Things to Know Before Visiting Zanzibar : The Zanzibar archipelago is one of the most historically significant Indian Ocean islands, brimming with atmosphere, intrigue, and gorgeous beach settings. There are numerous lodging alternatives available at various price points, as well as enough to see, do, and discover. The Zanzibar Island is a must-see at the end of any African vacation, but is especially fantastic when added onto a Tanzania wildlife safari. It is the birthplace of the Swahili culture, the site of Sultans’ Palaces, and is famed for its best clean white sand beaches, historical buildings and spice plantations.
Many people visit Zanzibar Island, which is one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations, particularly for honeymoon vocation and holidays. Expect to see beautiful beaches, unspoiled wildlife, fascinating history, and much more on your Zanzibar safari. Before booking and going on a holiday safari in Zanzibar, you should be aware of a few hints/pointers. Yes, it is a beautiful safari destination with a lot of natural beauty, such as wonderful and stunning white sand beaches, but knowing a few hints/ tips/ pointers before you go will make your safari experience much better. So, what should you know before going to Zanzibar?
There are many things to know before booking and visiting Zanzibar destination. However, in this post, we will discuss and show you only the most important things to know and consider when planning a trip to Zanzibar, and these tips will assist you in making your trip more pleasurable and fantastic. The top 9 things to know before visiting Zanzibar and things to consider when organizing your safari vacation to Zanzibar are listed below.
- Accessibility in Zanzibar. Zanzibar is accessible through two main means of transport (water transport and air transport).
There are no other options for getting to Zanzibar than flying or taking a boat. You can only reach Zanzibar Island by air or by sea. The major Zanzibar airport, Abeid Aman Karume International Airport, serves and receives international flights from all over the world.
Air travel to Zanzibar Island is available from anywhere in Tanzania, including Dar es Salaam, the Serengeti, Arusha, and other cities, while maritime transportation is only available from Dar es Salaam. Since most of Zanzibar safaris start from Tanzania, it is more advisable for tourists to start by visiting the Tanzania mainland national parks such as the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, lake Manyara, Tarangire, Kilimanjaro and other national parks before being transferred to Zanzibar by flights or by ferry, Things to Know Before Visiting Zanzibar.
- Zanzibar is the ideal honeymoon destination.
Zanzibar is a lovely island with world-class romantic beach resorts and hotels. This is a fantastic location with everything for everyone especially couples and honeymooners. Private beach cottages, all-inclusive resorts, and tiny hotels surrounding the beaches are all great options for a honeymoon. Many honeymooners choose a beach retreat because it allows them to spend quality time together doing things like playing, sunbathing, and seeing different tourist attractions.
- Culture and religion in Zanzibar.
The indigenous people of Zanzibar have a distinct culture that differs from that of Tanzania mainland residents. The Tanzanian coast, like that of other East African coasts, was influenced by Arab religion after their arrival, and most of the local people of Zanzibar are Muslims who live their lives in accordance with their faith. Dressing properly in Zanzibar is seen as a sign of respect for their culture and religion.
- Zanzibar is one of the top destinations for historical tours.
Zanzibar is one of the top destinations for historic tours because of the many historic landmarks that have been created as a result of various activities, such as the old fort (Ngoma Kongwe) that was built by the Omanis to defend themselves against the Portuguese. Stone Town (Mji Mkongwe) is the former capital of the Sultanate, an old city that is now Zanzibar’s principal metropolis. The historic slave market, where the slave trade was centered. Hamamni Persian Baths, Malindi Mosque, Mbweni Ruins, and Shakti Temple, are other historical sites in Zanzibar.
- Zanzibar is the best island in Africa for beach vacations.
Zanzibar is the best island in Africa for Zanzibar beach vacations, with wonderful villas and hotels to welcome tourists during their vacations. There are numerous beaches in Zanzibar, including Kizimkazi, where you may watch dolphins; Jambiani, Nungwi, Paje, Matemwe, Uroa, Pongwe, and others. Almost every beach has a top-rated hotel with a spectacular view of the coastline. Zanzibar offers the nicest beach in the world for travelers to enjoy and relax.
- In Zanzibar You must respect the customs and traditions of the locals.
