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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO ZANZIBAR
- located near to the equator – warm all year.
- Summer months are December to February where it can be extremely hot and humid.
- The rainy season from March to May.
- Dry & coolest months are from June to October.
WHAT TO PACK
- Light decent clothing is recommended year-round, although sometimes it does get cool enough to wear a light sweater at night.
- When leaving your resort, dress modestly to show respect to the Muslim community of Zanzibar. Women should cover their shoulders and knees. Bikinis are acceptable on the tourist beaches but not if fisherman are nearby, cover up with a sarong.
- The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling – TSH. US Dollars are accepted in all resorts.
- We recommend clients take US dollars, SA banks do not sell/buy back Tanzanian Shilling
- Bureau de Change can be found at the airport, but it is also possible to change money at the hotel reception, may cost extra.
- ATMs can only found in Stone Town.
HOW TO GET AROUND
- Local taxis known as Dala Dalas, but may not have the required passenger insurance.
- Taxis are available, and you can negotiate on the price. Car hire options are available.
- Recommended to buy & drink bottled water.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
- Tipping is recommended in Zanzibar
- Gratuity amounts in restaurants and bars are 10%. Tourist guides USD 15 per day and USD 10 for your transfer vehicle driver. Porterage is at your own discretion.
- All clients travelling to Zanzibar will be liable to pay an Infrastructure Tax of USD 1 per person per night, payable directly to the hotel
- Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
- Adhere to hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
- Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Buy them preferably from the craftsman himself to ensure your money goes to the artist and not the middle man.
- Yellow Fever Certificate is recommended and only compulsory if clients are travelling in from a high risk country or from the mainland of Tanzania. This must be obtained a minimum of 10 days prior to travel.
- Vaccinations against Hepatitis A & B and cholera are also recommended.
- Anti-malaria medication is highly recommended. Mosquito repellents and wearing long trousers and long sleeved shirts at night are suggested.
- English is the official language. Swahili, the local language is widely spoken.
- SA passport holders do not require a visa.
- Time is 1 hour ahead of South Africa.
- Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas; it is prohibited in indoor public areas.
- South African round 2-point plug. Adaptor for 3-point plugs. Depending on the hotel, a British adaptor might be required.
Standard voltage: 220 V – 240.
WHAT THINGS COST
- Bottle of water USD2 / Soft Drink USD3 Beer USD5 / Bottle of wine USD 10-15 Light lunch USD20 / Dinner USD35-40
- DON’T buy anything that comes from the sea such as large shells, turtle shells or pieces of coral from the street or beach vendors. Buying such items encourages the destruction of the country’s fragile marine eco-system.
- DO ask for permission from locals before taking their pictures.
- Ramadan is a holy month in the religion of Islam, when Muslims are not allowed to eat during day light. Please respect this and do not eat or drink in public places over this time.
- Beware of pick pockets in market places.
- Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
- Don’t trust beach hawkers selling excursions; these are not safe. Rather arrange sightseeing through your hotel or from Gateway travel & Tours.
- Keep a copy of your passport and air ticket numbers in a separate place in case you should lose them.PLASTIC BAGS NOW BANNED IN ZANZIBAR:Visitors are asked to refrain from bringing any plastic bags onto the island. This includes all the duty free plastic shopping bags en route to Zanzibar. Please kindly discard all plastic bags beforehand and help save our planet!