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(By plane: Air-viva is a very shady and unreliable business and should be avoided.)
(Get out: Air-viva is a very shady and unreliable business and should be avoided)
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==Get out==
==Get out==
You can take the night ferry to Dar, it's the cheapest option, $20, and you also save a night's stay in a hotel. It leaves at 22h00, and arrives at about 06h00 in Dar. But the night ferry has no bed rooms so you must be ready to rough it. Several accidents (ferries capsizing) on these kinds of ferries have been reported in the last years; the tourist ferries may be safer to use.<br>Another option is to fly. [ air viva] offers several flights daily to Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
You can take the night ferry to Dar, it's the cheapest option, $20, and you also save a night's stay in a hotel. It leaves at 22h00, and arrives at about 06h00 in Dar. But the night ferry has no bed rooms so you must be ready to rough it. Several accidents (ferries capsizing) on these kinds of ferries have been reported in the last years; the tourist ferries may be safer to use.<br>Another option is to fly.

Revision as of 19:10, 4 August 2014

A view over Stone Town from the sea
Map of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania consisting of Zanzibar Island (locally, Unguja), Pemba Island and many smaller islands. Zanzibar island itself is approximately 90km long and 30km wide.

In 1896, Zanzibar was the location of the world's shortest war, surrendering to Britain after 38 minutes of naval bombardment.


  • Stone Town – the vibrant and enchanting capital
  • Nungwi – a popular small resort town on the northern tip of the island
  • Kendwa – a small fishing village a couple of miles from Nungwi, a great place for reading on the beach or scuba diving
  • Matemwe – a small traditional village in the North East.
  • Paje – a small village on the East coast known for excellent kiteboarding conditions
  • Jambiani – a small fishing village on the southeast coast
  • Uroa Village – a small fishing village on the east coast with resorts on the northern and southern side
  • Chwaka Village – largest village on Chwaka Bay. Fish market and small stores.

Get in


No visa is required for stays of less than 3 months for citizens of Namibia, Romania, Rwanda, Hong Kong, Malaysia and all commonwealth member states (except the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Nigeria, India & South Africa). A Tourist Visa costs US$50 for a three-month single entry or US$100 for a three-month double entry visa. The visa can be obtained upon arrival. Having the cash handy when obtaining the form might accelerated the process as depending on the officer filling it out will no longer be required. Do carry your certificate of yellow fever vaccination with you upon arrival as this might be checked.Visas are valid for the duration from the date of issuance. However, obtaining a visa before arrival is highly recommended. Holders of a US passport can only obtain a US$100 multiple-entry visa due to a policy of reciprocity by Tanzania (which can be purchased on arrival). US travellers departing from the U.S. can pay US$20 for a rush service from the Tanzanian embassy, which takes three working days. The website of Tanzania Embassy in the U.S. gives the current requirements, [19]. Visas may also be obtained from any of Tanzania's diplomatic mission abroad.

By Boat

There are many ferries and catamarans that can take you between Dar es Salaam and the Island. Azam Marine,Sea Express, Sea Star, Seagull Kilimanjaro and Sepideh Megaspeed Liners are among the nicest available. Azam runs at 14h30 and 16h15 on weekdays and Sea Express at 07h30 daily. Fares range $35 to $40 for non-residents, including a $5 Port Tax. First class is only $5 more expensive than economy and certainly worth the money. Most ferries schedules allow you to do the return trip the same day. For instance leave Dar es Salaam at 07:30 and return from Zanzibar on the 16:30 ferry. That leaves plenty of time to explore the Stone Town, the museum and have a nice lunch. The trip is beautiful and lasts about two hours approximately. However, if the weather is bad it can take much longer and the trip can be very unpleasant. If you suffer from seasickness you are advised to take some anti-seasickness pills prior to boarding. The on board personnel hands out free sickness bags at the start of the journey. Flying Horse makes the same journey for $20. However, it will take around 4.5 hours whereas the others take 1.5 hours.

You may be able to hire a private boat for cheaper, but the trip will take considerably longer and unless you know something about boats, you could be on a vessel that is not equipped for bad weather conditions or an emergency. Remember: you get what you pay for.

