Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania (East Africa). It is an autonomous region of Tanzania. This beautiful destination is fast becoming a tourist’s delight in Africa.
Find out how to obtain a Tanzania visa here.
Here are actionable tips on how to plan your trip to Zanzibar.
Obtaining a visa from Nigeria:
You have 2 options:
- Submit an application to the Embassy in Abuja. Please read about the procedure here.
- Apply through an agent. Find out here.
Swahili is the official language. English is spoken in the main city and amongst staff who provide services to tourists.
When should you visit Zanzibar?
Zanzibar experiences rainy (low seasons) and dry seasons, with the peak of the rainy season starting from March to May.
June to October and December to February are popular times to visit Zanzibar due to the friendly weather. However, I visited in April and had more days of sunshine than rain. If you are on a budget, visit Zanzibar during the low seasons, but keep in mind that you may experience rainy days.
How to get there:
Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Qatar Airways all provide connections to Zanzibar. The cost of your ticket will depend on your preferred time of travel and season. To find out about my experience on Ethiopian Airlines, read here.
Where should you stay in Zanzibar?
Zanzibar is an archipelago. Basically, everything is on Unguja – the main Island of Zanzibar. The capital city Stone Town is definitely worth visiting on a day trip but I do not recommend that you stay here if you want the ideal vacation experience.
Most resorts and hotels are located in villages miles away from the city. Pick a resort or hotel in any of these villages; Matemwe, Nungwi, Kendwa, and Paje.
I stayed in Matemwe because I wanted a quiet holiday away from the crowd, and Nungwi because I wanted to meet other travellers. My preference of the two villages would be Matemwe. I booked my accommodation via booking.com. They have a wide range of accommodation for every budget and you can narrow your search to your budget.
Local transfers are available. You can book this service through your hotel. Public transportation is definitely not for the fainthearted, therefore avoid it. You’re on vacation, right?
What you shouldn’t miss while in Zanzibar:
1. Food Adventure: Zanzibar food culture is a fusion of Indian, European, Portuguese, and Middle Eastern influences. Every meal was a hit.
2. Snorkeling; visit Mnemba island to experience the sea life.
3. Take the Spice Farm Tour and discover how spices and herbs such as clove, lemongrass, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, etc., grow and are cultivated.
4. Take the Stone Town Old City Tour: Stone Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural fusion and harmonization.
5. Visit Prison Island, a property that was intended to house violent prisoners, but was later used as a quarantine center for sick people. It is currently owned by a hotel. While on the island, visit the sanctuary and see the giant tortoise.
6. Engage in other water sports: jet skiing and parasailing are available at Nungwi beach.
7. Get a local massage and body scrub.
8. Dine at the Rock Restaurant
Note that you can book any of these tours and transfers through your hotel.
What should you pack for a trip to Zanzibar:
- a bikini
- insect repellent
- sunblock lotion
- a hat
- the right attitude