About Zanzibar

Contrary to popular belief, Zanzibar is not just one island. It is an archipelago, a group of islands, located in the Indian Ocean situated off the coast of Tanzania with a population of around 1.5 million people. There are two larger islands, Unguja and Pemba Island, and several smaller ones. Kendwa Beach, Stone Town and Mnember Atoll are attractions you can find there.

Before taking off to Zanzibar, there are certain things you need to have done and have ready to be granted access to the country.

Below we provide you with an easy checklist you can reference to make sure of all the entry requirements. Also, remember to bring along a form of entertainment, such as a good book or digital content downloaded onto a device, to keep you entertained during your flight.

Entry Requirements

Zanzibar Entry Requirements Checklist:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, travellers do not need to present a negative PCR test before flying to Zanzibar, but a COVID-19 test may be required upon arrival in Zanzibar
  • It is recommended to have health insurance and a vaccination card
  • All travellers must undergo thermal and physical screening on arrival in Zanzibar – symptomatic travellers must quarantine upon arrival
  • It is recommended to have health insurance and a vaccination card
  • Masks are recommended in public

Documentation Requirements for Flights to Zanzibar

  • All travellers must complete the Mandatory health surveillance form for Zanzibar – which you can access here
  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and has at least 1 blank page for stamps. Non-South African citizens will also require a visa
  • Infants and children under 18 require both a passport and an unabridged birth certificate for travel. Additionally, a letter of consent (Affidavit) is required when an infant or child is travelling with one (1) single parent

Things to do in Zanzibar:

There's more to Zanzibar than dreamy turquoise and raw coconut coastlines. It offers plenty of versatile activities that cater to different tourist needs.

Below is a list of activities that you can do while on vacation there:

Historical Stone Town Walking Tour

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Mnemba Island Dolphins & Snorkeling

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Horse Riding Tours

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Butterfly Centre Tours

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Traditional Cooking Class & Local Market

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Prison Island Tour

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Experience the Safari Blue Tour

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Spice Farm Tour

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Public Holidays in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a blend of several cultures and its annual public holidays are a reflection of its history.

  1. New Year's Day, 1 January
  2. Revolution, 12 January
  3. Good Friday/Karume Day, 7 February
  4. Easter Monday, 12 April
  5. Eid al-Fit, 21 April
  6. Union Day, 26 April
  7. Labour Day, 1 May
  8. Eid-al-Adha, 29 June
  9. Saba Saba, 7 July
  10. Nane Nane Day, 8 August
  11. Prophet's Birthday, 26 September
  12. Nyerere Day, 14 October
  13. Tanzania Independence Day, 9 December
  14. Christmas Day, 25 December
  15. Boxing Day, 26 December

Zanzibar Currency, Cuisine and Languages

The local currency of Zanzibar is called the Tanzania shilling. Their banknotes, issued by the Central Bank of Tanzania, include notes for 10 000 TZS, 2 000 TZS, and 500 TZS. These notes consist of different pictures and colours.

The Zanzibari cuisine reflects the diverse influence of the multiple cultures and ethnic groups found in Zanzibar. It is a mixture of a lot of different culinary traditions of its people.

The most widely spoken language in Zanzibar is Swahili. It is considered the most dominant language on the island, even though English is also an official language there.