Zanzibar is never short of festivals and celebrations. It is one of the countries with highest number of celebrations/festivals in East Africa. Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Mwaka Kogwa, “Sauti ya Busara”, Cultural Festivals, Mangapwani Festival and Makunduchi Food Festival are among the events that showcase the best of Zanzibar culture
Zanzibar is famous for white sand beaches and pristine environment which make the country a leader for ecotourism. There’s a myriad of activities you could indulge in and being an island, beach sports feature strongly. Windsurfing (including kite surfing), snorkeling, dhow cruises, kayaking, parasailing, and stand up paddle boarding can be enjoyed all the year round
Zanzibar is a unique and the right destination for heritage tourism. Apart from Stone town - a world heritage site, a collection of buildings have been marked as the most cultural and architecturally important in Zanzibar including Maruhubi Palace and Kizimkazi Mosques. Many of these demonstrate classic feature of this unique architectural and cultural synthesis.
Zanzibar boasts an abundance of flora and fauna. The verdant dynamism of Jozani National Park, the rainforest endemism of Ngezi and the coastal profusions of endangered mangrove offer a compelling experience to our visitors. In deed there is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas that make Zanzibar a unique destination in the world.
Sea Safari is the one of the popular activities and it offers an ideal opportunity to view diverse marine species. A Sea Safari across the coast of Zanzibar, journeying through the famous Mnemba Marine Nature Reserve, cruising close to the Pemba Channel and much more. The tour enables you to search for unique sea birds and other marine life.
Zanzibar food tells much about the history of Zanzibar, reflecting a number of different influences from many different places around the world. In Zanzibar you will enjoy the diversity of our cuisine whereby spices, fruits, and sea foods are 100% fresh. There are several restaurants serving special cuisine: Indian Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine and Swahili cuisine
Zanzibar Commission for Tourism is committed to ensuring visitors have an enjoyable, safe, and memorable experience throughout their stay. We also make every effort to keep visitors and residents aware of any health risks or warnings.Travelers who arriving from Yellow Fever countries should vaccinated from Yellow Fever and poses a valid International Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. Travelers transited from endemic countries for 12 hours or more are also entitled to be vaccinated and possess a valid International Valid of Vaccination. However, travelers exempted from Yellow Fever Vaccination are:
Under Medical ground or
Age below I year and above 60 years
Malaria is still prevalent in East Africa and so one should also take a malaria prophylaxis. There are many different kinds of medications for Malaria. However, precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Apply insect repellent and sleep under mosquito nets at night. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings
Code of conducts
All visitors to Zanzibar are advised to observe the following.
Swim suits and skimpy dresses are restricted at public areas, but allowed at hotels and resort premises.
Taking alcohol in the public may offend the residents.
Nudity on the beach is not acceptable.
Kissing in public or display of affection is not customary to Zanzibar.
Taking photographs of residents without asking their permission is considered offensive.
Military and security sensitive areas cannot be photographs.
Location and Size
The two Islands are located in the Indian Ocean about 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at longitude 39 degrees East and latitude 6 degrees South of Equator. Pemba is about 40 miles long and 14 miles wide. It has a surface area of 608 square miles (2,332 square kilometers). It is located about 36 miles from the continent and 29 miles north-east of Unguja Island. Unguja Island is 50 miles long and 24 miles wide. It has a surface area of 995 square miles. It is separated from the continent by a 21 mile corridor at its narrowest point. Its highest point is 390 feet above sea level.
Zanzibar experiences warm tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity all the year. The average temperature is 27 ºC. This mainly caused by ocean breezes during daytime and the continental wind in the night, it makes the condition more comfortable. February is the warmest while August is the coolest. There are two rainfall seasons, the heaviest in March to June and lesser rains is in September to November. Tourists are advised to note heavy rain season to avoid inconveniences.
In 2012 Zanzibar had a population of 1,303,569 in which the male population is accounted to 630,677 while female have a lion share of 672,892 with an increasing rate of 3 per cent per annum.
The majority of Zanzibar residents practice the Islamic faith which reflect also their life style and culture. Mosques are sacred places and usually no entry by non Muslims. During the holy month of Ramadhan Muslims are fasting from dawn to sun set and you may find difficult to find food during the day hours. However some specified restaurants are allowed to serve the tourists. There are also Christian churches and Hindu temples which offer regular services on Sunday and on special occasions.
Hospitality & Culture
Zanzibar cultures became more diverse in its range, more unique in its expression. Zanzibar is the birthplace of Swahili, a lingua franca forged from global dialects, upon which legends were carried, trade routes opened and a Sultan’s empire prospered. It is here that the Africa Culture blended with other cultures mainly Persian, Arabic and Indian to forms Swahili Culture. Today the romance, the splendor and legends of the past are still vibrantly alive, traditional sailing dhows, carved wooden and doors, chests, the scent of the clove and the smile of the hospitable people welcomes you to Zanzibar.
As you stroll through Stone Town , you will find several shops selling wood carvings, Zanzibari chests, clothes, spices, jewellery, paintings and antiques. Most of the gift shops are situated along Kenyatta Road in Shangani, and Gizenga Street behind the Old Fort. Tourists are advised not to buy any products related to protected species on the islands, such as sea shells and turtles. A holiday to Zanzibar would be incomplete without visiting these souvenir shops.
All visitors require a valid passport and visa for the duration of their stay. Visa can be obtained from Tanzania Diplomatic Mission or alternatively at the entry points. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state within Tanzania, although visitors won’t need a separate Visa to enter, you will need to show your passport on arrival. It is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate prior to your travel for updated information.http://www.immigration.go.tz