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Zanzibar Q&A – Everything you need to know about Zanzibar

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Zanzibar, with its tranquil beaches, diverse culture, and intriguing history, is an island haven luring globetrotters. Zanzibar is also one of most added trip extensions. If you have just climbed Kilimanjaro, cycled around Tanzania or just had an amazing safari then what better way to relax than a visit to Zanzibar!

 If you’re inquisitive about this exotic African destination, this Q&A will help guide you.

1. Where is Zanzibar located?

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is an archipelago located 25-50 kilometers off mainland Tanzania‘s east coast. Positioned around 6 degrees south of the equator, it enjoys a warm, tropical climate that enhances its beach-destination appeal.

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2. What language is spoken in Zanzibar?

Swahili or Kiswahili is the island’s official language. Reflecting their appeal as a global tourism destination, English is also widely spoken, particularly in tourist circles like hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, making communication easy for travellers.

3. What is the currency in Zanzibar?

While the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is Zanzibar’s official currency, tourist-centric businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, often also accept U.S. Dollars. It’s recommended to carry smaller denominations for minor transactions.

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4. What is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is a year-round delight. Still, the ideal times are the driest months—June to October and December to February. Being right after rainfall, these periods feature lush landscapes, clear skies, and perfect water conditions for marine activities.

5. What is there to see and do in Zanzibar?

From exploring UNESCO-listed Stone Town, visiting spice farms, relaxing at stunning beaches, diving to witness vibrant marine life, dolphin watching at Kizimkazi, to spotting the native Red Colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest, Zanzibar promises a diverse array of experiences.

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6. Is Zanzibar safe for tourists?

Zanzibar, in general, is safe for tourists. Maintain general precautions like safeguarding personal belongings, avoiding desolate spaces post-dark, and respecting local customs and norms for a smooth experience.

7. Do I need a visa to travel to Zanzibar?

Most international travellers need a visa for Tanzania, including Zanzibar. You can obtain it online, from the Tanzanian embassy in your home country, or on arrival. Visa rules can change, hence always verify with official websites.

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8. What food is typical in Zanzibar?

Zanzibari cuisine is a gastronomic love story between Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, and British culinary traditions. Enjoy Ugali (maize porridge), Pilau (spiced rice), coconut beans, and an array of fresh seafood. Don’t miss the gastronomy fest at Forodhani Night Market in Stone Town.

9. Can I drink the tap water in Zanzibar?

Tap water in Zanzibar might not be suitable for foreign travellers used to different water standards. Stick to bottled or filtered water. Verify if the ice used in your drinks is made from purified water too.

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10. Is Zanzibar a malaria risk area?

As Zanzibar falls under a malaria-risk zone, it’s advisable to take suitable antimalarial medication. Consult your healthcare professional for appropriate prescriptions. Use mosquito repellents and netting as preventive measures.

Zanzibar, draped in a mesmerising medley of swaying palm trees, azure waters, enriching culture, and alluring spices, is an African paradise—every moment is an amazing memory in the making, definitively marking it as a bucket-list worthy destination.

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