Be aware that the "porters" at the Dar ferry terminal will hassle you for money and expect tips for referring you to "the best boat." If you don't want their help, be forceful. Touts will tell you anything to get you to use a service which pays them commission, and scam you in any way they can. They will say the company kiosk you are heading towards only goes to mainland destinations (when they do service Zanzibar), they will say their service is a 90min ferry (when it actually takes over 2 hours), they will quote you a price for first class tickets (but issue "e/c" economy tickets and pocket the difference), they will sell you a return ticket (leaving you to later find out it is actually only valid for return travel with a different, cheaper company and the seller has pocketed the difference). The dock is a zoo -- a prime hangout for pickpockets.

Passport. Although Zanzibar is part of the Union it maintains its own immigration service and you need to have a valid passport to enter, even if you come from mainland Tanzania. This farcically means you must fill out a Tanzania arrival card for your arrival in Stone Town, and a Tanzania departure card when you leave.

By plane

There are several flights from Dar to Zanzibar. Air Excel, Regional Air, Precision Air and ZanAir, Coastal Aviation, Tropical Air, Sky Aviation, Zantas Air Services, Flightlink Air Charters, Ilyas Aviation, Northern Air, Auric Air, Kenya Airways, Uganda Airways, Air Tanzania, Kili Air, Tanzanair, SafariAirLink, Fly540, to mention a few Tanzania scheduled and charter operators.

As of January 2009, Coastal was charging US$160 for a return flight from Dar with a 15kg baggage limit preferably in soft bags. The planes are small so luggage can be an issue if you're doing a lot of shopping. A Precision Air ticket will cost a bit less but with a more generous baggage allowance.

Zanzibar has two (2) departure taxes. Domestic flights: 5,000 Tsh (or $5) and International flights: $48, accepted in USD only (although depending on the official you can pay in Tsh at a higher rate of exchange)


There are a number of taxis waiting for passengers when you exit the terminal. Despite having a "list" of prices for the various tourist destinations on the island, prices are negotiable. Although you can arrange a pick up at the airport with your hotel or tour company, even a little negotiating will get you a better price than the inflated one quoted by most hotels. However, some Stone Town hotels do offer free shuttle service from the airport.

Get around

Although taxis are available, you will probably want to walk through Stone Town. After all, most of the alleys are barely wide enough for a bike to pass.

Journeying outside Stone Town is most comfortably done with a taxi or a private car, however a network of dalla-dallas, small minivans, exist which service all the major villages on the island. The adventurous, armed with a phrase book and map, will experience a wonderful side of Zanzibar life, which all too often is just another photograph to the typical tourist zooming past. A private car is of course a lot more expensive than a dalla-dalla, $15 compared to $3. It will take you about 2 hours to get to Nungwi, on the northern tip of the island. Another problem to take in account when driving by yourself is the Police and their practice of inventing "offences" to get bribes. Normally, they often threaten to go to trial in a couple of days, sometimes jumping in your car on the grounds that you have to drive them to the police station. Then, when they state "How can we sort this out?" 5000 Tsh ($3) will be enough to forget the offence.

Many hotels are happy to arrange a taxi for a transfer to the harbour, airport, spice tour or to another hotel. Beware, however, as they get commissions from taxis and so the prices tend to be higher. For example, your hotel might say that an airport transfer is $10, while out on the streets of Stone Town there are so many taxi drivers needing business you'll probably be able to negotiate the price down to $6.

Avoid street hawkers and sellers by ignoring them completely. Do not even say hello or make eye contact. It is the most efficient way of getting rid of them, some may be dangerous. If they try to sell you a tour, you may never see him or her again. Book from an office, and make sure to state that you walked in without help from anyone.

