How to arrive Zanzibar?

You can arrive Zanzibar by plane to Zanzibar International Airport:

Zanzibar is served by many flight companies and that are constantly expanding. Zanzibar International Airport which is also named Kisauni Airport and is the only airport on the island. Zanzibar is served by several airlines offering convenient flights from the United States and Europe.

Passport:
Although Zanzibar is part of the Tanzanian Union it has its own immigration service and you need to have a valid passport to enter, even if you come from mainland Tanzania. That means that you must fill out a Tanzania arrival card for your arrival in Stone Town (Zanzibar), and a Tanzania departure card when you leave the island. That includes arrivals by plane and ferry.

Arriving Zanzibar by plane:

  • International Flights
    Direct flights to Zanzibar: Condor, Jetfly, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, KLM, FlyDubai, Meridian and Turkish Airlines.

  • Domestic Flights
    Zanzibar can be reached from Dar es Salaam by plane. The flight takes about 20 minutes and several airlines are operating services.

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Arriving Zanzibar by Ferry from Dar es Salaam

The Harbour/Ferry Port of Dar es Salaam is located in the middle of Dar es Salaam. The traffic is horrendous, it can take you 2 hours or more by taxi from the airport to the ferry terminal. You should be at the terminal at least 1 hour before departure.

Azam Marine is operating the ferry www.azammarine.com. The ferry takes about 2 hours to reach Stonetown (Zanzibar). Here you have to go through customs and Visa regulations.

Tanzania Horizon Safaris will assist you to book your ferry ticket and transport to your accomodation!

Duration from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar by ferry: 2 hours / 90 kilometers

Duration from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar by ferry: 2 hours / 90 kilometers

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What to do in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar Beach

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Zanzibar is a tropical island that is most famous for its stunning beaches, good weather and beautiful accomodations. Nungwi and Kendwa are among the most famous beaches and offer everything concerning beach activities from watersports, snorkeling, boattrips or simply relaxing on the white sands.

We prepared an overview for you in our article about the best beaches in Zanzibar.


Stonetown

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The city of Stonetown is where most visitors start their staying in Zanzibar as it can be reached by plane and by ferry. You can read our article How to arrive Zanzibar? for further information. Beside the beautiful and unique architecture of Stonetown itself it offers alot of historical sights, restaurants and boutique hotels. You can find a small list of the most famous sights in Stonetown and book a Stonetown Daytrip with us to visit this cultural heritage.

  • The Old Fort (also known as the Arab Fort)
    It is a heavy stone fortress that was built in the 17th century by the Omanis to protect the city from European invasions. It has a roughly square shape and the internal courtyard is now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily. The fort location is also used for the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

  • The House of Wonders
    in located on the Mizingani Road along the Stone Town seafront, and is probably the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town. It was built in 1883 and restored after the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896. Formerly the Sultan's residence. It was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity. Since 2000, its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.

  • Forodhani Gardens / Food Market
    The Forodhani Gardens are a small park in the frontwalk of Stone Town, right in front of the Old Fort and the House of Wonders. Every evening after sunset the gardens host a popular market selling grilled seafood and Zanzibari recipes.

  • The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph
    The cathedral was built by missionaries between 1893 and 1897. The design was based on that of the Marseille Cathedral and is one of the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town and can already be seen while arriving the harbor of Stonetown. The church is still operational today and holds regular mass on Sundays.

  • Slavery Museum / The former slave market
    The museum consists of slave chambers (one for 50 men and one for 75 women and children), a memorial, and an Anglican Church built on the site of the tree that served as whipping post. It provides information on the history of the building and slave trade in Zanzibar. You can go into the holding chambers in the cellar that was used by the Oman Arab and British slave traders.

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Nationalpark Jozani Forest

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Jozani Forest has excellent nature trails, featuring some very exotic trees and plants that are home of the Red Colobus Monkeys that live here. These Monkeys can only survive on Zanzibar, nowhere else in the world, since they need a diet of 70 different plants, berries etc. The Red Colobus Monkeys are a protected species. A major part of the entrance fees goes to the local farmers in the surrounding area. In the past, the farmers killed the Monkeys because they destroyed their crops. Ever since they are compensated for their losses, the killing stopped.

You can book a guided tour with us to visit the Jozani Forest on a Daytrip.


The Zanzibar Caves

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  • Tazari Caves (near Nungwi)
    The caves belong to a recently discovered series of caves that contain stalagmites and stalagtites and is home to crab spiders and bats.

  • Kuza Caves (near Jambiani)
    Visitors can swim in natural pools inside the cave that have been created by a subterranean river.

  • Kiwengwa Caves (near Pongwe)
    These caves are a part of ancient history of the Zanzibar Island and have just recently been opened to the public. The stalagmites and stalactites have been formed from water dissolving calcium carbonate from coral stones. There is hardly any natural light so flashlights are recommended. You can visit the caves with us as a Caves Daytrip.


Diving & Watersports

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  • Surfing in Zanzibar
    The Southeast Coast of the island offers a variety of surf spots for different level surfers. The reefs are flat and beginner friendly in some sections. For a good surf experience in Zanzibar a guide is essential.

  • Snorkel Excursions
    Menai Bay Conservation Area in the southwest side region holds very colourful coral reef systems with vivid sea life. You can take a morning trip out to snorkel or dive in a traditional dhow boat from Fumba Beach. You can see our Blue Safari Daytrip here.


Spice Tour

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Spices have long been a pillar of Zanzibar's trade-heavy economy and Stone Town ibecame the heart of the Spice Trade along the East Coast of Africa. Portuguese and Chinese traders introduced spices such as garlic, cacao and chili to the islands several centuries ago but it was the Omani Sultan Seyyid Said who fully exploited the potential of Zanzibar's tropical climate and incredibly fertile soil. Today you can visit some legendary Spice Farms on our Daytrips to explore and taste the secret of Zanzibar’s ancient treasures.

What is the best time of the year to visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar Average SUNSHINE HOURS

Zanzibar Average SUNSHINE HOURS

Zanzibar’s weather pattern is divided up into dry and wet seasons. Its main rainy season lasts from March to May, with tropical downpours virtually every day, high humidity and temperatures in the mid 30s. There is another, shorter, rainy season in November and December, however these rains tend to be lighter and less predictable.

ZANZIBAR’s AVERAGE RAINFALL PER MONTH / IN MM

ZANZIBAR’s AVERAGE RAINFALL PER MONTH / IN MM

The best time to visit the island is between June and October as the rains will have dried up and the temperature will be hot but not unbearable. This is also the best time to go scuba diving as visibility will be at its peak. Visiting at the beginning of the dry season is usually a good option as the island will still be lush and hydrated from the wet season. Visiting in January and February is also recommended as this is usually a dry period between the two rainy seasons.

QUICK FACTS

  • Best Time to Visit Zanzibar: June - October

  • High Tourist Season: June - October

  • Low Season: March - May

  • All Seasons: June - October (spring), November - February (summer), March - May (monsoon)

  • Another good time to travel to Zanzibar is between December - February, when the November showers have ended, and the weather becomes warm and dry again.

  • The monsoon months in Zanzibar are between March - May, and it is not recommended to visit the islands during these months, as your tourist experiences will be limited.

  • There will be some showers during November as well, but not as heavy as during March - May.

  • July - August, and February - March are when to visit Zanzibar if you are interested in going for scuba diving, or other water sports.