Practical information

Practical information

Before you travel to Zanzibar, however, it is useful to be aware of some practical matters, including what vaccinations you need and what the climate is like. Enjoy a worry-free trip or holiday by being well prepared. On this page, you will find all practical information. Anything missing? Feel free to leave a comment.

Zanzibar travel information

View all useful information about Zanzibar at a glance.

Capital of ZanzibarZanzibar Town
Island size1464 km2, 53 mi long and only 24 mi wide at its largest point. This is the size of the main island.
Time difference with U.K.GMT + 3 hours (in summer 2 hours later than London, in winter 3 hours)
Flight durationFrom London: 11:40 hours
Languageofficial languages are Swahili and English
CurrencyTanzanian Shilling (1 GBP = about 2.915 TSh)
Tip: Use a currency convertor
TelephoneCountry code +255 Region code 24
There are a few mobile phone operators on Zanzibar island and mobile phone rentals are available to visitors.
VoltageIn Tanzania, people use 240 volts AC. Rhe same sockets as in the U.K.
It’s always smart to travel with a univeral travel adaptor though.
Travel documentsValid passport (min 6 months) and a visa are required for your trip to Zanzibar.
VaccinationsFor all travellers to Zanzibar, yellow fever vaccination is compulsory when travelling via a yellow fever infected area. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. Medical advice and medication is available from organisations that can provide vaccinations.
AirportZanzibar International Airport. Read how to get from Zanzibar airport to your hotel.
Greeting‘Shikamoo’ is a respectful way of saying hello. ‘Ndio’ means yes, ‘hapana’ means no and ‘sawa’ means ‘ok’. If you want to thank someone, you can say ‘asante’.


When you go on holiday to Zanzibar, certain vaccinations are mandatory. Other vaccinations are not compulsory but are recommended. See below an overview of all vaccinations, but always check with the GGD or your doctor which vaccinations you need.

Compulsory vaccinations Zanzibar

A yellow fever vaccination is only mandatory if you have been in a yellow fever country 7 days before. This also applies when you make a transfer that takes longer than 12 hours in a yellow fever country.

Cholera vaccination also used to be mandatory, but it is no longer so these days. Travellers no longer have to show a stamp in the vaccination booklet at customs. Do consult an expert on whether you take this vaccination before travelling to Zanzibar.

Recommended vaccinations Zanzibar

When travelling to Zanzibar, it is recommended that you take the vaccinations Hepatitis A, yellow fever and DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and polio). If you have never had measles or a vaccination against it yourself, this vaccination is also recommended.

Malaria is prevalent in Zanzibar, so we recommend bringing Malaria tablets and using them. There are many mosquitoes in the evenings and at night, so it is wise to sleep under a mosquito net. In addition, make sure you take anti-mosquito stuff with you, such as DEET.

In the unlikely event of a fever during or after your visit to Zanzibar, it is wise to visit a doctor within 24 hours.

Vaccinations for stays longer than 3 months

If you plan to go to Zanzibar for a long time, then you need to take more precautions. If so, take the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies (rabies)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Meningitis (longer than 6 months)

Visa Zanzibar

You will need a visa for Zanzibar. You apply for a visa for Tanzania, which is also valid on Zanzibar. This visa allows you to stay on the island for a maximum of 3 months.

Read all about the visa for Zanzibar >>

Paying on Zanzibar

On Zanzibar you can pay with Tanzanian Shillings. You can also pay with US dollars in many places, but you will generally be more expensive than paying with local currency. So if you like, you could withdraw some dollars in the Netherlands, so that you already have some money in your pocket.

Tip: Book a fully arranged 9-day trip to Zanzibar now from €750. Don’t miss out!

Pinning on Zanzibar

In Stone Town and all major towns, you will find ATMs of Stanbic Bank. So this is where you can withdraw Tanzanian shillings. However, the limit is often very low, so you can only withdraw about 137 GBP a day, and the ATMs do not always work, or have money left. So always try to have a backup. Keep in mind that you do pay a surcharge per transaction and you do have to have set your card to ‘world mode’ in advance.

Using a credit card

You can use your credit card in Zanzibar to withdraw money from ATMs. You can also pay with your credit card in big hotels, shopping centres and in more expensive places (note that there is a percentage added to the bill), but it is not yet possible to use it in many places. So keep this in mind.


If you join a tour on Zanzibar, it is customary to tip the guide or driver. If you are with a group, you can think of an amount of about $10. In a restaurant, it is normal to tip around 10%.


It is quite normal to haggle on Zanzibar. You can sometimes get up to 50% off the price. Especially in the tourist areas. Always be respectful, though.

Also read: Is Zanzibar expensive?

beach zanzibar

Climate of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is in the tropics and so it is hot and humid. The water is warm all year round with an average temperature of around 20ºC. The sea is also calm, which makes the island extra attractive.

Read all about the best travel time & weather in Zanzibar >>

Map and location Zanzibar Islands Tanzania

The map below shows the location of Zanzibar in relation to the U.K.

map of flights from London to Zanzibar

Here you can see a more zoomed-in version of the map of Zanzibar. Here you can also see where the different islands are in relation to each other:

Flight time Zanzibar

Zanzibar is just over 7,000 km from Amsterdam as the crow flies. If you fly to this tropical island, you never fly direct. You will therefore always make a stopover somewhere. Depending on which airline you fly with and where that stopover is, it will take you between 12.00 and 16 hours. With KLM, for instance, you always make a stopover in Nairobi (Kenya), but there are also stopovers in places like Dubai and Istanbul.

Airlines flying to Zanzibar from The United Kingdom with only 1 stopover are:

  1. Emirates: This airline offers flights from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) with one stopover in Dubai (DXB).
  2. Turkish Airlines: This airline offers flights from London Heathrow (LHR) with one stopover in Istanbul (IST).
  3. Qatar Airways: This airline offers flights from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) with one stopover in Doha (DOH).
  4. Ethiopian Airlines: This airline offers flights from London Heathrow (LHR) with one stopover in Addis Ababa (ADD).
  5. KLM: This airline offers flights from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) with one stopover in Amsterdam (AMS).

Ofcourse flight schedules and routes are subject to change. But generally these are the routes that are taken.

Tip: Book a fully inclusive 7-day trip to Zanzibar Town now from €963. Don’t miss out!

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