Zanzibar is as beautiful as she is spicy. With white sandy beaches, palm trees swaying in the cool ocean breeze and an exceptionally polite indigenous people.
The main islands of Zanzibar are Unguja, Pemba and Tumbatu. Stone Town, on the western shore of Unguja Island, is the Capital of this region. The city gained its name from the many large multi-story "stone" buildings that fill the old town area. These structures are actually constructed with coral and mortar, not stone. There are currently about 1700 of these buildings in the Stone Town section of Zanzibar City.
1100 of these have been classified as having architectural significance. In this small area, which was originally a peninsula, almost an island at times, and which is only about 83 city blocks square, there are 23 "Landmark Buildings", two cathedrals, over 50 Mosques, 157 balconies, verandahs and loggias and more than 200 carved doors. Zanzibar's Stone Town has been designated a "World Heritage Site" by the United Nations.
As the site of the largest Swahili Stone Town in the world, Zanzibar is well worth a visit. Tourists are now welcome on Zanzibar and the infrastructure for guests has greatly expanded in the last few years. Hotels and Guest Houses are available in all price ranges. Accommodations extend from basic backpacker support to luxurious private islands. There is an international airport about 5 km. from Stone Town and many modern Ferry's now ply the short sea routes between the Islands and the mainland.
Zanzibar experiences warm tropical climate, where temperatures are relatively high and humid condition almost throughout the year. The islands experiences two rainfall seasons the longest and heaviest rain in March to May and short rain in September to November. Temperatures are relatively higher throughout the year with a an average of 25°C goes as higher as 39°C in February and as lower as 20°C in August.
All travelers to Zanzibar are advised to have their vaccination at least 36 hours before their journey in the countries of their residence. In the circumstances or any reason that a traveler could not have yellow fever vaccination in his/her county of origin can be obtained at the major entry point in Tanzania. It is wise to be up to date on tetanus, polio and diphtheria, and hepatitis A. Immunisations against meningococcus and rabies may also be recommended.
Travelling within Zanzibar is mainly facilitated by the initiations of the private sector small enterprises. Several companies operate shuttled transfers to and from the entry points. It is important to note that in self driving services you have to fulfill certain requirements including possession of a valid international driving license. Currently most of the roads are tarmac and are passable throughout the year. Zanzibar uses the left hand driving model.
To enter in Tanzania a valid passport for at least 6 months from the date of entry is required. Kindly ensure that you have at least 3 blank pages for the entry and exist stamps. A valid return ticket is also required. Visitor from the following Nationalities do not require visas; British, Danish, Irish, Finnish, Icelandic, Kenyan; Norwegian, Singaporean, South Africa, Swedish and Zimbabwean. For the other countries please consult with your nearest Tanzania consulate about visa requirements.
Tanzania uses shillings (Tanzania shillings) as its National Currency, which is both, notes and coins. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the Bureaus, Banks and some Hotels. Credit cards including Traveler’s cheques are widely accepted in Zanzibar, most common Master Cards, Visa and America Express.
Being situated near the equator Zanzibar is generally warm and humid throughout the year and as such it is advisable to wear light and decent clothes. In winter time along the beach, the condition may be relatively cooler and sometime windy. Sun glasses are recommended especially to the first time visitor.
As an Island Zanzibar can only be reached either by air or water. It is connected to international World by several airlines directly or otherwise, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Air, Fly Dubai, Oman Air and Kenya Airways connected to the rest of the world. Zanzibar is also served by scheduled charter companies.
Importation of goods to Tanzania is very strict, but a special consideration is made or items of personal use, without incurring custom duty. Currently visitors are allowed to take 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, 1 liter of wines or sprit, 250ml of perfumes.