Get around Zanzibar by renting a car from Galaxy Cross Road, offering quality cars at competitive prices, find out more at International Drivers Licenses are not required, however a US$10 Permit is required to drive. When driving through checkpoints keep items of value out of sight (not due to robbery, but as it indicates you have money). Comply with all requests, but realize that if they pull you aside they are likely to ask you for a bribe. The method of this generally entails finding something broken or wrong with your vehicle or paperwork.

you can also call Emerging Zanzibar Tours and Safari for all kind of Transfers and Tours. They have well maintained cars with public liability insurance, Certified english speaking drivers and good value for money. write to [email protected] or call +25524 2238518


  • Zanzibar Island, a.k.a., The Spice Island, was an important stop in the Spice Trade centuries ago. Today, it is one of the few places in the world where saffron is produced, and many other Middle Eastern/Asian spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.) are grown here. Around $25-$30 per person you can go on a spice tour, which winds you around the island, showing you how anise grows; letting you sample some of the exotic fruit grown on the island; and allowing you to tour the beautiful plantations. Be careful when buying spices or teas at these plantations, they may use deceptive packaging to fake the depth of "variety packs".
  • Jozani Forest has excellent nature trails, featuring some very exotic (and large) trees. Even more interesting, though, are the Red Colobus Monkeys that live here. Native to the Island, these monkeys are now nearly extinct. They are very curious and playful and will likely pose for a picture. The entry fee (10$) also include an optional visit to a beautiful mangrove forest which is highly recommended. Be aware that the guides sometimes try to shorten the trip so they have less work; insist on what you paid for. The bus from Zanzibar Town is 2000 Sh. as of July 2014. If the bus drivers want to give you a special (i.e. rip off) price, tell them that you pay with the conductor as every one else does.
  • There are a number of historically important (and frankly, just plain beautiful) buildings in Stone Town, like The House of Wonders and The Arab Fort. It is easy to arrange a simple walking tour with a local guide who can teach you some history.
  • The market in Stone Town is one of the largest, most vibrant open-air markets anywhere. Here, you can find several varieties of bananas, "elephant garlic" unique to the island, the largest avocados you'll probably ever see, and more. Prices are extremely reasonable. Even if you have no intentions of purchasing food, the spectacle alone is worth a visit. If seeing raw meat and fish covered in flies makes you squeamish, avoid that part of the market. Overall, pretty much all food that is not packaged in plastic is covered in flies.
  • Seaweed Center (Seaweed industry development project), (Paje, East Coast, Zanzibar), +255 772 37-18-44, [1]. 3% of the world's commercial harvest of Seaweed is taking place in Zanzibar island. The industry has ~15,000 women seaweed farmers. The Seaweed Center is a socially responsible business that provides female seaweed farmers in Paje, Zanzibar with opportunities to improve their personal standards of living and develop economic activities that benefit the entire community. The project comprises a factory and gathering site to produce soaps and creams from seaweed that are sold locally and begin to be distributed throughout East Africa. Tours are available, showing the life of seaweed women, the work and the value added activities. (-6.259426,39.533966)
  • Tanzania tours (beach holidays Zanzibar), [2]. Budget Tanzania tours available include budget camping safaris,cheap beach resorts in Zanzibar island,Stone town tours Zanzibar, wildlife safaris,kilimanjaro climbing trips, spice tours Zanzibar, kilimanjaro trekking upland and camping safaris


There are a lot of things to do on Zanzibar Island. It just depends on where your interests lie.

  • Stone Town, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most unique cities in the world. Blending Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African traditions and architectures, it is possible to spend days winding through Stone Town's labyrinthine alleys; shopping; drinking tea; and visiting the city's historic sites. Be sure to take sun screen, a hat and lots of water since your tour through Stone Town can be quite tiring.
  • Visit Slave Market The site of the old Slave Market is quite an experience. Go into the holding chambers to see how this wretched piece of history played itself out in small dark dungeon-type cells. It runs about US$4 or TS3.5. The museum might be worth doing with a tour guide who can explain what you are looking at and really get you emotionally invested in the history. The museum itself does not give much information on the history of the slave trade in Zanzibar. The museum consists of the slave chambers, a monument, and an Anglican Church built on the site of the tree that served as whipping post. The property was purchased by Dr David Livingstone (one of the biggest proponents of the abolishment of slavery) who wanted to turn the grounds into a haven after the atrocities committed there by the Oman Arab and British slave traders.

