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Zanzibar is the collective name for two islands in the Indian Ocean: Unguja (the main island) and Pemba Island. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. The city's old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar is located 6° south of the equator and 36 kilometres from the Tanzanian mainland coast. It is 108 kilometres long and 32 kilometres wide. It is about 2,461 km2 big and Zanzibar is mainly low lying, the highest point being 120 metres. Zanzibar is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town, said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. The coral reefs that surround the east coast are rich in marine diversity.
Zanzibar has a tropical climate with hot and humid conditions year round. The average highs range from around 28 °C from June to August to around 33 °C in February and March. Lows average between 22 °C and 25 °C respectively. Almost half of the annual 1,400 mm of rain falls in April and May, while July and August hardly see any rain at all except maybe the odd late afternoon shower.
Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ) has a number of international flights.
Destinations include Nairobi, Johannesburg, Entebbe, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Frankfurt, Addis Ababa, Mombasa, Brussels, Milan and Rome.
The ferry for Dar es Salaam leaves from Stone Town several times a day. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day from the port.
There are no internal flights on Zanzibar, though there are flights to Pemba. For connections to the mainland, check 'getting there by plane'.
There are no train services on the island.
Taxi's are easy to hail on the island and relatively cheap, although always be prepared to haggle! As a general rule, always offer a third of the price you are first given by a taxi driver.
Dala-Dala's (or shared buses) connect Stone Town with beach locations on the coast. They are incredibly cheap but prepare to be rather squashed. They will fit as many people as possible, including bags, produce and livestock!
You can charter boats to go snorkelling, diving or fishing if you like. Or join a tour of course.
Stone Town is full of restaurants, from sea food to Indian specialities. For those with an adventurous approach to food the night market in Stone Town is a fantastic experience. In the beach resorts most interests are catered for but of course sea food is very popular.
Kilimanjaro beer out of a big bottle, while sitting in a hammock on the beach, is the best drinking experience you can have!
There has been massive growth in hotels, villas, condos and guest houses over the past decade, providing travellers with a wide variety of affordable choices.
|Coral Rock Hotel||Jambiani Zanzibar||Hotel||58|
|Cristal Resort||Paje, PO BOX 3917 East Coast||Hotel||-|
|Imani Beach Lodge||p.o.box 3248||Hostel||77|
|Princess Salme Inn||Mizingani Road, Malindi, Opposite New Fish Market Opposite Harbour||Hotel||90|
|Tamarind Beach Hotel||Box 2206||HOTEL||80|
|Tanzanite Beach Resort||nungwi||HOTEL||85|
|Twisted Palms Lodge||Bwejuu, on the oriental coast of Zanzibar||Hotel||-|
|Zanzibar Fairytale Guesthouse||Jambiani, Zanzibar||Guesthouse||84|
|ZenjiHotel||Malindi Opposite Cine Afrique nearby harbour, Stone Town||Hotel||-|
|Mbuyuni Beach Village||Jambiani village Jambiani||Hotel||-|
|Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar||Kizimkazi Mkunguni Zanzibar||Hotel||-|
|Jambo Guest House||P.O.Box 635||Guesthouse||-|
|Jambiani Villa Guesthouse||Opporsite Abusons Store literally next the postoffice||Guesthouse||-|
|Ras Michamvi Beach Resort||Michamvi||Hotel||-|
|Zanzibar Ocean View||Kilimani P.O BOX 4769||Hotel||-|
|Amaan Bungalows||Nungwi Beach North Coast||Apartment||-|
|Shehe Bungalows||Jambiani Village Southern side of Jambiani East-Coast||Apartment||-|
|Dudes Guesthouse||box 210, Jambiani, Zanzibar Jambiani||Guesthouse||88|
|Pakachi Beach Resort||Main Road Paje/Jambiani||Hotel||-|
