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Do i need VISA?
Yes. A single three-month entry tourist visa for your Zanzibar holiday can be applied for at Tanzanian embassies and high commissions. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous state within Tanzania, so although visitors won’t need a separate visa to enter, you will need to show your passport on arrival. Visitors flying directly to Zanzibar are able to purchase a visa on arrival at the airport, where the price is USD 50. If you are considering travelling to Kenya, you will also need a Kenyan visa which will cost a further USD 50. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your stay.
What is the local language?
The official local language is Swahili. English is often spoken in the tourist areas, as well as Italian, French and Arabic.

Zanzibaris are a rich mixture of backrounds and religions from right across the Indian Ocean, originating from Africa, to Persia, Oman and Asia, all merged into one cosmopolitan culture. The population is around 1.5 million.

How do I pay in Zanzibar?

The local currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh). US dollar notes are also widely accepted as payment throughout the island. Traveller’s Cheques can be exchanged at banks, bureau de change and some hotels, although exchange rates are poor and cash is preferable. Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted at larger establishments. There are ATM cash machines in Zanzibar Town and at the airport.

Do the internet and mobile phones work in Zanzibar?

International telephone calls can be made from the post office in Zanzibar Town, larger hotels and the numerous international communications centres, which range from internet cafes to shops with a phone. Internet cafes have sprung up all over Zanzibar Town and, despite being a little slow at times, provide a cheap and easy method of communication. Mobile network coverage is good in both Zanzibar and Pemba, and GSM mobile phones with roaming will generally be able to pick up reception in all but the most remote areas.

What should I know about medical services and vaccination?
Advice should be sought from a doctor at home prior to your Zanzibar holiday, but vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, diphteria, polio, meningitis and hepatitis A are usually recommended. The Tanzanian government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with a risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US or EU – see the complete list: countries with a risk of the yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.) Malaria is not common in Zanzibar, however it is possible. For this reason it is best to cover up after sunset, and use mosquito repellent on exposed skin. Drinking water should be boiled and filtered or bought in sealed bottles. Please note the medical facilities in Zanzibar are limited.
What to pack for Zanzibar?
Clothes are recommended to be light and loose and ideally from natural fabrics. The best shoes are flip-flops or sandals, however a firm pair of walking shoes is recommended for trips to the forest. To protect yourself from the tropical sun, sunscreen and a hat are essential. Most hotels and resorts provide mosquito nets, however if you decide to choose budget accommodation, it might be best to bring your own.

Important information for all travellers:

As of 1st June, 2019, travellers heading for Tanzania are banned from bringing any plastic carrier bags on board or in their luggage. However, plastic packaging for medical services, industrial products, the construction industry, foodstuff, and sanitary and ziploc bags that are specifically used to carry toiletries, are not prohibited. Please keep this rule in mind and pack accordingly in order to avoid penalties on arrival.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar. This means that it's on a different date every year. It normally begins after the astronomical new moon, and the end is on the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The following Ramandan dates are from 2nd April – 2nd May, 2022.
If you are travelling to Zanzibar during the Ramadan celebration, you should know some do’s and don’t. Do not eat, drink or smoke in public during Ramadan. It is not against the law to eat in public, but it is considered impolite when so many people are fasting. Some Muslim-owned restaurants are closed during Ramadan, some only during daytime.
How to dress in Zanzibar?
Please bear in mind that Zanzibar is a highly religious country and almost 95% of its inhabitants are Muslims. Women, in particular, should dress modestly, with shoulders and knees covered. Bikinis and minis are fine at hotels’ and resorts’ premises, but Zanzibaris appreciate modest dressing in the villages and towns. Likewise, men should not go shirtless and should dress conservatively. Nudity on the beach is not acceptable.
What are the main rules for behaviour in public?
Due to the religion there are certain rules visitors should follow during their visit in order to respect the local norms. It is not recommended to consume alcohol in public areas. Kissing or display of affection is also not customary to Zanzibar. If there is an opportunity to participate in religious or cultural ceremony, tourists should ask for the corresponding permission to be able to participate or observed it, and show the required respect.
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Paje Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania