Yes, it is safe to travel to Zanzibar Islands.
Zanzibar Archipelago is part of Tanzania, one of the most stable countries in Africa. In fact, Tanzania is ranked as the most peaceful country in East Africa.
The local people of Zanzibar are welcoming and laid-back. The picture-perfect beaches, warm weather and rich culture Zanzibar has to offer makes it a popular tourist destination. The necessary tourism infrastructure is in place for a comfortable and safe holiday. Many international travelers return to Zanzibar time and again to enjoy the magical wonder of the islands.
As of 6th June 2020, Zanzibar has opened its borders to all travelers, enabling Mangokil Adventures to welcome its guests. Tanzania has been endorsed by the World Tourism Travel Council (WTTC) as a “safe travel” destination and the government of Tanzania has removed the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements upon arrival for visitors, as well as the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test. The following procedures and recommendations have been issued by the local authority:
COVID TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELLERS TO ZANZIBAR
- A negative COVID certificate is not needed on arrival in Zanzibar unless specified by the country of departure. There are extra screening measures and questionnaires in place at main ports of entry.
- A negative COVID-19 test result on departure from Zanzibar is not needed by tourists, expats or citizens unless the airlines or destination countries require it.
- Travelers who needs COVID-19 test should go to:
- Zanzibar Public Health Emergency Operations Center, (Hospitali Ya Kichocho) which is located in Kinazini, within the Lumumba Secondary School compound. The school is clearly marked on google maps.
Please note there is a cost associated with this service.
NB: Hoteliers and Tour operators are requested to strictly observe Zanzibar COVID-19 Standard Operating Protocols issued by the Commission for Tourism, so that tourists and guests stay safe while enjoying their holidays
What is the best way to get to Zanzibar?
There are two ways to get to the tropical islands of Zanzibar–by ferry or plane.
You can fly to the main island of Unguja (often referred to as Zanzibar Island) and to Pemba Island. Most flights to Zanzibar are from Dar es Salaam, on the coast of Tanzania, to Stone Town on Unguja. It is a short 15-minute flight.
There are also a handful of international flights from destinations outside of Tanzania, including Doha, Nairobi and Johannesburg. If you are travelling from the UK, Europe or the USA your best option is to fly to Dar es Salaam or Nairobi in Kenya. These cities are the two major travel hubs of East Africa with many international flight routes and regular flights to Zanzibar.
Though a ferry from Dar es Salaam is considered to be the cheapest way to get to Zanzibar, that is not always the case. Some modern ferries are quite expensive and depending on your travel dates, there might opportunities to get special discounted fares on flights to Zanzibar.
Swahili is the official language of Zanzibar but many locals speak Arabic and English. Other European languages such as Italian and French can also be heard throughout Zanzibar. Swahili is widely spoken throughout East Africa in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. The name “Swahili” comes from the Arab word sawahil, which translates to “coast”.
Many people think that Stone Town is the capital of Zanzibar but in actual fact, the capital is Zanzibar City, where Stone Town is situated. Stone Town is certainly a must-see when visiting Zanzibar. Narrow streets, coral stone buildings, and spice markets all make the city a center point of Zanzibari culture. Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for the elaborate wooden carvings which can be found on the doors of most buildings in the city. The carvings are all subtly different in their designs, reflecting social status, ethnicity, and religion (some designs feature verses from the Quran).
Like most East African countries situated near the Equator, Zanzibar has equal days and nights of 12 hours each. Its two rainy seasons are split into short and long seasons; the long rainy season occurs between March and May, and the short rainy season takes place in November and December. For the most part however, Zanzibar boasts hot summers and pristine blue skies, which allows visitors to make the most of its beautiful sandy beaches.
Second only to tourism, spice farming forms a major part of Zanzibar’s economy. The islands are sometimes referred to as the Spice Islands due to the production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. With our “Taste of Zanzibar Day” tour, you can learn about the Zanzibari culture as you explore the city of Stone Town and take in the sights, smells and tastes of the spice farms.
Is Zanzibar safe at night?
Erring on the side of caution, the answer is no. Muggings and robberies do happen, especially in dark alleys at night. It is advisable no to walk around unaccompanied at night.
Only take registered taxis or taxis recommended by trusted locals and friends. Alternatively, some hotels can arrange for an escort to accompany you should you want venture out for a walk.
Some other precautions we advise you to take are not to wear flashy jewelry and not to keep your valuables on your person. Do keep your wits about you and don’t share freely information regarding your accommodations. During the day you should be fine walking around on your own, but be mindful of your surroundings and keep your eyes open.
What are best beaches in Zanzibar?
When planning a holiday in Zanzibar people often ask what part of Zanzibar is best to visit? What they really want to know is where the best Zanzibar beaches are…
The beaches along the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar Island (Unguja) are best for swimming, diving and easy access. They are, however, the most popular beaches with the highest concentration of resorts and people.
Two of the finest beaches of northern Zanzibar are Nungwi and Kendwa. The coastline in this area boasts powdery white sand and clear waters. There are also plenty of accommodation options here, especially in and around Nungwi.
The coral reef that shelters the east coast of Unguja from the open ocean makes it ideal for swimming. The waves are gentle, the water clear and the tidal fluctuations less dramatic than on the south and west coast. The reef is also ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Pongwe Beach is protected by an offshore reef making it arguably the best swimming spot around.
For a more remote and deserted beach experience on Zanzibar, head south. Bwejuu and Paje are two of the best beaches on the southeast coast and Kizimkazi Beach, known for its dolphins, is an authentic spot on the southwest coast.
What makes Zanzibar for Honeymoons?
Zanzibar is one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations in the world. The authentic charm and picture-perfect beaches of Zanzibar make it a very popular romantic getaway.
The combination of picturesque tropical beaches, sunny weather and secluded resorts provide an ideal setting for lovebirds to relax and get away from it all. Add to that Zanzibar’s laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals and you get the ideal honeymoon setting.
Part of the charm of this island paradise is that couples can chose to be as active or as idle as they want. Hammocks, gentle walks, lazy swims, soothing massages and sundowners await, as do island hopping boat trips, snorkeling and diving excursions, spice tours, cultural experiences and eco-adventures.
For help in planning your Zanzibar Island holiday, contact Mangokil Adventures. Our team of friendly and expert staff can answer your questions and help you plan the perfect holiday within your budgetary requirements.
We hope to see you in the near future. Karibu (welcome) to Africa!