• About Zanzibar

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    FACTS ABOUT ZANZIBAR
    Zanzibar is an Island partner within the United Republic of Tanzania, located in the Indian Ocean about35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at 6 degrees south of the Equator. Zanzibar is an archipelago, the main two islands  being Unguja (sometimes called Zanzibar) and Pemba.  The Islands are green as a result of the plantations, coral rag and natural forests. The Zanzibar is flat to undulating with highest point being 390 feet above sea level. The current population is estimated at 1 million people.


    LANGUAGE
    Kiswahili is the Official language.  Even if you only use a few words whilst you 
    are in Zanzibar you will make many friends. English is widely spoken and many 
    people also speak Arabic. Other European languages such as French and Italian 
    are known by some local people, especially around the tourist areas.

    RELIGION
    About 97% of the local population is Muslim with a rich Swahili culture. The remaining percentage compriseHindus or Chritians and some with traditional beliefs. There are many mosques all over Zanzibar and Stone Town 
    hosts an Anglican and a Catholic Cathedral and a Hindu Temple.

    CLIMATE
    Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year, with the exception of April 
    and May, a season for the long rains. Short rains can occur in November 
    but are characterized by short showers, which do not last long.
    The heat of summer from December through march is seasonally often calmed by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea 
    breezes, particularly on the North and East coast. Being near the equator, the islands are 
    warm all year round but official summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. 
    Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.


    GENERAL INFORMATION ON CONDUCT
    Because of religious and cultural traditions dress code is important, and men and women should dress 
    appropriately when away from the beach, i.e. covering shoulders and legs to below the 
    knees. Beach wear on the beach is fine, although nude or topless bathing is not tolerated.
    When in villages or in Stone Town wearing beach wear would (and does) cause offence. 
    Try to wear loose-fitting, non-transparent clothing when in public.


    Zanzibari people are generally very warm, open and hospitable, and your respect for 
    permission before taking photographs or filming local people is appreciated. Do not take 
    photos or film at sensitive government sites including the State House, seaport, airport 
    or military baracks. If uncertain, it is always better to ask. Public consumption of alcohol is not permissible, except in hotels and tourist areas, bars and some restaurants, where it is no problem.
    Public displays of affection such as kissing are not customary and generally considered 
    offensive, unless behind closed doors. Local customs should be  respected. Mosques are sacred places an there is generally no entry to non-Muslims, unless accompanied by a person of the faith who can show you around 
    except during the times for congregational prayer, which are five times daily.
    When offering or accepting things, try and remember to offer and receive with your right 
    hand. This is the hand which should also be used for eating.

     

    DEPARTURE TAX
                                     
    Harbour tax            $ 5 per person
    Intl. flight tax       $ 30 per person
    Domestic flight T.sh 5,000 per person
    Note. The tax can only be paid in cash.

    EXCHANGE OF CURRENCY

    Banks, bureau de change and most hotels exchange cash and travelers’ cheques. USD AND 
    GBP are preferred but and other convertible currencies are accepted.

    BANKS                                                  
    MONDAY-FRIDAY -  8.30am - 4.00pm MONDAY-FRIDAY
    SATURDAYS - 8.30am - 2.00pm
    SUNDAY - SUNDAYS

    BUREAU DE CHANGE                    
    8.00am - 6.00pm  MONDAY -FRIDAY
    9.00am - 1.00pm  MONDAY-SUNDAY

    SHOPS                                                     
    9.00am – 6.00pm  MONDAY-SUNDAY

    USE OF CREDIT CARD   
    Most Hotels, and some curio shops accept major credit cards i.e. VISA, MASTER CARD.

    DRESS CODE                                  
    As 97% of the population follow the Islamic religion;  you should  dress 
    accordingly in public.

    DRINKING WATER                       
    Pottable water is not always safe nad therefore bottled mineral water recommended.

    DRIVING                                         
    Driving is on the left. A valid international driving license is necessary to hire automobiles.

    HEALTH                                          
    Malaria is endemic in AFRICA and  the importance of taking prophylactics prescribed 
    by your Doctor should not be overemphasized and should be continued during and after your visit; appropriate clothing  
    to assist in covering arms and legs to avoid mosquito bites is advised in the evenings.

    PUBLIC HOLIDAYS                        
    JANUARY 1, JANUARY 12, GOOD FRIDAY, EASTER MONDAY, MAY 1, PROPHET MOHAMMED’S 
    BIRTH DAY AUGUST 8, DECEMBER 25, IDD-EL-FITR, IDD-EL-HAJ.      

    SECURITY                                      
    Zanzibar is no different from other parts of the Africa/World. Excessive displays of jewelry 
    or money will tempt undesirable elements. Do not leave valuables lying around, use the 
    facilities provided by the hotel. Walking around in unfamiliar streets of the Stone Town 
    during evening hours with camera is not recommended.

    TELECOMMUNICATIONS   
    Facilities for international Telephone and Fascimile are available, but the charges and 
    handling fees in the hotels or offices can be exorbitant. Facilities at the town post office 
    is recommended.