The Zanzibar archipelago consists of over 50 islands – which vary from tiny outcrops to the larger, more populated islands of Zanzibar (more properly called ‘Unguja Island’) and Pemba.

The beaches are often stunning: powdery white sand, shaded by palm trees. The sea is shallow, but venture further out into the sparkling, turquoise water and you’ll find coral reefs for great snorkelling and diving. The larger islands are lush and highly fertile and everywhere the air is suffused with the aroma of fruit and spices; it’s an intoxicating, exotic atmosphere.

Time in Zanzibar
Just like Tanzania, Zanzibar is three hours in the advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). It doesn’t operate daylight saving time, and consequently there’s no time difference between Zanzibar’s summer and winter months.

Currency in Zanzibar
Zanzibar’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS).Most lodges on Zanzibar charge in US$; very few will take travellers’ cheques, although most accept credit cards (they may charge an additional fee to do so). Buying Tanzanian shillings in Europe or America can be hard; most travellers will buy local currency on arrival in Tanzania or Zanzibar.

Zanzibar’s International Dialling Code
The International Dialling Code for Tanzania and Zanzibar is +255, followed by the destination’s phone number. Calling from Zanzibar, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (0044 for the Great Britain, 001 for the States).

Food in Zanzibar
The food served in Zanzibar’s beach lodges in generally very good, focusing on what’s locally available. There are some fine restaurants in Stone Town, mainly serving local dishes, seafood and curries, seasoned with the island’s exotic spices; outside of Stone Town, the choices are limited. Drinks include Tanzanian beers (Tusker, Kilimanjaro and Safari), as well as imported beer and wine from South Africa.

Health in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a tropical island and vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio, tetanus and yellow fever). Malaria is common, so you should take anti-malarial measures. Always check the latest recommendations with your travel clinic or doctor

Language in Zanzibar
English and Kiswahili are the official languages, spoken by most Zanzibari; beside this, there are many ethnic groups, who speak localised dialects and languages. Some basic Kiswahili will help you to enjoy your trip even more – and even poor attempts to speak it will be hugely appreciated by most islanders!

Laundry in Zanzibar
Practically all beach lodges have laundry services, though sometimes, due to religious taboos, women’s underwear is excluded.

Taking children to Zanzibar
As a beach destination, Zanzibar is generally very good for relaxed family holidays.

Visas for Zanzibar
Currently , travellers with British or US passports require visas for Tanzania – and Zanzibar is simply an area of Tanzania; there are now no separate requirements for the island.

Places in Zanzibar

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