If you are thinking of traveling to Zanzibar, Tanzania, you are in the right place. Zanzibar is the name given to the semi-autonomous region of the African Continent consisting of Zanzibar Island (Unguja Island), Pemba Island and many small islets connected to Tanzania. Although the region has made a name for itself with tourism, most people know this place because of Stone Town, the birthplace of Queen’s famous lead singer Freddie Mercury.
Where is Zanzibar?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Zanzibar. Zanzibar is located on the Zanzibar Island (Unguja Island) in the Indian Ocean, which is connected to Tanzania in the east of the African Continent. Located on the Swahili Coast, the island is very close to mainland Tanzania.
When To Go To Zanzibar?
Zanzibar, which has a tropical climate with the effect of the equator and the hot Indian Ocean, has hot and humid weather most of the year. However, in Zanzibar, where precipitation is frequent, ‘long rains’ are seen in March, April and May, and ‘short rains’ are seen in November. The highest temperature seen throughout the year in the region is 33, while the lowest is 22 degrees. Therefore, it is appropriate to visit Zanzibar every month when there is no heavy rain.
Where To Stay In Zanzibar?
Zanzibar, which means “black coast” in Persian, consists of autonomous islands connected to Tanzania. Zanzibar, one of the oldest settlements, is now one of the most popular exotic holiday destinations with its rich history, different architectural structure, idyllic beaches and warm people. Offering you many outdoor activities, Zanzibar is an island full of adventure.
You should definitely visit the markets and antique shops in Zanzibar, which also provides many opportunities for shopping. The hotel you will stay in during your trip on this beautiful island is also very important. In Zanzibar, you can find many options such as luxury hotels, boutique hotels, hostels suitable for different budgets.
Places To Visit In Zanzibar
There are many historical ruins in Zanzibar, which has hosted many civilizations throughout its history. Apart from this, natural beauties and wild nature life should also be explored.
Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture
Jozani Forest, Mtoni Palace
St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Old Slave Market
One of the first places to go on an island is the beaches. Zanzibar also offers this to its visitors. You should definitely enjoy the ocean on its white beaches. The city’s most popular beaches are: Nungwi/Kendwa, Matemwe/Kiwengwa and Paje/Jambiani.
Zanzibar has been frequented by spice traders throughout its history. Today, it continues to be one of the rare places where many spices, especially saffron, are produced. You can visit one of these spice farms and watch how anise, cloves, pepper or cardamom are grown.
You can explore the wild nature with daily or weekly tours in Zanzibar, which is an ecological wonder of nature. We can consult your hotel for guided tours where you can see dozens of different animal species such as Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, Zanzibar Servaline genet and Zanzibar leopard.
Stone Town, the old town part of Zanzibar City, is located on the west coast of the island. The area where the spice and slave trade of the period was carried out is an important touristic place not only of Zanzibar but also of Tanzania, both historically and artistically. In the region, where the 19th century architecture is mostly seen, it can be understood how the Swahili culture and the Arab, Persian, Indian and European cultures are integrated.
For this very reason, Stone Town was recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2000. The must-see structures within its borders are as follows: Beit el-Ajaib, Old Fort, Old Dispensary, Beit el-Sahel, Anglican Cathedral, Roman Catholic Cathedral, Forodhani Gardens.
Transportation In Zanzibar
When you travel to Zanzibar, you should also know how to get there. There are buses that serve within Zanzibar or to go to different cities. However, the cheapest and easiest way to travel within the city of Zanzibar is to use ‘dala dala’. Those who want to rent a car can find many company options at the airport and ferry exit. But keep in mind that there are a lot of police flips on the way. For those who will prefer a taxi at the airport or at the ferry exit, the average fare will be around 50 Dollars.
Your trip to Zanzibar continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Zanzibar. Tanzania has a unique cuisine compared to many other countries. Spices and coconut milk are widely used in cooking. ‘wali’ (rice), ‘chapati’ (a type of bread), ‘nyama choma’ (grilled meat), ‘mshikaki’ (marinated meat), ‘samaki’ (fish), ‘ndizi-nyama’ in their unique dishes. (a kind of dish made with banana and meat) can be tried. As vegetables, they use okra, spinach, peas and beans. Fried dough, coconut bar, rice patties are indispensable…
Forodhani Gardens: It is possible to taste truly local delicacies in the restaurant by the sea. Prices are reasonable compared to many places.
Terrace Restaurant: Located at the Maru Maru Hotel in Stone Town, the restaurant draws attention with its 360-degree city view. Don’t forget that there is happy hour between 16.00-19.00.
Other restaurants: Hurumzi, Kidude, Amore Mio, Monsoon Restaurant, Passing Show Restaurant, Mercury, Serena Hotel, Lukmaan, Ndame Beach Lodge
Tip:There is no obligation to tip in Zanzibar restaurants if you do not give it or it is not included in the account. But of course they will be happy if you leave 10% of the bill as a tip.
Shopping In Zanzibar
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Zanzibar trip with shopping? In Zanzibar, both a shop and a peddler culture are common in shopping. It is possible to find classic and not very original products in souvenir shops. However, African art products can be bought in the shops of people who can be called artists. Objects made of wood, hand-woven rugs, jewellery, local clothes or bags are particularly interesting. Enthusiasts can also take pictures specific to African art.
Apart from that, you can also get local spices. Wherever you shop, remember not to bargain. Most importantly, it is forbidden to take shells or sand from the country. Be careful not to buy even the ones that are sold.
The biggest advantage of Zanzibar, located in the Indian Ocean, is that most of the places have ocean views. You can try Old Dispensary, Roof Top Lounge, Africa House, Taarab Square and one of the dozens of bars on the beaches. When you travel to Zanzibar, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
- Zanzibar International Film Festival (June-July): East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival where new talents from all over the world meet.
- Mwaka Kogwa (July)
- Zanzibar Cultural Festival (July)
- Sauti Za Busara Culture and Arts Festival (February)
Zanzibar Public Holidays
- New Year (January 1)
- Zanzibar Liberation Day (January 12)
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Karume Day
- Union Day
- Labor Day (May 1-2)
- Saba Saba (July 7th)
- Eid al Fitri (July 7th)
- Eid al-Hajj (September 13)
- Mwalimu Nyerere Day (October 14)
- Republic Day (9 December)
- Christmas (25 December)
Useful Information For Zanzibar
- Emergency help: 112
- Fire: 112
- Police: 112