Zanzibar

General information

Wildlife

There are no large wild animals in Zanzibar, and forest areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes, civets - and rumour has it, the elusive Zanzibar leopard! Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas. The coral reefs that surround the East Coast are rich in marine diversity, and make Zanzibar an ideal location for snorkelling and scuba diving.


People, Religion and Language

Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, practiced by most Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christianity and Hinduism. Zanzibar's population is estimated at 800,000, with the largest concentration of people in Stone Town, which has approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Zanzibaris speak Swahili (known locally Kiswahili), which is spoken extensively in East Africa. Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar as it is birth place of the language.


Weather and Climate

Click here for up to date weather conditions.


Government

Zanzibar is an island state within the United Republic of Tanzania, and has its own semi-autonomous government made up of a Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives. The present government is led by the island's President, Ali Mohammed Shein.


Economy

Fishing and agriculture are the main economic activities of the local people. Zanzibar was once the world's largest producer of cloves, and her economy was based on large incomes thus derived. Although cloves are still a major export along with coconut products and spices, tourism has been ear-marked as the primary foreign exchange earner, with more visitors coming to Zanzibar each year. At this stage, the numbers are still low and the potential for tourism is relatively untapped. We are dedicated to sensitive tourism that benefits both visitors and the community, without losing the romance and magic that is Zanzibar.


Getting to Zanzibar by Air

From the Rest of the World

At present, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Oman Air offer international scheduled flights to Zanzibar. Several large carriers fly into Dar es Salaam, which is only a short trip by air or sea from Zanzibar. Amongst them are KLM, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Swiss.

From the Rest of Africa

Kenya Airways, Precision Air and Ethiopian Airlines have regular flights to Zanzibar. Dar es Salaam is also served by them, as well as Egypt Air, South African Airways and others.

Domestic Flights

Various airlines offer a range of scheduled flights between Zanzibar and Tanzania's main cities.


Getting to Zanzibar by Sea

Several sea ferry companies ply the waters between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.


General

Time Zone

GMT + 3

Currency

Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh) = 100 cents

Approximate exchange rate

US$ 1 = 1,600 Tanzanian Shillings

Official languages

Kiswahili & English

Electricity

220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz

Religion

Predominantly Islam

International Dialing code

+ 255 24, followed by 7-digit local number


Visas and Entry Requirements

Latest entry requirements, and visa information can be found at the Tanzania Government website.

Zanzibar .NET

For further information on Zanzibar, we recommend Zanzibar.NET