|Maruhubi Beach Villar||Zanzibar||HOTEL||89|
|Furaha Resort||P.O.Box: 4525, Zanzibar||HOTEL||84|
|Step In||Kichakanjuki Jambiani||Guesthouse||-|
|Jaribu Beach Hotel||PO Box 450 Paje Jambiani||Hotel||-|
|Zanzibar Lodge||Behind Market St Stone Town||GUESTHOUSE||70|
|L' Oasis Beach Hotel||Dimbani, Kizimkazi||HOTEL||-|
|Warere Town House||Stone Town Zanzibar||HOTEL||86|
|Al Hapa Hotel||P.O. Box 210, Jambiani||HOTEL||-|
|1001 Nights||Stone Town, Malindi Malawi Road Opposite Cine Afrique||Hotel||-|
|Ndame Beach Lodge Zanzibar||Paje||HOTEL||-|
|Jambiani Whitesand Bungalows||Jambiani Beach Jambiani Village||GUESTHOUSE||80|
|Baby Bush Lodge||Kiwengwa||HOTEL||86|
|DOMOKUCHU||PO Box 3439 Paje||HOTEL||81|
|Sun and Seaview Bungalows||Paje||HOTEL||86|
|Funguni Palace Hotel||Funguni Rd Stone Town||HOTEL||-|
|PolePole Villa Guesthouse||Jambiani||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Mnazi House||P.o Box 3884 Mapinduzi Street,Zanzibar Tanzania||Guesthouse||-|
|Smiles Beach Hotel||Nungwi||Hotel||-|
|Crazy Mzungo's, on the beach in Zanzibar||Bwejuu Beach||Hostel||-|
|Crazy Mzungos Zanzibar||Paje Zanzibar||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Mustapha' s Place||Bwejuu||HOTEL||-|
|Zanzibar Dorm Lodge (222 Hurumzi)||222 Hurumzi St, Opposite 236 Hurumzi Hotel Stone Town||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Villa Fleur De Lys||P.O. Box 44 - Makunduchi PO Box 1480||HOTEL||-|
|Malindi Guest House||Funguni Rd, 609 Stone Town||HOTEL||-|
|Sagando Hostel||Michamvi Kae||GUESTHOUSE||86|
|Game Fish Lodge||P O Box 3887 Nungwi||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|New Teddy's Place||Paje||HOSTEL||-|
|Karibu Zanzibar Hotel||Shangani St Opposite to Al Johari Hotel||HOTEL||-|
|KS Beach Bungalows and Restaurant||Matemwe||Guesthouse||-|
|Executive Inn Chukwani||Chukwani Area||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kaure Sand Beach Lodge||Uroa Zanzibar East Coast||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort||Nungwi North||HOTEL||-|
|Domokuchu Beach Bungalows||'Paje Beach||Guesthouse||-|
Major tourist areas and cities have internet cafes and many hotels offer (free) wifi nowadays. Connections can be slower at more remote places.
Also safari oriented places offer some sort of internet connections as well, by computers or wifi.
See also International Telephone Calls
The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).
There are four cell providers in Tanzania: Zain (the major one), Zantel, Vodacom and Tigo, who all offer roaming facilities. Connections are good in Tanzania, even in places such as Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and some parts of the Serengeti (the western and northern region of the Serengeti not). You can buy the prepaid cards in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. You can even buy a cell phone while in Tanzania. The price for a simple cell phone ranges between $55 and $80.
Avoid roaming charges with you home cellphone and turn it off. Instead, use a local SIM card or just wifi.
Tanzania Posts Corporation is the national postal services of Tanzania. There are post officies in most major cities and towns throughout the country, which are generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Services are generally quite reliable though not very fast. Prices for international airmal services start at around 500-600 TSHS to other countries in East Africa and 700-900 TSHS to Europe and North America for postcards and letters up to 20 grams. Small packages start at around 2,000-3,000 TSHS, but it's generally better to do business with international parcel services like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Zanzibar searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Zanzibar and areas nearby.
Ask kidume a question about Zanzibar
I been working and living on Zanzibar since 2002 so I belive that I could be helpfull for many new travellers to this Island.
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