Home Africa & Middle East What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

So far, I have guided you in the majestic beaches of Thailand, the Philippines’ historic beaches where no one has imagined to have existed before, and the pristine sceneries of the Plitvice Lakes. You might think that I’m running out of places to take you. But don’t fret because I know another place where the sun and the blue ocean creates a new vibe – Zanzibar.

In Zanzibar are white sand beaches that are filled with joyful plants, memorable landscapes, and a sun-kissed atmosphere. With that being said, put your seat belt on because our Zanzibar visit guide is about to start.

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an island that’s part of the Republic of Tanzania. Other islands near it are Pemba Island and Tanganyika Island, together with smaller islands. The waters surrounding Zanzibar and the islands close to it are part of the Indian ocean. Due to this, Zanzibar has great waters and marine wildlife.

Beaches, gulfs, lagoons, jungle, and rock cliffs are some of the most common landscapes in Zanzibar. Sitting near the African regions, Zanzibar has a very wonderful topography. Sunny and rainy seasons are very balanced. And as a result, it’s not difficult to plan your trip according to the weather.

On the surface of Zanzibar are numerous cities, towns, and villages. The biggest city in Zanzibar is Zanzibar City. Zanzibar City sits on the western coast. Close to it is the historic Stone Town, which served as the old capital, and Nga’mbo.

Aside from the main island where Zanzibar City is located, there are smaller islands that hold small settlements. On the small islands are also numerous small gorgeous beach resorts.

The common language in Zanzibar is Swahili, Arabic, and English. Most locals follow Islam teachings. Nevertheless, there are a few Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the islands near the Zanzibar mainland.

Zanzibar Amazing Facts

Here are some fun facts about Zanzibar:

  1. It’s a common misconception that Zanzibar in Tanzania
  2. Relatives of Queen vocalist, Freddi Mercury, are here.
  3. The best wildlife in Zanzibar is found underwater.
  4. Mainland Tanzania has giraffes and elephants, but Zanzibar doesn’t
  5. It’s best not to prowl around the streets of Zanzibar alone at night.
  6. The Red Colobus Monkey and Zanzibar Leopard can only be found on Zanzibar.
  7. The Servaline Genet is an animal Zanzibar that has recently been discovered.
  8. There are only 2 rainy seasons in Zanzibar.
  9. Zanzibar can be pretty dry sometimes that people have to dig new wells.
  10. If you’re a cook, don’t miss the spices because Zanzibar has the best and cheapest

How To Get A Visa in Zanzibar?

Getting a visa in Zanzibar is very easy. Right now Zanzibar embassy has implemented an online application system for visa application and approval. All that you need to do is go to https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/, satisfy the requirements, click submit, and wait for confirmation that your visa has been approved.

Where should your itinerary be for visiting Zanzibar?

Luckily, you won’t have to go to any other island but Zanzibar itself. In Zanzibar City is the Abeid Karumani International Airport. This airport spans 5.1 kilometers and serves an estimated 1 million passengers year after year. This airport has all flights that are headed to other major cities of other countries all around the globe.

When To Go To Zanzibar?

Any month is good except November to May. In these months, the occurrence of typhoons is very prevalent. Due to its proximity to the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar can experience mind-boggling typhoons. If you push through to coming in November to May, expect heavy rains accompanied by a strong wind gush.

How To Move Around in Zanzibar?

You explore the towns and cities of Zanzibar through private cars, taxis, and public buses. There’s also the ride that most locals opt for – the Dala Dala. The Dala Dala is a bit similar to the Philippine Jeepney. But compared to it, the Dala Dala isn’t very attractive. It’s only an Izuzu Elf truck that’s welded with seats for carrying passengers. Riding it is unbearably hot and dusty, which is another trait that it shares with the Philippine Jeepney.

Motorcycle rentals are also in the city and specific towns. However, the locals offer rentals and not any other formal rental company. Due to this, there’s the possibility of you renting badly maintained motorcycles.

Best Food and Drinks in Zanzibar


  1. Zanzibar Pizza – a dough that’s divided into small square pieces then filled with the local Zanzibar toppings such as spices, cow cheese, egg, meats, and hot sauce.
  2. Biyani and Pilau – these are rice dishes with spices such as nutmeg, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Both go well with pork, beef, and chicken.
  3. Mishkaki – this is barbecue skewers and almost similar to Philippine barbecue. Chicken feet, pork meat, chicken head, chicken intestines, and chicken meat can be made into mishkaki.
  4. Octopus – Zanzibar cooks are known for their creative octopus dishes, whether stir-fried, roasted, steamed, or raw.
  5. Mandy – this is a classic Zanzibar dish consisting of dough-based dishes that taste sweet or salty and pair with meats and sauces well.


Zanzibar has the best beers in the world. Popular brands of beer in Zanzibar are the Kilimanjaro and Serengeti. Beers in Zanzibar have a very foamy texture and a bitter or sweet or after taste. They also let the mouth have a very sparkly sensation.

Things To Do In Zanzibar

Want to have fun in Zanzibar? These are the top things to do!

Explore Stone Town – not far from Zanzibar city is Stone Town. In Stone Town are historical sites that date back to the Zanzibar Sultanate. In there, you’ll see the old town administrative buildings and other complexes that served as the main offices of Zanzibar in the past.