In the tourist areas around the waterfront, Kenyatta Road and Shangani Road, you will be beset by all manner of papasi, touts and others wanting to offer you taxis, spice tours, music, gifts, etc. A polite but firm No, thanks usually does the trick, but it can get exhausting. Best thing to do here is wander into the more residential alleys where you won't be disturbed.

  • Be certain to have 'dinner at MaruMaru near Old fort in Stone Town. Every evening, for just a few dollars, you can sample local fish, food, drinks, and hear local music.
  • Visit Forodhani Gardens If you are not scared of local food, then this place is definitely worth a visit. It is possibly the cheapest food you will find on the island, and value for money too. Ranging from crab claws, calamari steaks to plain old chips done in big woks. You are well advised to try the local sugar cane juice. The curio market can be found next to the food market. Here you will find all the gifts you may want to take back to friends and loved ones. Do not buy the first thing you see. First take a walk through the market, and you will see prices get progressively less. You must always haggle and bargain with the vendors or try to set the prices off against each other. This is their way of doing business and it also ensures that you get the best price.
  • Spice tours are being offered by many companies, they take you out to a spice farm, where your guide will show you how things like cinnamon, jack fruit and kukurma are grown, and will let you taste most of them. Be wary of buying them on the street, in which case the tout might just take your money without a booking. Another common scam is for a tout to follow you into (or give you directions to) the office, in which case the tour price will change from $10 to $15, with you paying the commission.
  • Deep Sea Fishing with " Hooked on Fishing" in Nungwi in the North Coast.
  • The East Beaches are popular among travellers. The sand is brilliant white, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are a deep teal. Here, you can:
  • Find plenty of opportunities for scuba diving; Rising Sun Dive Center [20] (based at the Breezes beach resort, Kizimkazi Dolphin Tour For $25-$35 You can take this beautiful (but not necessarily moral) tour. This includes a ride from Stone Town to the village of Kizimkazi in the south tip of the island, a few hours boat tour that includes snorkelling and chasing dolphins, local lunch, nap on the beach and an optional tour to Jozani Forest (see above). The full tours leaves town at 08:00 and returns at 17:00 - a complete day of fun and a very memorable experience, especially for the dolphins.
  • Do not miss out on one of the best dives in East Africa.Spanish Dancer Divers [21] arrange daily trips to the famous Mnemba Atoll Marine Park for divers and snorkelers. Mnemba Atoll is known for having clear worm waters. Dolphin and Green Turtle encounters are very common.
  • Arrange for a ride on a local's dhow (a carved, wooden boat).
  • Sit and stare at the water for hours on end.
  • Kitesurf is a popular sport in Paje Beach, where the crystalline lagoon waters and reef protection offer ideal conditions for both advanced and beginner kitesurfers. Zanzibar Kite Paradise ( offers beginning classes as well as rentals.

  • Kendwa Beach on the North Western coast is beautiful. Here you can swim during low and high tide, which is not always possible on the East side of the island. Just beware of the "Sea Urchins" that gives a powerful sting if stepped upon during low tide. Kendwa offers lots of beach bars and restaurants serving everything from pizza to local curries. Kendwa Beach is also known for the Full Moon Party, arranged Saturdays just before or after a full moon. While not as big or extreme as those arranged in Thailand, the parties on Zanzibar attract quite a large group of people, especially when the full moon coincides with public holidays in Europe and North America (eg Easter and Christmas).
  • Africa house in the stone town was the old English club and explorers like Livingstone and Stanley relaxed in the bar and billiards rooms before exploring the main land. The billiards room now is an Arabic shisha smoking lounge.
  • Elefant Tours (GRODT TOURS & Experiences), +27 21 852 6628, [3]. Elefant Tours is a member of Adventure Travel Trade Association and offers various overland tours on Zanzibar.
  • Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, Pete village (1 km before Jozani Forest Park), [4]. 9am-5pm. The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) is a community and environmental project located in Pete village next to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. ZBC has trained local people from the Pete community to farm the butterflies sustainably and buys their pupae for the netted garden. Revenue generated by tourist admissions supports ZBC with the project’s aims of poverty alleviation and conservation of the local forest. ZBC provides visitors with a unique and fascinating opportunity to learn about all the different butterfly lifecycle stages close up in one of Africa's largest butterfly exhibits. Visitors can enjoy an interactive tour with one of the knowledgeable guides in the tropical garden where hundreds of butterflies, all of which are native species to Zanzibar, fly freely. $5 per person. 5$.
  • Fahari Zanzibar, 62 Kenyatta Road (near Shanghani Post Office), [5]. Fahari Zanzibar is a Social Enterprise, registered as an NGO, making high quality bags, jewellery and accessories. Visit the large open workshop & school on Kenyatta Road, where you can watch bags, jewellery and other accessories being skillfully manufactured and buy directly from the women producers. By buying from Fahari, you will be receiving an exceptional, original product whilst supporting local women build a sustainable future.
  • Menai Bay Conservation Area Snorkel Excursions (Fumba Water Sports), Fumba (25 minutes south of Zanzibar airport), +255(0)774878701, [6]. Menai Bay Conservation Area in the southwest side region holds very pristine and colorful coral reef systems with abundant sea life. Take a morning trip out to snorkel or dive in a traditional Swhaili dhow then come back to an all inclusive lunch from Fumba Beach Lodge. $45-$95. (-6:317346,39.277298)


