Come enjoy and explore the beautiful city of Zanzibar with us this coming January 2019 for a fun filled trip to Zanzibar. below is a guide to Zanzibar
You can download our 2019 Zanzibar Exclusive Tour Package here
What is Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, and 6° south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It 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.
There are no large wild animals in Zanzibar, and forest areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes. Civets – and rumour has it, the elusive Zanzibar leopard! Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas. The coral reefs that surround the East Coast are rich in marine diversity, and make Zanzibar an ideal location for snorkelling and scuba diving.
People, Religion and Language
Zanzibar’s local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and practiced by most Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christianity and Hinduism. The population is estimated at 800,000, with the largest concentration being Zanzibar City which has approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Zanzibaris speak Swahili (known locally as Kiswahili), a language which is spoken extensively in East Africa. Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar as it is the birth place of the language.
Culture and Festivals
Zanzibar’s most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar’s favourite music, Taarab.
Zanzibar is an island state within the United Republic of Tanzania, and has its own semi-autonomous government made up of a Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives. The present government is led by the island’s President, Amani Karume. The government body responsible for tourism promotion is the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism.
Fishing and agriculture are the main economic activities of the local people. Zanzibar was once the world’s largest producer of cloves, and her economy was based on large incomes thus derived. Although cloves are still a major export along with coconut products and spices, tourism has been ear-marked as the primary foreign exchange earner, with more visitors coming to Zanzibar each year. At this stage, the numbers are still low (less than 100,000 annually) and the potential for tourism is relatively untapped. Zanzibar’s tourism private sector is represented by the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI).
Source:- Zanzibar.NET is dedicated to sensitive tourism that benefits both visitors and the community, without losing the romance and magic that is Zanzibar.
Getting to Zanzibar by Air
From the Rest of the World
At present, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, and Oman Air offer international scheduled flights to Zanzibar. Several other large carriers fly into Dar es Salaam, which is only a short trip by air or sea from Zanzibar. Amongst them are Emirates Airlines, KLM, Swiss and Egyptair.
From the Rest of Africa
Kenya Airways, Fastjet, Precision Air and Ethiopian Airlines have regular flights to Zanzibar. Dar es Salaam is also served by them, as well as Air Zimbabwe, Egyptair, Air Malawi, South African Airways, Mango Airlines, and others.
Precision Air, Coastal Aviation and Fastjet amongst others offer a range of scheduled flights between Zanzibar and Tanzania’s main cities.
Getting to Zanzibar by Sea
There are several sea ferry companies that ply the waters between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The largest of these is Azam Marine. You can book ferry tickets through a local tour operator. Links to these companies can be found in the Touring Zanzibar section of this website.Maps of ZanzibarWeather Climate
|Time Zone||GMT + 3|
|Currency||Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)|
|Approximate exchange rate||US$ 1 = 2,100 Tanzanian Shillings = 100 cents|
|Official languages||Kiswahili & English|
|Electricity||220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz|
|International Dialing code||+ 255 24, followed by 7-digit local number|
Lobsters, kingfish, prawns, octopus, crabs and squid are just a few of the many types of seafood on offer. It is not surprising that Zanzibar’s specialities are centred around what is available locally, so take full advantage of the variety of spicy seafood dishes on offer. Coconut also features in many dishes.
Help us preserve Zanzibar’s magic
Zanzibar is unspoilt by the unpleasant effects of mass tourism – the number of visitors to the island is still low, but has been on the rise throughout the 1990’s. It is our hope that increases in tourism do not impact adversely on the magic of Zanzibar, and we humbly ask all visitors to follow a handful of guidelines, ensuring they will not offend the traditional values of the local people or harm the environment in any way. It is typical of the Zanzibaris’ friendly nature that they will not harass you for infringing these guidelines, but you should be aware that this is merely politeness, and is not an excuse for ignoring them!
- Please ensure that you dress modestly when off the beach. Women should not expose too much leg and chest, and topless sunbathing is also strongly discouraged.
- If you have children and are bringing them to Zanzibar, please make sure that they don’t display their expensive toys in front of their Zanzibari contemporaries. This may instill a false sense of values in the local children, whose parents are unlikely to be able to afford such luxuries.
- If you are diving or snorkelling, you may be tempted to collect some pretty shells from Zanzibar’s many coral reefs. Please do not, as this kills entire reefs, the devastating effects of which can be seen in the well-trodden areas of East African coast. Although there are shell sellers, you are asked not to buy shells from them, as it simply encourages this harmful industry.
- Zanzibar is an amazingly photogenic place, but if you want to take photographs of people, please ask their permission first out of courtesy.
- If you are non-Muslim, then please do not enter any of Zanzibar’s many mosques.
Sources: The articles or post from WHAT IS ZANZIBAR TO HELP US PRESERVE ZANZIBAR’S MAGIC are of www.zanzibar.net/