Snorkeling – wherever you are, snorkeling doesn’t go missing in Zanzibar. All beaches provide snorkeling experiences. The same also goes for scuba diving.

Coconut Tree Climbing – Zanzibar has numerous coconut trees, and you can learn how to climb them without any equipment involved. Coconut tree climbing isn’t a simple task. Due to its swaying, maintaining balance might be hard, and the rough texture of its bark will hurt the skin.

Island Hopping – near the Zanzibar mainland are a group of islands with hidden gems that tourists often neglect. Get a ride via boat and explore each of these islands according to your pace.

Gastronomic Adventures – Zanzibar has lots of exotic dishes. The best opportunities lie in small towns away from the cities. In here, you might get to taste game meat from snakes, wild birds, monkeys, etc.

Zanzibar Safari

The Zanzibar Safari is a collection of different tours that start from one location in Tanzania to Zanzibar and vice-versa. Basically, the Zanzibar Safari is a customized Zanzibar tour that will take you through all the tourist locations in Zanzibar near the beach and the tourist locations near the jungles and other land sources of wildlife.


Zanzibar Safari will let you see all animals not only in Zanzibar but other locations in Tanzania as well. Duration of the Zanzibar Safar may last for 1 or 5 days with free accommodation. For tourists, there’s also a free pickup from the airport where their itineraries are bound.


If you’re in for a breezy visit to Zanzibar, try the Zanzibar Safari. Going for it will give you a vacation that’s hassle-free because you won’t have to think about where to go.

Best Zanzibar Beaches

Nungwi Beach

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

Nungwi beach sits at the northern portion of Zanzibar. Surrounding it are bright azure waters that embrace the white sand beach. In its vicinity are hotels that provide a panoramic view of the sea. There are also inns in the village nearby that offers late-night drinking parties to tourists.


Kiwengwa beach sits at the eastern portion of Zanzibar. What you’ll do here depends on the condition of the tide. At low tide, you’ll see the wonderful coral reefs that hide as high tide comes. During tide, you can opt to take a good swim here or rent snorkeling gear to view the marine wildlife that visits the reefs


Kendwa is on the northeastern side of Zanzibar. It boasts a very natural setting. Kendwa is ideal for camping because tourists aren’t that many, and buildings’ concentration is minimal.

Best Zanzibar Hotels

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

Tulia Zanzibar is a five-star hotel in Pongwe. This is a traveler’s choice hotel with a very romantic environment. On its surroundings are mini cottages with amenities that provide wonderful noon or evening at the beach to couples and families. Activities that these hotel offers are bike rental, a spa, yacht rental, yoga sessions, and fine dining by the beach.

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

The Melia Zanzibar sits on the northeast portion of Zanzibar. Due to this, it’s exposed to the wondrous white sand beaches and azure warm waters. The beach of this hotel spans for 300 meters and consists of palm-lined cottages that offer wonderful shade. In the vicinity of this hotel are suits that bear classic to the modern exterior and interior designs.

Even so, what makes Melia Zanzibar famous is the barrier reef that surrounds it. The barrier reef is open for exploration via snorkeling or scuba diving.

Kono Kono hotel as 21 white themed villas that are very cool on the eyes and the senses. This hotel is the ideal destination for experiencing Zanzibar hotels’ magic quickly as it is only 1 hour away from Zanzibar’s international airport. This hotel’s environment is very windy and sunny, perfect for a quick rest before going further out.

What do I need to know before traveling to Zanzibar

The Makofi Guesthouse is a budget yet luxurious choice. This hotel has a tropical feel with its wooden cottages, resort restaurant, gathering halls, etc. The rooms are simple but never poorly maintained. Furthermore, the drinks are superb and won’t fall behind the other luxurious hotels on this list.

Places to Visit In Zanzibar

Stone Town

Stone Town is Zanzibar’s old capital. In here, you’ll see buildings that have been built in the 1800s. There are also houses here that bear the belongings of Zanzibar’s first formal settlers. All houses are stone-built and become very wonderful in the afternoon. See it for yourself, and you’ll say that Stone Town is Zanzibar’s Oia

Freddi Mercury Museum

In Zanzibar is the Freddi Mercury Museum. In here’ you’ll see the photos of young Freddi Mercury and his belongings. You’ll also see photos of relatives as well. Not far away is the Old Fort of Zanzibar, a stone-built Arab Fortification during the rule of the Omani Arabs in 1699. With that being said, coming to Freddi Mercury Museum is hitting two birds with one stone.

Bahari Restaurant

Bahari Restaurant is a pizza restaurant in the Jambiani Village of Zanzibar. It specializes in Italian Pizzas and Zanzibar Pizzas. Toppings range from normal meats to more exotic ones such as shellfish, rare spices, etc. Pizzas come very quickly but don’t worry because they’re not premade. Furthermore, this restaurant also serves vegetarian-friendly European dishes.


I also heard that Bahari serves clean tasting coffee.

Cannibal Party

Cannibal Pary is an event that’s held on Pwani Machangani, a location in Zanzibar that’s filled with gardens, luxurious hotels, and hefty shopping stores. In Cannibal Party, you’ll experience the best music, the best drinks, consisting of beers, cocktails, and vodka, and the all-time favorite party snack – Zanzibar Pizza.

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