Travelers must never lose sight of the importance of treating locals and their cultures with respect. Tourists must not offend or insult indigenous peoples’ values. Visitors should dress modestly, speak properly, and avoid public displays of affection because Zanzibar is a conservative region. You should not drink in public or take pictures of locals without their consent. You should also be cautious while approaching children and should not speak to them without their parents’ or guardians’ permission. Revealing attire must be avoided at all costs, and indecent dressing can result in a fine of up to $700. Tourists should treat the natives with respect because they are pleasant and helpful.
- The island isn’t like the mainland (Zanzibar island isn’t like the rest of Tanzania mainland)
Although Zanzibar is technically part of Tanzania, the Zanzibar lies 23 miles from the Tanzania mainland, and life there is different in practically every way—politics, religion, culture, and food. As a base for traders from the African Lakes region, India, and the Arabian Peninsula, Zanzibar became a centre for the region’s slave and spice trades. The majority of Zanzibar people identify themselves as Zanzibaris rather than Tanzanians, and their territory has its own leader and government. Mainland Tanzania is a mix of Christian, Muslim, and indigenous peoples, while Zanzibar, which was governed for centuries by the Sultanate of Oman, is virtually exclusively Muslim.
- Zanzibar has plenty of tourist attractions
There are more places to visit in Zanzibar and plenty of things to do in a way that you might even forget to visit and explore some of the important sites/ attractions. Tourists should develop a bucket list of the experiences they want to have and the sites they want to visit before visiting Zanzibar. Stone Town, Nungwi Beach, Paje Beach, Prison Island, Kendwa Beach, Jozani Forest, and Nakupenda Beach Reserve are some of the attractions never forget to include in your Zanzibar bucket list. Tourists can eat wonderful food while admiring the beautiful ocean scenery at the Rock Restaurant. This incredible eatery is located near Michamvi Pingwe Beach, in the center of the ocean. Beautiful animals and birdlife may be found on Pemba Island, including the Pemba white-eye, sunbirds, owls, pigeons, and the Pemba-flying fox.
- There are no big fives in Zanzibar.
Remember that the island is not the same as the mainland. Despite Tanzania’s reputation for wildlife in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and other national parks, there is no wildlife in Zanzibar; instead, there is marine life, with all species located underwater. If you make it to the islands, visit one of the many dive facilities that provide scuba diving lessons and, of course, views of the Indian Ocean’s marine life and coral. However, many of Zanzibar’s best reefs have been harmed by overfishing and a lack of environmental oversight.
Chumbe Island, a protected marine park approximately a ten-minute drive and a 45-minute boat journey from Stone Town, offers some of the best snorkeling. The day excursion is more expensive than the cheap packages sold on the street, but the money goes toward paying a top-notch local staff and repairing some of Zanzibar’s most vulnerable ecosystems, Things to Know Before Visiting Zanzibar.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT ZANZIBAR?
If the name isn’t enough to persuade you, imagine a perfect Indian Ocean island with palm-fringed white sand beaches, an interior with plenty of indigenous forest (which is home to a cute monkey species only found on Zanzibar), and a capital, Zanzibar City, with amazing architecture that is a mix of Omani palaces, Arabian arches, and Indian wooden balconies and studded doors. The small alleyways of the town are alive with activity, with local women providing henna tattoos; Maasai warriors playing pool in a corner cafe; colorful marketplaces; excellent food; fabulous shopping; and plenty of interesting history.
The ideal way to see Zanzibar, in my opinion, is to have a two-stop vacation: a stay in Stone Town for a few days to appreciate everything the town has to offer, followed by a drive through the interior to one of the many beach resorts to rest on the beach for a few days. A week or two would be sufficient.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ZANZIBAR
Because Zanzibar is so close to the equator, the temperatures are consistent throughout the year, ranging from warm to hot (77 degrees to just above 85 degrees), with the added benefit of a cool sea breeze reaching almost every part of the island. The so-called major rains fall between March and the end of May, yet even then, the days are usually dry, with only sporadic, heavy showers. In November, there are a few showers.
Because Zanzibar is largely Muslim, check the dates of Ramadan and the two ‘Eid festivities, as many businesses and cafes will be closed. However, beach resorts will be open as usual. Please keep in mind that Zanzibar has malaria, so you’ll need to have a good mix of malaria prophylaxis. Check with your local tropical diseases institute to see which products are advised for your trip.