Zanzibar islands consist of 2 major islands and several small islands around. They are few miles off the mainland Tanzania. It is a semi autonomous area. Zanzibar is the best tourist destination in East Africa due to its beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters and also its cultural heritage. The Portuguese, the Arabs and the British all ruled on the island.
If you are coming from a yellow fever infected country, you are required to bring with you a yellow fever vaccination card.
The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has put on a lot of effort in fighting Malaria. And to a big success, malaria cases have now become rare but not impossible to get it. We advise visitors to take precautions by using mosquito repellent creams and use the nets provided in the rooms. If one fears to have symptoms of malaria, he/she should quickly go see a doctor for medication.
Majority of the population in Zanzibar are muslims, around 98% of all Zanzibaris. Other religions include Christianity and hinduism. They all live peacefully together and you can find them mixing in conversations and enjoying the day together. Within the historical city of Stone town, you will find the places of worship for all religions.
In Zanzibar Islands, there is no specified dress code. But, it is highly advised that tourists should respect the culture of Zanzibari by wearing modest dresses. On the beaches, tourists can wear bikinis but if they are to walk in villages and towns, bikini will be considered inappropriate.
Tip: Zanzibaris love to see tourists wearing cultural dresses of Zanzibar!
I will not be mistaken when i say, Zanzibar is the safest place in whole of East Africa. Despite a couple of misinterpreted events, you can be sure to walk in Zanzibar with peace of mind Day and Night. Tourists in Zanzibar are loved, respected and widely welcomed. The people here are friendly and you will often hear “Jambo” (hi). Being safe is one thing, what about scammers? Well, there are scammers and you will need to be careful. For tours and excursions, we advise you to go with a registered company who will take responsibility and the prices are open and will offer a better service. Avoid random people coming up with offers and they have no office.
In Zanzibar we use Tanzania shillings. However, other currencies are also accepted sucha as USD, EURO, and GBP.
USD, EURO and GBP are accepted in hotels, restaurants, gift shops/curio shops, tour and excursion providers. Apart from mentioned places, in any other place we advise the use of local currency.
It is a holy month where Muslims around the world observe fasting for 29/30 days. As the majority of Zanzibari are Muslims, they also observe fasting in this month and results in many restaurants being closed due to respecting the Muslims and Zanzibaris in general. During this month, finding a place to eat is not going to be easy as any other months.
Now the beauty of Zanzibaris is that they do understand that not everyone is obligated to fast. Such as Non-Muslims and the sick ones, you are not allowed to force them to fast. Some restaurants (very few though) remain open during this period, and people in Zanzibar have no problem with them staying open because they know, for tourists they need to have their meal as usual. Also, restaurants in hotels remain open. However, it is highly advised not to eat/drink in public.
When it comes to dress code, we highly advise to wear what covers most of your body and loose clothes. Note that this is a highly spiritual month, respecting the faith of the locals is expected.
Porters, tour guides and drivers, they all expect a tip. But your are not forced to. If you feel you received a good service and you have some cash, you can tip and if you don’t have, no need to feel bad. You can tip any amount as there is no fixed tip starting amount. But just to give you an idea, $1 can get you 2 bottles of water or 2 Sodas.
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