Zanzibar currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH), which is exchanged at a rate of around 1EUR = TSH1800. On the beaches, US dollars and TSH are accepted. However, $1 = TSH 1500, which is much less than the official exchange rate. Best would be to trade some of your dollars or euros for TSH, and use that to buy food.If you buy curios with dollars and euros you will get a better deal, since the hawkers are more prone to bargaining when buying with foreign currency. Remember! You get a better exchange rate on large US dollar notes eg $50 and $100 than on smaller bills/notes eg $20, $10. There are four ATMs on the island, all in Stone Town. A store that accepts credit card payment is a rarity. Don't rely totally on your bank card. Take extra cash or traveller's cheques.

Stone Town is a one-stop-souvenir-shopping for the traveller. You can find beautiful textiles, handmade jewellery, intricate wood or stone carvings, spices, knick-knacks, and the list goes on and on . . .

Buy a cookbook and spices. Take the trip home with you! Beware that many of the vendors sell fake saffron (appears waxy like a shredded red crayon).

  • Mitus Spice Tour (Spice Tour), Malindi Rd, +255 652 581 439 (). half day tour. 12$ per person.
  • Halai's, Hurumzi Street (Opp. Emerson Spice Hotel), +255 717 147 199. a small shop in stone town where you can get the best deals. Prices are usually fixed, shop is filled with colourful textiles of different kinds.
  • Old Stone Town Market. Be carefull when buying in the Stone Town market. Be prepared to negotiate down to at most 40% of the initial quoted price for goods (e.g. 500 TSH for a coconut, 7500 TSH for 500g of coffee, etc.) and ask for quotes from multiple sellers before making any purchase. Be *especially* carefull when buying goods marketed as made from ebony as they are fake. If you know how to check an ebony good and find that it is genuine (not covered with varnish/ shoe polish, correct density, etc.), be sure you do not let the good out of your hand and ask to package it yourself or, otherwise, it will be substituted with a fake. If the seller pretends to be offended, walk away. Another health risk is buying expensive spices (e.g. saffron) without being able to correctly identifiy the product. Be aware of unsafe chemicals/ substitutes added to or used instead of spices. Additionally, if you hire a guide do not rely on their advice as golden. The general attitude is that tourists won't come back so it's worth fleecing for everything they're worth.


