Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania consisting of Zanzibar Island (locally, Unguja), Pemba Island and many smaller islands. Zanzibar island itself is approximately 90km long and 40km wide.

A view over Stone Town from the sea

In 1896, Zanzibar was the location of the world's shortest war, surrendering to Britain after 38 minutes of naval bombardment.


  • Stone Town – the vibrant and enchanting capital
  • Nungwi – at the northern tip of the island. Very popular with tourists since swimming in the ocean is possible even at low tide. Quite overcrowded with tourists in season.
  • Kendwa – a few km south of Nungwi, also very popular with tourists.
  • Matemwe – a small traditional village in the North East.
  • Paje – the liveliest village on the South East coast known for excellent kiteboarding conditions, Great diving, a stunning beach and excellent restaurants.
  • Jambiani – a small fishing village on the southeast coast, 10 km south of Paje, with lots of small guesthouses and hotels - a quieter option than Paje with plenty of restaurants to choose from
  • Michamvi – the remotest village on the South East coast known for great sunset beach and the coolest bar on Zanzibar, Kae Beach.
  • Makunduchi : at the south east tip of the island. 70 km from Stone Town. It has its own hospital, magistrates court, secondary school. The village is famous for the "Mwaka Kogwa" festival which happens in July. The beaches are some distance away from the village and are quiet, away from it all. For travelers who are looking for peace.
  • Kizimkazi : small fishing village famous for the Dolphin tours. The most antic mosque in Africa is to be found in Kizimkazi Dimbani.

Get in

Map of Zanzibar


No visa is required for stays of less than 3 months for citizens of South Africa, Namibia, Romania, Rwanda, Hong Kong, Malaysia and all commonwealth member states (except the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Nigeria, and India). A Tourist Visa costs US$50 for a three-month single entry or US$100 for a three-month double entry visa. The visa can be obtained upon arrival. You can pay cash or with credit card. Fill in the form already on the plane. A yellow fever certificate is no longer required acccording to the latest WHO regulations. Holders of a US passport can only obtain a USD100 multiple-entry visa due to a policy of reciprocity by Tanzania (which can be purchased on arrival). US travellers departing from the US can pay USD20 for a rush service from the Tanzanian embassy, which takes three working days. The website of Tanzania's Embassy in the US gives the current requirements. Visas may also be obtained from any of Tanzania's diplomatic mission abroad.

Getting from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar

Dar airport is on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam and the Harbour/Ferry Port is in the middle of Dar. Traffic in Dar is horrendous, it can take you 2 hours or longer by taxi from the airport to the ferry port (the distance could be done easily in 30 min if there was no traffic). The taxi will cost anything from US$ 30 upwards to the ferry port. Make sure you agree on the taxi fare before you get into the taxi!

By ferry: www.azammarine.com is the ferry of choice! Ticket cost $35 - $40. Please check their website for departure times and any other information. The ferry takes about 90 min to 2 hours to reach Zanzibar.

Close to the entrance of the Zanzibar Ferry Port is KCB Bank (on Malawi Road) - the ATM is free for foreign cards (other banks 8000+) and maximum withdrawal is 900,000 (other banks 400,000).

By plane: Several local airlines offer flights from Dar to Zanzibar (the flight time is 20 minutes): www.fastjet.com (best offer), www.precisionairtz.com, www.zanair.com, www.coastalaviation.co.tz, www.tropicalair.co.tz, www.flightlinkaircharters.com, www.fly540.com, to mention a few. A departure tax is charged for domestic flights only from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam.

Passport. Although Zanzibar is part of the Union it maintains its own immigration service and you need to have a valid passport to enter, even if you come from mainland Tanzania. This farcically means you must fill out a Tanzania arrival card for your arrival in Stone Town, and a Tanzania departure card when you leave.

Getting to Zanzibar from Overseas

Direct flights to Zanzibar: Condor, Jetfly, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, Arkia Israeli Airlines, KLM, FlyDubai, Meridian, Fastjet, Mango and Turkish Airlines. There is talk that other international airlines (like Emirates) might get permission to land in Zanzibar in the near future. Other airlines fly to Dar es Salaam.

ZANZIBAR is served by many international direct flights that are ever expanding. Zanzibar International Airport which is also named Kisauni Airport and is the only airport on the island of Unguja. Zanzibar is served by several airlines offering convenient flights from the United States and Europe. Ethiopian Airlines offers the most comprehensive flight schedules and most convenient service from the U.S. mainland Africa, Asia and Europe via Addis Ababa to Zanzibar: it regularly operates approximately 21-hour, one-stop flights from Washington D.C with a short stop in Addis Ababa. The airline also offers alternative convenient routes at a low cost with stops in other US or European cities for passengers traveling from smaller airports. Cheap and convenient flights to Zanzibar are available on many other airlines operating flights to Zanzibar. Airline choice is great and ever expanding, including major US and international carriers like KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, American Airlines in cooperation with Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways and Fly Dubai in partnership with Emirates. These major carriers offer multiple flights and schedules which can be customized to your needs. From www.govisitzanzibar.com