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Practical information about Zanzibar

1 Weather and climate in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is close to the equator and therefore warm all year round. There is an average of 7-8 hours of sun each day. When it is winter in the UK, Zanzibar is at its warmest, meaning our winters and summers are reversed. Zanzibar has ideal holiday weather all year round. Summer heat is often mitigated by breezes from the sea. The sea is actually warm all year round, just like the weather.

The main rain season is from around the end of March to mid-May. There is another lighter rain season around November to December.

Statistics
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Average Temp
28
28
28
27
25
25
24
25
25
26
27
27
Average raining days
5
5
8
11
10
4
2
2
3
4
9
8
Night Temp
25
25
24
23
22
20
19
19
19
21
22
24
Statistics Average Temp Average raining days Night Temp
JAN 28 5 25
FEB 28 5 25
MAR 28 8 24
APR 27 11 23
MAY 25 10 22
JUN 25 4 20
JUL 24 2 19
AUG 25 2 19
SEP 25 3 19
OCT 26 4 21
NOV 27 9 22
DEC 27 8 24
Water Temp
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Average
27
28
27
27
26
25
24
24
24
25
25
26
Water Temp Average
JAN 27
FEB 28
MAR 27
APR 27
MAY 26
JUN 25
JUL 24
AUG 24
SEP 24
OCT 25
NOV 25
DEC 26

2 Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.


All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3 Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4 Vaccinations

We advise you to contact a medical specialist or family doctor or even a licensed vaccination clinic.
You can read more information on vaccinations to Tanzania here.

Please note that you must bring your vaccination certificate and produce it on entry into Tanzania.

5 Visas

You must have a valid visa to visit Tanzania. Upon arrival at the airport in Tanzania you will be given an application form for you to complete and pay 50 U.S. dollars in cash / approximately £33. This usually goes fairly quickly. Remember a pen!
Under the point where you have to complete your address in Tanzania, simply type the name of the first hotel or lodge you will be staying at.

If you want to apply for a visa to Tanzania from home, you must do so through the Tanzanian Embassy in London. This requires that you send your passport to London. If you would like to apply for your visa in advance, you can download the form here.
We recommend that you apply for visas upon arrival.

Things that you should be aware of regarding the visa: 

  • You must have your original passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Tanzania, and there must be two blank pages for entry and exit stamps in your passport
  • 50 U.S. dollars in cash / approximately £33
  • When arriving and departing documentation must be filled out, this can be found at the airport

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

We recommend you confirm the above visa rules as they may change at short notice. You can contact the Tanzanian Embassy in London for more information. For more information please refer to the below contact details:

Tanzania High Commission UK 
3 Stratford Place W1C 1AS 
London, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 207 569 1470
Email: balozi@tanzania-online.gov.uk

6 Receiving flight information

We will send you your travel itinerary as soon as the flights are booked. Here you can see exactly what your tour is going to look like. We use electronic tickets that you have to print out. Once tickets are issued, we will send you an email with the booking number and the information that you need to print out the tickets. Simultaneously, you will receive a letter with useful telephone numbers for the trip, including a phone number so you can always get in touch with one of us here at Africasafari.co.uk, also outside normal office hours.

7 Upgrading and extra leg room

Many airlines now offer an upgrade of reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort. We can not upgrade your reservation, but this can in most cases be done on the airline’s website.

Unfortunately, we cannot reserve seats with extra leg room, such as emergency exit seats on the plane. If you need additional space, we recommend that you check in at the airport as early as possible on the day of departure and ask for help there.

8 Suitcases and hand luggage

We use many different airlines to Tanzania, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

You and your travel companions should pack so that you can each get by with the contents from each other’s suitcases.

Make sure you have all the important items and information in your hand luggage: passport, visa, airfare, insurance, credit cards, money and prescriptions if necessary.  You should carry information about your specific health condition plus malaria pills, any lifesaving medication (diabetics), anything used to treat allergies or a sudden stomach upset (maybe Imodium) and analgesic aspirin should all be kept accessible to you. Any expensive electrical equipment, such as a camera or computer should be well looked after.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

9 Transportation

The local buses are called Dala Dala and are small trucks, where you sit on wooden benches under a covered platform, often several feet high with luggage on the roof. It’s cheap (1-2 USD / approximately £1-2) to use and you sit side by side with the locals. This could really seem like a unique and slightly daunting experience, but is certain to be an exciting one.

Taking a Taxi is probably the easiest way to get around. A trip to Stone Town in the morning and return in the afternoon can be done for around 40-50 USD / approximately £26-33.

10 Lunch and drinks

Breakfast and dinner are included, unless otherwise agreed. Drinks you pay for yourself.

Please note that as of 1 July 2015, the hotels on Zanzibarcharge a hotel tax of USD 1 per person per day. The total charge is payable on checkout.

11 Currency

Tanzania’s local currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), but it is also possible to pay with US dollars (widely accepted), Euro and British Pounds in Tanzania. On safari we recommend your cash is carried in US dollars. Be sure to have change in small amounts with you (1 to 5 dollar bills) as this can be used for buying souvenirs and the payment of tips or the like.

ATM machines are few and far between in Tanzania, so be sure to exchange your US dollars in the UK before travel. In Zanzibar you can pay by card at the hotel, this also applies for any excursions you wish to purchase. There is an ATM at the arrivals lounge in the airport in Zanzibar and in Stone Town.

The departure fee of between 8 and 49 US dollars must be paid in cash.

12 ATMs

ATM machines are only found in Stone Town, where there are three banks that accept international Master and Visa Card’s. It is always prudent to have some dollars with you on the trip. Hotel bills can be paid with International Master and Visa Card’s, but without the ability to withdraw extra funds of the standing amount.