  • "Terrace Restaurantat maru maru hotel in Stonetown with a 360° view. All UNESO world heritage sites along with Magnificent Indian ocean can be seen from this famous restaurant. You can also enjoy happy hours everyday from 16:00 to 19:00 hours. Cocktails, local mishikaki , Asian food is a must try. Great place to watch the sunset.
  • Hurumzi', earlier known as Emerson and Green and later as Emerson's Tower Top Restaurant, is well worth a visit. It can be found at 236 Hurumzi Street in Stone Town. Amazing food and sublime atmosphere. While dinner is quite expensive and has to be booked in advance, the rooftop view of the sunset punctuated by the sound of prayer calls is not to be missed.
  • Kidude, near Hurumzi, serves traditional Zanzibari cuisine at moderate prices.
  • Forodhani Gardens [22] is a nightly affair by the water. You can purchase 'Zanzibari pizza' or get all sorts of grilled seafood and meat for less than $1 per serving. Also available are banana and chocolate pancakes which are to die for (Note: bring an extra bar of chocolate for them to add to your pancake). Some consider the market to be overrated -- the food quality can be mixed and there will be papasi or touts who may hassle you. The twilight atmosphere however makes for a nice setting to have a cheap meal.
  • Amore Mio, on Shangani Street, serves good Italian gelati ice cream, pizzas and pasta (~ $10-15 per person).
  • Monsoon Restaurant, just to the west of the Tunnel at the edge of the harbour and the southern corner of Forodhani Gardens.
  • Passing Show Restaurant, next to the Malindi Police Station just outside the harbour. A place where they have very decent local food, like pilau, and all sorts of stews. All the men go there in the evening to drink tea. Muslim place, so no alcohol.
  • Mercury, near the port, is dedicated to the Rock singer and songwriter Freddie Mercury who was born on Zanzibar. The only interesting thing in the place is the atmosphere and the nice view over the harbour and bay -- skip the food unless you're in for a stomach ache.
  • Serena Hotel, Stone Town, has a very nice restaurant with live music almost everyday. Beautiful view of the ocean and excellent, although expensive, food.
  • Botanic Country Resort, Tunguu central region, 14km from the Stone Town towards the East Coast behind the new Tanzanian Houses of Parliament. Taarab Square and Kipepeo Grill and Pub/Beer Garden with discotheque on weekends, live music on public holidays including outdoor cinema and live sports events on giant screens. Beautiful Gardens, food is from traditional Swahili & Zanzibarian dishes to International Cuisine.
  • Lukmaan, a small restaurant on the same road as the slave market does very affordable and delicious food. Point at what you want and you get it right away. The prices and convenient speed makes it a favourite for many lunchers.


While predominantly a Muslim community, small bars can be found everywhere in Zanzibar. Try the ginger beer - tangawizi. The sugar cane juice and fresh coconut milk are not to be missed.

  • Roof top Lounge at maru maru hotel is the best place for evening sunset, best and reasonable cocktails for USD 3 per drink cool chillout and lounge music and best view of town.
  • Africa House Ice cold beer and a huge balcony that overlooks the ocean - great at sunset.
  • Taarab Square At the Botanic Country Resort, Tunguu Central Region offers reasonably priced spirits and drinks compared to most of the bars on the island. Live sports bars and the only outdoor cinema showing Indian, African and English movies, discotheque over weekends and live music on public holidays.
  • Various Beach Bars On the beaches you will find beach bars who will supply you with good local beer and cocktails. You must try a Dawa-cocktail!


Zanzibar does not offer much cheap accommodation. Most budget hotels in Stone Town charge US$30 per night and more. Choosing a cheaper option will probably demand compromising on location, quality and most probably both.

Although Zanzibar is generally safe, tourists should be aware that problems do occur from time to time. For example there was a series of armed robberies at east coast hotels during 2008 until the suspect was shot and killed by police. The best practice is to wear the minimum jewellery, never carry large amounts of cash and do not confront attackers.

