenced by colonial eras and Arab influence
•Music and dance plays a key role in many cultures
•Traditions and customs have a range of influences
•Art plays a key role in traditional and current cultures


Zanzibar Island customs includes free import of:
•250g of tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars
•1 bottle of alcoholic beverages
•1 pint of perfume


Zanzibar Island health risks are fairly low; however as the island is within a third world country precautions should be taken to ensure a healthy and safe trip. The most common ailments are upset tummies, so to be on the safe side, stick to bottled water. Malaria is rife in many areas, and other insect carried illnesses include tick bite fever and sleeping sickness, so take care to protect yourself against insects.


The following Zanzibar Island inoculations are required:
•Yellow Fever
•Hepatitis A & B


Zanzibar Island languages include the following:
•Swahili (official language)


Zanzibar malaria medication includes the following:
•Mefloquine (Lariam)
•Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)


Zanzibar Island money and banking information is as follows:
•Credit cards are accepted in large hotels and stores only
•US Dollars are accepted at many hotels and stores
•Travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, some hotels and airports
•There are limited ATMs in Stone Town, many of which accept foreign cards
•Banking hours are Monday to Friday 08h30-12h30 and Saturday 08h30-13h00


Zanzibar Island people include the following groups:


Zanzibar Island local phrases in Swahili include:
•Hello/welcome! - Jambo!
•No problem - Hakuna matata!
•Thank you very much - Asante Sana
•What is the price? - Bei gani?
•I don't understand - Sielewi


Zanzibar Island plants are mostly tropical, with a large number of palms and island vegetation. Main plants and crops include coconuts, cloves, bananas, citrus fruits and other spices, plus maize, cassava and other vegetables and cereals are grown. Mangrove regions can also be found, as well some remaining indigenous forest areas.


Zanzibar Island religion includes:
•Islam 97%
•Christianity and Hinduism 3%

Safety Tips

•Zanzibar is mostly safe to travel, however there have been some armed robberies in recent years so be cautious
•Keep valuables secure and out of sight when walking around
•Don't walk around alone, especially on quiet stretches of beach
•Women should dress appropriately and cover legs and shoulders
•Public displays of affection between couples could result in animosity or even violence in same sex partners


Zanzibar Island local transport includes:

Travel Books

Zanzibar Island recommended travel books include:
•Zanzibar by Giles Foden
•The Rough Guide to Zanzibar by Jens Finke and Rough Guides
•Zanzibar Bradt Travel Guide 7th Edition by Chris McIntyre and Susan Shand
•Zanzibar: Its History and Its People by W.H. Ingrams
•Zanzibar & the Swahili Coast Lonely Planet Custom Guide by Mary Fitzpatrick

Visa Requirements

•Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Zanzibar and Tanzania
•Visas are generally valid for up to 3 months from date of application
•A valid passport of 6 months minimum is required
•A yellow fever certificate may be required if travelling from an infected zone
•Return air tickets plus proof of sufficient funds are required

What To Buy

•Sleeping bag and camping mattress if you are on an overlanding tour
•Disposable underwater camera plus snorkel gear
•Zanzibar travel guide and Swahili phrase book, plus a Zanzibar bird and fish species guide
•Good backpack plus a decent moneybag to keep valuables and travel documents
•First aid kit stocked with basic supplies and medicines

What To Pack

Sunglasses, sunscreen, sunhat and swimming costume
•Comfortable walking shoes as well as sandals
•Long skirts or long pants and t-shirts covering shoulders for women
•Loose, lightweight clothing with long sleeves to keep out mosquitoes
•Camera, batteries, spare film or memory cards and binoculars

When To Go

•The driest periods are mid-June to October and mid-December to February
•January weather is hot and humid
•September to December is the best time for scuba diving
•Winter months run from May to September
•Summer months run from November to April


Zanzibar Island wildlife includes large populations of beautiful red colobus monkey which are found in the Jozani Forest Conservation Area, south-east of Stone Town. There are also a few populations of small antelope and civets, however not much other wildlife can be found on the island.


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12 OVERLAND TOURS THROUGH Zanzibar Island recommended for you
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Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

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