Travel tips for a holiday in Zanzibar

Tip 1: Health Requirements

It is always important to be cautious and aware of malaria when traveling to places in Africa and tropical islands. In Zanzibar preventative measures should be taken against malaria. Consulting your doctor is recommended for medical advice on medicine that is safe for you to use. Be sure to visit your closest travel clinic they can also provide you with medical advice.

Some things to take note of:

  • Always take mosquito repellent wherever you go. Make sure to cover all uncovered areas of your body (e.g. neck and arms) during dusk and at night time.
  • Wearing light-coloured trousers and long-sleeved shirts can also reduce the risk.
  • Studies have found that the malaria mosquito is mostly active at night or in dark areas.

Fact – South Africa is a yellow fever free zone and people travelling from any other yellow fever free zone will not be asked to present proof of vaccination for yellow fever.

Tip 2: Capture the moment!

From the breath-taking beach scene to the buildings, Zanzibar offers some remarkable photo opportunities to capture your tropical trip.

  • Remember your camera.
  • Be sensitive when photographing people. It is courteous to ask permission.
  • Do not take pictures at some government areas like the police station, army sites and state houses.

Tip 3: What to pack?

  • Light sandals or rubber flip-flops.
  • For sightseeing pack comfy walking shoes.
  • Sun block and moisturising cream.
  • Light cotton clothes – as the weather is very hot and humid.
  • When visiting Stone Town, or close to religious places please respect the locals and do not wear open or revealing clothes (Muslim culture). On the private beaches at the resorts swimwear will not be a problem.
  • Camera, with extra memory cards or film
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sun / Beach hat
  • A small travel medical kit that includes headache tables, Imodium’s (the rich foods on
  • Zanzibar can affect people with a sensitive stomach) plasters, disinfectant (for small cuts and bruises). In Stone Town on Zanzibar most emergency medical items can be purchased but having them with you makes more sense.

Tip 4: Banking and Tanzanian currency

Tanzania runs on a duel currency economy.  Both Tanzanian Shillings (the local currency of Tanzania) and US$ are accepted.

  • It would be a good to exchange your money for US dollars before the trip.
  • It is best to have US dollars cash in small denominations with you, as limited places will accept a credit card or travellers cheques.

Tip 5: For the fun of knowing

Greetings matter

It costs nothing to stop and say hello. Learn the basics of Swahili (the language of Zanzibar) and it will take you quite far. Keep in mind that not everyone wants to sell you something, saying hello is an essential part of the local culture.

Useful Swahili Phrases:

  • Hello - Hujambo
  • Goodbye - Kwaheri
  • How are you - Habari?
  • I’m good - Nzuri
  • How’s it? - Mambo
  • Cool – Poa

Get lost in Stone Town

This ancient city was declared a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2000. Most will find it delightful even though it is almost maze-like. Some street names are available even though no one really uses them. On the bright side getting lost in Stone Town is worth it and part of the experience, it is small and safe. Locals are helpful, so you can ask for directions as many times as you want, but occasionally it’s best to let yourself get lost.

Egg yolks are white, not yellow

Across Zanzibar, and many parts of mainland Tanzania, breakfast options are either egg white or egg white, even when the yolk is included. There’s nothing wrong with them and they do not taste different. The chickens feed on a grain that makes them produce colourless eggs. The sorghum chickens eat across Tanzania has less pigmentation than the yellow maize fed to chickens in other parts of the world.



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