Also see Nungwi, Paje, Kendwa, Matemwe and Kilombero
  • Maru Maru Hotel [23] is a popular boutique hotel in town with 360degree view of stone town from the roof top. it has modern Marakesh theme and a very good value for money. A hotel that holly celebraties love to stay. call +255 774007001 or email [email protected]
  • Africa House Hotel [24] is a historical building dating back to the first generation of old Arab houses at Shangani waterfont in Stone Town. Around 1900, it became the English Club for Royal Navy officers. In 1964 the club was taken over by the Tanzanian government. The building was privatised in the nineties of the last century and now includes hotel accommodation, the Sunset Bar (a popular meeting place for sundowners), a restaurant, a library and an Arabic shisha smoking lounge.
  • Zanzibar Hotel is a restored hotel in Stone Town. It was the first hotel to exist on Zanzibar island.
  • Flamingo Guest House is a great budget place 10 minutes from the city centre. It is simple, clean and all rooms have a shared bathroom. The breakfast is quite nice and substantial including fruit, a loaf of bread, eggs, and coffee/tea. (24,000 TSH)
  • Funguni Palace Hotel, Funguni Road (near to Ferry), +255777411842 (). This hotel contains 11 rooms in Zanzibar traditional style inside.Some rooms have self-contained bathrooms and some use shared bathrooms. There are air conditioners in rooms. 35$.
  • Chavda Hotel is in the middle of Stone Town, 15min by foot from the Harbour (or 1,000 TSH by taxi). Rooms are nice but without luxury. Double beds, 2 single or 3 single beds are available, all with air conditioning and mosquito drapes. Breakfast is small (it's better to eat around the corner) but the cheap hotel bar is on the roof of the hotel and offers nice views of Stone Town. Rate for a room with double bed was 90 USD incl. breakfast and taxes (10% charge when you pay by Credit Card).
  • Pongwe Beach Hotel [25] is a small hotel on the eastern side of the island. It is ideal for those looking for a relaxed and secluded "paradise island" experience.
  • Bottoms Up!, an eclectic, unusual hostel in the heart of Stone Town.
  • Pearl Guest House is a simple budget guest house for backpackers. Don't expect much (common bathrooms, cold water shower and without breakfast) but the owner is friendly and it offers a very good value for money (8-12$ pp). The Pearl is located in middle Stone Town, about 5 minutes walk east of the port/ Mercury's Restaurant. If your are coming from the market, it is about 2 minutes walk east of the junction of Creek Road and Malindi Street.
  • Hotel Marine, near the harbor Gate, 1 minute walk from ferry and 5 min drive from Zanzibar International Airport. Budget hotel at the center of Stone town. Most tourists prefer this hotel due to it's location, services and price. All rooms are self contained with Cable TV, Air condition, hot water, Internet WIFI, parking area for safe car park, Breakfast and many more. They do arrange tours packages across Zanzibar Archipelago. The Hotel is in just walking distance of the major tourist attractions which include, Forodhani park, house of wonders, people's palace, market and all the places that are situated in Zanzibar Stone Town. Banks, taxis and all major offices are located just outside the Hotel.
  • Malindi Guest House, near the fish market (but the smell isn't so bad) is an inexpensive place to stay. You can get a double room for about $20.
  • Island View Hotel located in Kilimani (right next to Stone Town) is a great option for budget travellers. A night for two people goes for $35-$40 US/night which includes a big breakfast. Rooms have a TV with many channels, clean washrooms, a telephone and the option of air-conditioning. Staff are very friendly and helpful!
  • Botanic Country House located in Tunguu, central region (behind the new Tanzanian House of Parliament) is a great option for budget travelers who have had enough of the beach. A night for two people goes for $40 US/night which includes a tasty breakfast. Nights are cool and it is a mosquito free environment in the countryside of Zanzibar.
  • Annex of Abdullah Stone Town, south of Jaws Corner, (opposite white & green Mosque). Very basic but very cheap single rooms, ~$10 (Feb 2009). Shared bathrooms. Basic breakfast included. A really decent find for the budget traveller.
  • Dhow Inn, Paje Beach (Turn left at the Paje junction, go for about 200 meters, then turn right), +255 777 525828, [7]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: 12.00. This quiet, comfortable and atmospheric hotel is small and intimate with only 6 rooms. Well equipped rooms, stylish swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, attentive staff and the hotel is active with various local NGO's. No small children. 65$.
