FAQ – Frequently Asked Question

How do you get to Zanzibar?

Various airlines flying to Zanzibar – Mango has Direct flight – other airlines such as SAA / Kenya Airways / Rwanda Air have stop overs.

Is a visa required?

No Visa is required for South African passport holders, most SADC countries don’t require a visa , all other passport holders can get a visa on arrival in Zanzibar

What is the weather like in Tanzania/Zanzibar?

Summer temperatures range from 25°C/68°F to 35°C/86°F, from December to March. Winter temperatures range from 20°C/66°F to 25°C/77°F, 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 currency in Tanzania/Zanzibar?

The unit of currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling (Tsh). However preferred currency is USD

What is the electricity supply?

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

How is the Internet Connectivity and TELEPHONE/MOBILE PHONES?

All the major hotels and resorts provide internet connectivity. Smaller out of the way lodges may not be able to offer connectivity. But that the whole point of being on holiday anyway. To get away from “being connected” to reality. There are internet cafes in the town. The international country dialling code for Tanzania is +255 and the area code for Zanzibar is 24. The telephone system in Zanzibar is a little quirky, with mis-dials and broken connections. Mobile phones work in Zanzibar; with at least three service providers, and coverage is now complete across the main island of Unguja, but less reliable on Pemba.

What are the vaccination requirements? HEALTH & INSURANCE

NO yellow fever (injection ) certificate required for travel to Zanzibar after Tanzania was included on the World Health Organisation Low risk yellow fever countries list.

What is the main language?

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

What is the main religion?

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. Zanzibaris are a mixture of ethnic backgrounds. Islam is the dominant religion practiced by most although there are also followers of
Christianity and Hinduism.

Is tap water safe to drink?

Drinking tap water should be avoided Bottled water is widely availa-ble but make sure the seal is intact and buy from reputable sources.

What sorts of things are there for visitors to do on Zanzibar?

A variety of excursions can be arranged; we can either pre-book your excursions or give you an excursion list that our ground
handler can organize while you are in Zanzibar.


Personal effects and articles for personal consumption are duty free. A customs bond may be demanded from visitors bringing in video/filming equipment, radios, tape recorders and musical instruments to ensure the goods are re-exported. For visitors over sixteen, liquor (not exceeding one litre) and tobacco (not exceeding 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco) are tax free.

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. When walking through Stone Town remember that it is
very much a real community, where real people live and work and sensitivity should be shown to the local people.

Zanzibar time zone

Both Zanzibar and Tanzania are on GMT + 3.

Capital 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 it’s interesting to see the markets, harbour, and mosques, and to dine at a few restaurants.

Foreign currency is usually accepted in most establishments in Tanzania. Travellers cheques and cash are widely accepted.

Visa, Dinners and MasterCard are accepted at all upmarket hotels and lodges.

Bank Business 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.

Tipping for Services

As in all other places in the world, at restaurants, the standard tipping is 10% of the bill. For lodge and hotel staff, it usually is 10 – 15%.

What is diving like in Zanzibar?

Scuba Diving is on offer at most large hotels and several specialized resorts and guest houses and these dive operators are safe and reputable. Do not endanger your life by taking advantage of cut price offers from “beach boy” touts. Diving is also available at several dive centres in Stone Town; please take your log book.

What is DRIVING / CAR HIRE / SCOOTER HIRE like in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar drives on the left. Be watchful for taxis and buses. You will need a valid International Driving License to rent a Car or
Scooter (Vespa). If you did not have time to obtain an International License you are obliged to purchase a Zanzibar Driving License
for Tsh3 000 per day. Always stop when passing Police Stations and only proceed when you receive a signal to do so. Be prepared
for random checks at Police road blocks where you will have to show the relevant paperwork. Always give way to Police Cars with
flashing lights, if in doubt pull off the road until they have passed by. Always check and locate the vehicle’s spare tyre and jack
before setting out.


It is essential that you take out holiday insurance to cover personal accident, emergency medical evacuation, and loss of baggage
and cancellation/curtailment of your trip as with anywhere else in the World.

How is Zanzibar SECURITY?

Never leave money, traveller’s cheques, cameras, jewellery or other valuable items unattended in vehicles or in obvious places.
Make use of the hotel safes.

How is the Shopping like in Zanizbar?

The main shopping area in Stone Town is Gizenga Street and Kenyatta Road which is lined with shops selling a wide selection of
locally made arts, crafts and clothing. Woodcarvers are famous for Zanzibar Doors and Zanzibar chests. Other worthwhile purchases
include the brightly coloured whimsical animals of Tinga Tinga Paintings, colourful printed Kanga cloths and kikoy’s, Coconut Shell
which is hand carved into pots, jewellery and mobiles. Zanzibar Spices will remind you of the Spice Islands back home in your
kitchen. Be prepared to bargain at the local markets and pay in Shillings. The more reputable shops that we recommend offer
comfortable shopping in air-conditioned environment, a high quality of goods and an opportunity to pay in forex i.e. USD or credit


Further to advice from various Zanzibar hotels all guests will be charged a “INFRASTRUCTURE TAX” which has recently been
approved and imposed by the Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) as FROM THE 01 JULY 2015. The charge for guests will be USD 1 PER
PERSON PER DAY and will be automatically charged directly to your guests’ hotel bill or requested at the point of check in. Please
note that the tax is applicable to both adults, children and infants. In addition to the above we have also heard rumblings that a
USD 1 per passenger airport tax will apply for all passengers departing from Zanzibar airport. If requested to pay this amount
please ensure that you are making payment to an authorised staff member of the Zanzibar Airport Authorities and if possible ask for
a receipt.