13 Tipping

In Tanzania/Zanzibar, it is customary to provide guides, waiters and other service personnel a tip.
The personnel expect a tip, but it is of course up to you how much you will give.
It’s a good idea to give the guide a regular tip, so he feels that his good work is appreciated.
Give the tip personally and always have a little change in your pocket.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect the following:

  • 5-10 USD  per night or day to the guide
  • 1 USD  for the porter who carries your baggage
  • 10% in bars and restaurants
  • 1 USD per day for the maid

14 Time difference

Tanzania/Zanzibar is 2 hours ahead of GMT.

15 Language

There are two languages in Zanzibar. Many people speak English and everyone speaks the Swahili dialect Zanzibarian. You might like to know of or use some of the following words:

Jambo – General greeting similar to “hello”
Hakuna matata – Okay – No problems
Karibu – Welcome
Pole pole – Take it easy
Mambo – How’s it going
Salama Aleikum – Peace be with you
Dalla dalla – Mini bus
Nzuri – Good
Ndiyo – Yes
Hapana – No
Sawa – Alright
Bei Gani – How much does it cost?
Asante – Thank you

16 Charging of mobile phones and other electrical items

Most hotels generally have their electricity from generators switched off after midnight. Remember to take a small flashlight with you. The sockets are 240 volts and 3 pin plugs as used in the UK.

17 Mosquitoes

There are mosquitoes in Zanzibar, but it’s not too bad as the hotel lies close to the coast. Mosquitoes appear first when darkness falls. There are mosquito nets in the rooms. It is a good idea to bring some mosquito spray.

18 Coral reefs

The reef around Zanzibar has been constructed over millions of years by small coral animals.  This gives life to more than 600 different coral animals and a few thousand species of fish or other marine life. When a coral animal dies, they become empty limestone skeleton. As they are cemented together by lime and limestone sand, they become solid rock. On top of the old and dead coral shells grow new coral animals, and in this way you may see a healthy coral grow by 4-5 centimeters per year.

19 Adventures at sea

Deep sea fishing – You can hunt for blue and black marlin, swordfish, sailfish and several large types of shark. The Best season for this is from August to March and from June to September.

Diving – Zanzibar offers some of the world’s best diving sites of coral reefs with lots of colorful fish. Visibility is at 20-65 metres and the water temperature is around 26 degrees. You can dive within the coral reefs by both snorkeling and diving (scuba diving). You can practice or learn to dive at the nearby diving schools.

Sailboats – You can learn how to sail the primitive Dhow’s and try to catch fish or squid.

Boat trip to Prison Island- Just a 15-minute boat ride from Stone Town is a small island, inhabited by giant tortoises, some of which are 200 years old. Again, there are beautiful beaches and excellent conditions for snorkeling. This is usually a half-day trip.

Sea safari – Discover the beautiful area at Manai Bay, with excellent opportunities for snorkeling.

Menay Bay – Possesses some most unique nature. The sandbanks and uninhabited islands are the perfect destinations to visit.

Swim with Dolphins – Dolphins are often seen along the coast and it is an incredible experience to get close to them. The dolphins themselves like to swim among people and can be heard making their strange noises.

Bathing shoes – It’s a good idea to take a few solid pairs of bathing shoes with you, as there may be sea urchins and sharp shells along the coral reef.

20 Experiences on the beach

The locals love to beat drums, make bonfires on the beach, sing, dance, socialise and have fun. Join in or just enjoy the view.

21 Experiences in the nature

Jozani rainforest – This place has palm trees and stunning nature. The red marmosets lived here, which Columbus found only in Zanzibar. The rainforest is part of an eco-project where people from the village work as guides.

Zanzibar Land Animals Park (Zala) – This idyllic zoo is full with reptiles and is an exciting place for children to experience some snakes safely  and up close.

The Spice Plantations – Zanzibar produces vast amounts of all sorts of spices, including some of the world’s best cloves. So naturally, any tourist should try and visit the spice plantation if time permits.

Mangapwani – In this village, you can see the huge underground cave, which slaves from the mainland were placed in as soon as they came to Zanzibar from the mainland.

22 Luggage which is important to bring

  • Bright summer clothes. It is cheap to get clothes washed, so do not bring much with you
  • Nicer clothes for evenings at the hotel and lodge, such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect you against mosquitoes after sunset and, if necessary, against the sun
  • A good jacket, as it can be cool in the morning and evening
  • Summer Footwear (e.g. sports shoes and cotton socks). Avoid bare feet and legs at night due to mosquitoes
  • Power adaptor with 3-4 sockets – this enables a shaver, trimmer, electric toothbrush and any batteries to be charged via a single adapter
  • Small flashlight and extra batteries
  • Hat that shields against the sun
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • A mosquito repellent for example

23 Important items to have in your hand luggage

  • Passports, money, tickets
  • Sunglasses
  • Medication you use at home (always in your hand luggage, just in case you lose your suitcase!)
  • Hand Medicine: analgesic, allergy pills, remedy for diarrhea (maybe Imodium), malaria pills, plasters and disinfectant wipes
  • Binoculars (so you get to see the leopard way out there in the tree!)
  • Camera and memory cards more than you expect to use, including battery charger and a plastic bag to protect the camera from Africa’s fine, red dust
  • Shoulder bag with sturdy strap and zip.  A money belt or good inside pockets that
    can be zipped up
  • A few photocopies of all personal documents such as passports, visas, flights, travel insurance, vaccination card, international debit cards, (Master Card, Visa credit cards etc.) driving license
  • Telephone list for immediate blocking of lost debit card and insurance
  • Mail addresses of those you wish to send postcards or send messages too. There is internet access at the most hotels
  • Notebook and pens
  • A good book or something to keep you entertained on the flight