  • Tamarind Beach Hotel, Uroa Village, East Coast, +255(0)777411191, [8]. Bungalow hotel by the Indian Ocean on the east coast of Zanzibar. US$ 80.
  • Fontaine Garden Village, Stone Town (south east coast of Zanzibar in the village of Bwejuu), +255 713419451, +255 714 902 618 (), [9]. Offers 11 bungalows, some en-suite, some shared facilities. There is also a house that sleeps 5. 20-seat restaurant. 100 meters from the beach. 45 minutes from Stonetown.
  • Ras Michamvi Beach Resort, Michamvi, +255 24 22 31 081, [10]. A peaceful hotel on the northern end of the southern East Coast of Zanzibar. All 15 rooms are overlooking the Indian Ocean, with powder-white sand.
  • The Zanzibari, Nungwi, +255-774-323318, [11]. A beach front boutique hotel with 8 rooms. An adjoining bar and restaurant is crafted out of a traditional wooden boat.
  • Teddy´s Place, Paje (at Paje junction turn right and after the wall of Cristal turn left), +255 773 096 306, [12]. Backpacker style accommodation. Zanzibari food, and bar. 12$-25$.
  • Mustapha´s Place, Bwejuu (at Paje junction turn left and drive for a few minutes until you see a sign for Mustapha's Place on the right - follow this), +255 774 366 841, [13]. Mustapha's is popular with backpackers, volunteers and families and offers rustic accommodation and reliable food about 2 minutes form Bwejuu beach 15$-60$.
  • Kisiwa House, Baghani Street, Stone Town, [14]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:00. New hotel in a nicely restored building. Big rooms, though only the more expensive ones has view of the ocean -- the cheaper rooms only have view to the street. High season:165-220$, low:110-170$.
  • Kholle House, Malindi 607/608 (2 Minutes walk to the ferry & Mercury's), +25 5779779898200, [15]. Kholle House is a unique and historical hotel in the heart of Stonetown. All of it's 10 rooms are different and special with Ensuite bathrooms, AC and fan. Build in 1860 by Princess Kholle, daughter of the first Sultan of Zanzibar is now one of the most authentic places in Stonetown. a la carte breakfast, swimming pool by the garden, 360 degree views from the terrace 90-190.
  • Malindi Guest House Hotel, Funguni Rd (Near the ferry), +25 5777410011. checkin: any time; checkout: 10:00am. Established in 1976, Malindi Guest House is among the oldest Guest Houses in Zanzibar. It is located so close to Zanzibar Port (off Malindi Street). 25$ per person per night.
  • Milele Villas (Private Holiday Villa Rental), Fukuchani ([email protected]), +255-773-828026, [16]. Environmental friendly and self-sufficient set of villas located on the North-Eastern tip of Zanzibar. Sleeps from 2-12 people, and includes facilities such as an infinity swimming pool, sea-view and volleyball court.
  • Echo Beach Hotel, Echo Beach, Bwejuu, Zanzibar (East Coast - 45/50min drive East of Stone Town), 0773 593260, [17]. Perfect destination for couples that want to enjoy a romantic break or honeymoon. 5 acre stretch of unspoilt beach to create a unique boutique hotel. There are now nine individual villas combining unpretentious African architecture with state of the art technology, interior design, fixtures and fittings.
  • The Z Hotel beautiful hotel with really nice views, it is a bit more luxurious compared to others located near it's location. It also has a nice Swimming pool. Tel: +255 774 266 266. Further Information:[email protected], Reservations:[email protected] [26]
  • Villa Dida Resort (Villa Dida Resort), Pwani Mchangani (Pwani Mchangani), 00255/777810100, [18]. Villa Dida is an Eco-resort in Zanzibar located on the east cost of Zanzibar in Pwani Mchangani. The resort has a private beachfrom where you can enjoy kilometers of white sand and palms lining the crystalline sea of the island.


Zanzibar is largely a Muslim community. Although they are used to Western ways, you should try to be respectful. This means:

  • Women and men should make an effort to cover their legs and arms.
  • It is regarded as disrepectful to show public affection.
  • Be discreet when drinking alcohol.
  • During Ramadan -- the month of fasting -- travellers should avoid eating and drinking publicly during the daytime. Also, be sure not to smoke in front of people, nor chew gum, and it is polite to avoid talking about the nice lunch you had.

Get out

You can take the night ferry to Dar, it's the cheapest option, $20, and you also save a night's stay in a hotel. It leaves at 22h00, and arrives at about 06h00 in Dar. But the night ferry has no bed rooms so you must be ready to rough it. Several accidents (ferries capsizing) on these kinds of ferries have been reported in the last years; the tourist ferries may be safer to use.
Another option is to fly.

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!