KARIBU means welcome in Swahili. We welcome you to Zanzibar, the majestic spice island in the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar is a unique coral island in the Indian Ocean, lying a short distance from Tanzania. With Pemba and about 50 other islands, Zanzibar was originally an independent country until 1964, when it was united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania under President Julius Nyerere. It currently has its own President and a degree of autonomy.
Over centuries different cultures have influenced Zanzibar to make the island what it is today. Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, Omani Arabs, Dutch and British have settled here at one time or another and influenced the local culture to create the present fusion.
Its heyday came in the early 19th century when the Sultan of Muscat moved his court to Zanzibar. Spice cultivation was developed (particularly the clove tree), and the slave trade was at its height - Zanzibar became the most important place in East Africa.
- Zanzibar has a multiracial and multicultural community. It is a society of many faiths and of different origins
- Almost the entire population is of mixed race, primarily of Arab and African decent and all blended with a vibrant local culture
- Zanzibar is a tropical island and its climate is subject to the whims of monsoon winds
- The northern monsoon (known as Kaskazi in Kiswahili) lasts three to four months from December to March
- The southwest monsoon (Kusi) lasts from April to November
- The rainy season (Masika) starts in March or April and lasts until May
- June to October is the dry season and temperatures are pleasant. There are short rains known as Vuli
- Zanzibar gets about 60 inches of rain per year
- The maximum temperatures are 88.5 F in February and 81 F in July
- The minimum temperatures are 80 F in March and 71 F in June
TRAVELLING BY AIR
- The principal airline to Zanzibar is Kenya Airways with transit at Nairobi
- Other carriers include Qatar Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air India, South African Airways, British Airways and KLM, stopping over in Dar-es-Salaam, from where you can catch a ferry to Zanzibar
- There are also a number of regular direct charter flights to Zanzibar from Europe (Frankfurt, Brussels, etc.)
VISA PROCEDURES & CUSTOMS
- All visitors require a valid passport and visa for the duration of their stay. A visa can be obtained from the Tanzania Diplomatic Mission or alternatively at the entry points. The visa currently costs 50 US$ or 50 Euros. However it is advisable to check with your nearest Tanzanian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate prior to travel for updated information
- An Airport tax of 50 US$ per ticket must be paid on departure. Keep small denomination notes ready as change might sometimes be limited. A tax of 5 US$ for every ticket is applied to people arriving by sea
- We recommend you always check this with your travel agent
- Time Zone: GMT + 3
- Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)
- Official languages: Kiswahili & English
- Electricity: 220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz
- Religion: Predominantly Islam