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Currency: Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) and American Dollars (USD) are widely accepted. ATM machines are available mainly in Stone Town, but we recommend to pay using cash.

Time Zone: 3 hours ahead of GMT (2 hours in summertime)

Language: Swahili, English

Weather: September to April (26-32˚C), May to August (25-28˚C)

Important Information: Wear plenty of sunscreen and avoid extended exposure in the strong African sun, also make sure that you are hydrated in order to prevent potential sunburn, heat stroke and exhaustion.

Important Rules: All visitors of Zanzibar are advised to observe the following rules in order to respect the local norms. For violation of any of the following, visitors may be subject to penalties ranging $ 700-1000 per person.
Swimsuits and skimpy dresses are restricted at public areas, and are allowed only at the beaches and resort areas.
Consuming alcohol in public is not recommended.
Nudity on the beach is not acceptable.
Taking photographs of residents without their permission is considered offensive.

Quick facts

Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, on the eastern coast of Tanzania, which consists of Unguja and Pemba, the two largest islands, and about 50 smaller isles and sand banks. With just a few degrees dividing Zanzibar from the Equator, the tropical climate offers warm sunshine and incredible shades of blue ocean.

The climate is more humid than on the mainland. The long, dry season that runs from June until October comes with a bright blue sky and gorgeous sunny weather. The "green“ season starts at the end of March/beginning of April and lasts until the end of May. The short rain season takes place during November and December and serves as a refreshing period for the land.
The temperature from September until April is 26-32˚C and from May to August 25-28˚C.

Location and weather

As the history and culture of Zanzibar is influenced by many different cultures, so is its cuisine. Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Portuguese and others have brought new tastes, flavours and smells to the islands, from Chinese glass noodles, to sweetmeats from the Middle East, to spices from India.

Zanzibari culinary art contains dishes flavoured with cloves, ginger, pepper, some chilli and fresh coconut. Other delicacies originate from the African mainland: boiled beans, sweet potatoes, roasted corn on the cob and yam. Another equally traditional dish is "sorpotel", a mixed offal and pork stew seasoned with curry spices. The famous Zanzibari pizza should be the first dish you try upon arrival. For food lovers, it is easy to find special meals: peppered shark meat, octopus in coconut milk prepared with curry, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and lime juice.

Cuisine

Sauti za Busara, February - this Swahili music festival takes place in February and is one of the biggest and best-known festivals in East Africa.

Zanzibar International Film Festival, July - discover the cultural heritage of East Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Middle-East, through the art of cinema.

Jahazi Festival, September - Jahazi is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to inspiring youth, learning and education, through literature and music.

Watersports Festival and Dhow race, September - the Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival is a celebration of beach life organized by a group of volunteers

Fashion Week Zanzibar, September/October - discover a showcase of the best and most creative styles in the region.

Stone Town Food Festival, October – the first food festival in Zanzibar's Stone Town with a number and range of different restaurants and vendors participating.

Festivals

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Paje Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania