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When to Travel?
The Zanzibar Islands are arguably a year round destination. However, undoubtedly the best time to travel is during the dry months from December to February and June to October. While the weather is dryer one also has to content with the occasional monsoon. The rule of thumb when planning a trip to Zanzibar is to stay on the southwest coast during the Northeast Monsoons (November to March) and on the northeast coast during the Southwest Monsoons (June to October).

Visa Requirements
· Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania.
· There is no need to obtain a seperate visa if you are visiting the Tanzanian mainland and its islands (Zanzibar & Pemba)
· Valid passports are required for entry into Zanzibar.
· Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six (6) months after your departure from Zanzibar.
· European passport holders do require visas.
· South African passport holders do require visas.

Diplomatic Representatives in Dar es Salaam [Tanzania]:

 

· South Africa High Commission
Mwaya Road,
Masaki, House No. 1338,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: + 255 22 260 1800
Fax: + 255 22 260 0684
Email: sahcdar@raha.com

 


Money
· Tanzanian Shillings may be used to purchase meals and drinks and to pay for curios, taxi rides etc. However, visitors are
..requested to pay for hotel accommodation and services in foreign currency, preferably US$ (in smaller denominations).
· Credit cards are not accepted in most places in Zanzibar.

Health Considerations
· Before undertaking any travel all clients are encouraged to consult with their GP and/or local travel clinic for the most up-to-
..date health information on the destinations they are travelling to.
· Visitors to Tanzania & Zanzibar are required to have a Yellow Fever inoculation and present the certificate when entering the
..country. Alternatively a certificate of exemption from a travel clinic must be presented.
· Visitors to Zanzibar are encouraged to take Malaria prophylactics. We suggest clients consult with their nearest travel clinic
..for detailed information and advice on precautions.


Travel Insurance

· When travelling internationally, it is important to ensure that a Travel Insurance Policy appropriately covers you against any
..unforeseen eventualities.
· Your insurance broker or provider will offer the necessary advice on specific travel insurance policies.
· Travellers from South Africa can go to the IslandsOnly Travel Shop for more details of tailor made travel policies.


Departure Taxes

· Only the South African or foreign departure taxes are included on the airline tickets.
· Tanzanian departure taxes are not included in your ticket. The following amounts should be paid in USD to tax officials at the
..airports on departure:
1. USD 6.00 per person per domestic departure (e.g. Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam)
2. USD 30.00 per person per international departure (e.g. Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg)

Tip: Pay the exact amount. Any change will be paid in Tanzanian shilling and we’re sure you not going to have much use for that when you get home!



Location:
The islands of Zanzibar are located about 40km off the coast of East Africa roughly 6° south of the equator and about 35km northeast of the Tanzanian coastal city of Dar es Salaam.

Geography:
The Zanzibar Islands are made up of several small islands and two larger ones. Unguja - more commonly known as Zanzibar Island, is the largest, while Pemba to the northeast is a little smaller. Unguja is roughly 85km long and 20km to 30km wide. Pemba is 75km long and 15km to 20km wide.

History:
For 2000 years before the first European settlers arrived, the Arabs, Indians and Persians visited and traded along the East Africa coastline, including the Zanzibar Islands. The Portuguese arrived in the latter 15th century while looking for a trade route to India and established a trading station on Zanzibar Island. Their presence all but came to an end when the Omani Arabs ousted them at the end of the 17th century. Under Arab rule Zanzibar became a centre of the slave trade in East Africa with significant trade and political power. During the second half of the 19th century (from 1840 to 1888) Zanzibar became a focal point for European explorers and adventurers like Livingstone and Stanley who often began and/or ended their expeditions in Zanzibar. Zanzibar was a British Protectorate from 1890 to 1963, when it gained independence. The Sultan was overthrown in 1964 and Zanzibar and the newly independent state of Tanganyika formed what is now known as the United Republic of Tanzania.

Government:
Zanzibar is actually a separate state within the United Republic of Tanzania. The Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives govern the islands.

Population:
The population is estimated at roughly 1 million people, most of whom are of African Shirazi or Swahili origin. There are also smaller populations of inhabitants from India, Pakistan and Europe.

Languages:
The official language is Swahili, or Kiswahili as it is referred to locally. English and Arabic are also spoken.

Religion:
Islam is the dominant religion, but Christianity and Hinduism are also practised among the minority populations.

Economy:
Based heavily on fishing and agricultural exports, however tourism’s contribution is growing rapidly as more and more travellers visit the islands.

Currency:
The Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)

Weights and measures:
The metric system is used.

Climate:
Zanzibar enjoys an equatorial climate with heavy rainfall from March to end May.
· November to March is generally the hot and humid time of the year with temperatures often climbing above 30°C. Rainfall is
..limited to short bursts.
· April to June is the monsoon period characterised by torrential rainfall.
· July to October is probably the most pleasant time to visit Zanzibar. The temperatures average 25°C and there is little rainfall.

Time:
GMT + 3

Electricity:
220 volts

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