Zanzibar Unveiled: A Traveler’s Guide to the Ultimate Island Getaway

guide to the ultimate island getaway

Are you planning for a  Zanzibar Holiday? And have no idea how and when to visit. 

The Zanzibar Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania.

Believe it or not, it is a breathtaking spot to visit once in a lifetime. For tourists who want to escape from worldly chaos, this place is a perfect spot to escape and enjoy your own company. 

In this traveling guide, we will help you explore details about this archipelago including history, the right time to visit, how to reach, currency, language, and so on.

History of Zanzibar

Traditionally, it was a strategic trading hub and has become an attraction for merchants from all over the world. 

Further, it is believed that Arabs, Persians, Indians, and Europeans left their mark while shaping its culture, economy, and society.

Moving ahead, in the 19th century, it became an important center for spice trade, especially for cloves. 

In 1964, Zanzibar obtained independence from British colonial rule. Later, it merged with Tanganyika to form the modern-day country of Tanzania.

Where is Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, Swahili Unguja Is not an island, but an archipelago located off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is a part of the United Republic of Tanzania and is a semi-autonomous region.

Besides, it consists of two big islands, Unguja and Pemba. Whereas Unguja is the main island and is located 25 – 30 km away from the mainland of Tanzania. 

The population of Zanzibar was projected to reach 1.7 million inhabitants as of 2021. According to recent projections, the population might grow to nearly 1.9 million in 2025. 

More often, due to its rich cultural history and demography, it is referred to as the spice island. 

Ways to Reach Zanzibar

While on a Zanzibar holiday, there are two ways to reach there i.e. either by flying to the island or traveling via a fast ferry.

  • Flying to the Island

    Are you traveling to Zanzibar from outside of Tanzania? If that’s the case, Then the fastest option to reach there is to fly to the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport. 

Interesting Fact:
The latest data shows 65,715 visitors entered through the Airport, with 58,489 visitors entered by international flights and 7,226 by domestic flights.

Although many airlines have direct flights there. Also, you can take a flight to Dar es Salaam and take another domestic flight from there.

  • Ferry from Dar es Salaam

    Taking the Ferry to reach there is the cheapest way. Despite its affordable ticket prices, traveling from the fairy is way more comfortable and air-conditioned. 

    It will take 1hr 45 mins from Dar es Salaam to reach the Zanzibar port.

Ticket Prices For Ferry 

Economy Seats (It is the cheapest ticket and the price goes upwards from there)
Residents   Adult – 30,000 TZSChild – 25,000 TZS 
TouristsAdult – 35 USDChild – 25 USD

Currency in Zanzibar

Tanzania Shilling (TZS) is the currency that is used in Zanzibar. On the contrary, the majority of hotel and activity prices will be quoted in dollars. 

Regardless, while roaming around in local places, you might witness prices in the local currency.

Other than that, Most of the places they accept card payments, but also include a 3-5% surcharge.

In spite, another alternative is to convert dollars to the local currency. Keep this in mind, the current currency conversion rate remains at 1 USD ~ 2500 TZS. 

Languages Spoken in Zanzibar

The national language of Tanzania is Swahili and is also spoken in Uganda, Rwanda, and a few other countries. 

The language used there is a blend of Arabic, English, Portuguese, and German words.

Therefore, Swahili is believed to be one of the easiest African languages for English to learn. 

Do You Know?:
In 2023, Zanzibar recorded 68,813 international visitors. If compared with 42,443 visitors recorded in January 2022, there is an increase of 62.1 percent. 

For instance, you must have heard the word “Hakuna Matata”. It is a Swahili phrase for no worries.

Here are a few other words that you should know if you are planning to visit there: 

  • Jambo/Habari – Hello
  • Karibu/Karibu Sana – Welcome
  • Rafiki – Friend
  • Mambo/ Mambo Vipi – How are you?
  • Sawa – OK
  • Asante/ Asante Sana – Thank you
  • Tutaonana Baadaye – See you later
  • Sitaki Asante – I don’t want, Thank you
  • Hii Ni Mboga/Kuna nyama kwa hii chakula – Is this vegetable?
  • Karibu/Karibu Sana – Welcome

4 Major Attractions to Visit in Zanzibar

  1. Stone Town (West of the island)

    It is one of the oldest towns in the city and is also a hub of trading. Tourists travel to Stone Town to witness the astonishing history while exploring old buildings and enjoying local foods. 

  1. Paje & Jambiani (East of the island)

    Paje and Jambiani are two villages on the east coast of the island. Paje is a famous hotspot for kitesurfing, whereas, visit Jambiani to have a calm and relaxing vacation.

  1. Kizimkazi (South)

    Kizimkazi is also known as the offbeat gem of Zanzibar. It gained popularity because the president of Tanzania is from Kizimkazi. You can find numerous resorts there. 

  1. Nungwi (North)

    Nungwi is yet another touristy place located on the north coast.  It has become an attraction due to the thrilling activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. The nightlife here is different yet vibrant with numerous beach bars and clubs.

Related Posts's