Sounds like an intro at an AA meeting 🙂 But no, I am not an alcoholic. I have a let’s say infatuation though, which is Zanzibar!
Born in Germany many moons ago, I emigrated to South Africa in the 80s and found my final destination in Zanzibar. After several holidays I moved here permanently in 2011. I am truly blessed to live on my little dream island and am enjoying every minute!
Yes, Zanzibar has the most beautiful powdery white sand beaches lined with coconut trees and the ever warm Indian Ocean with gentle waves (especially the east coast of Zanzibar is protected by a coral reef that keeps the big waves out and also sharks and any other undesirables). But the Zanzibaris make this island so very special: Zanzibaris smile with their eyes, genuinely, and welcome us foreigners with open arms and a hearty “Jambo” to their home – Zanzibar.
A while back I started a facebook page “Zanzibar Insider Buzz” with info, specials etc on Zanzibar, mainly for my friends and associates all over the world. It became very popular and I got so many requests for information that is not easily found on the usual (commercial) websites. I then began to write a document covering all sorts of topics on Zanzibar. That document very quickly became too big and I had to find another portal.
That’s how this blog was born. Here you find information on the island from my perspective, based on my knowledge and experiences made as a Zanzibar resident of many years. I am equally humbled and excited that this blog was viewed over 300,000 times so far. This is obviously work in progress and I keep on updating or adding to it. Any questions about anything I haven’t covered yet are most welcome.
For current specials, videos and events that I know of please visit my facebook page “Zanzibar Insider Buzz”.
Tour guides: Please be careful only to choose registered tour guides (ask for their ID issued by the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism!). You will be fined if you use unregistered tour guides. Tour guides have to complete a costly training course which has to be initially financed by their families and paid back from the earnings of the tour guides. In case you need a recommendation you are welcome to contact me.
COVID-19: Please make sure you read the latest Travel Advisory (see photos on the page “To do or not to do”).
A word of caution: An increasing number of tourists fall in love with Zanzibar and want to buy property here. Be very careful! Please read my recommendations on the page “To do and not do do”, scroll down to the section “Leasing property on Zanzibar”. Please bear in mind that Zanzibar is a tropical island, everything here works at a verrrrry slow pace, which applies to everything and anything!
Happy reading and enjoy exploring Zanzibar.
Sunny greetings and Karibu sana!
77 thoughts on “Hi I’m Gaby or Malaika”
I’m visiting zanzibar for the first time
Can you recommend a reliable car rental
Is there anything important to know about driving in zanzibar the net is full of remarks and I’m not sure what us really true.
What is your opinion of the sea cliff resort ?
Can you give me the name of a website that can give helpful tips on where to party and which beaches are for young couples
Thank you so much
Car rental: http://www.kibabucars.com
Driving on zanzibar: pls read page “driving/getting around” of my blog
Heard very good things about Seacliff, haven’t been there myself though.
No clue about website re party spots etc. There is a full moon party at Kendwa Rocks in the North of Zanzibar.
Thank you for all the information on your blog.
We are an Australian family travelling to Tanzania over December/Jan. It will be our children’s first trip to the country where their father was born. We will only have 3 nights in Zanzibar and I have already made a note of your recommendations regarding ferry, south east coast, car hire and contacted Mustapha’s Place! Given our short time and 3 children(aged 15,12, 7 who love the beach) I’m thinking that our best plan is to hire a car and driver for a day or 2 half days. What would be your top 3 recommendations of all the great places you suggest?
Hello from Zanzibar,
Great to hear you are going to visit our beautiful island. 3 days is a very short time for the island.
First and foremost, you of course need to go snorkelling (which the staff of Mustaphas can arrange for you).
You should visit Jozani Forest, which is a 20 min drive from Mustaphas/Bwejuu. Besides the Red Colubus Monkeys (who live freely in the forest, not in cages!) you will see the mangroves and if you are lucky, the huge crabs. If you are into butterflies, you can also visit the butterfly farm which is a 10 min drive from Jozani Forest.
I also recommend a visit to the spice farm as a must do, although that means you have to travel to Stone Town (about 1 hour drive from Bwejuu) – you can combine it with a guided walking tour through Stone Town.
You might also want to have a sunset barbeque at the beach of Michamvi, which is a peninsula 20 km north of Bwejuu. From the west facing side of the peninsula you can watch one of our glorious sunsets. Mambo Poa Tours in Jambiani organizes the barbeque, also “tours off the beaten track” (especially interesting for your kids). Check out http://www.mambopoatours-zanzibar.com
Hope this helps.
I am so happy I found your website, it’s filled with very useful information! We are a family of 4 visiting from Southern California – kids are 13 and 11 . We are going to be visiting Zanzibar for 4 days after our Safari. We for sure want to check out Stone Town – would a day and a half be enough here? We are a beach family and love the water -for the beach part of our trip which area would you recommend? Thank you, Tonya
Great to hear you find my website helpful.
Since you are only here for 4 days, I suggest that you spend one day in Stone Town. That will be enough to do the historical walking tour and a visit of prison island or a trip to a spice farm.
In my opinion, the south east coast is the best on Zanzibar. It’s not as touristy as the north coast (Nungwi and Kendwa). If your kids want to do sports activities, Paje is the best choice. If you don’t mind to walk about 3 km on the beach to Paje, stay at Bwejuu. It’s much cheaper than Paje. My insider secret choice of accommodation is Mustapha’s Place in Bwejuu.
Hope this helps.
My husband and I are coming to Zanzibar in January and I have a few questions I couldn’t find the answers to in your blog:
– Do we need to book tickets ahead of time for the ferry from Dar es Salaam
– We’re renting a jeep from Kibabu and will be self-driving around the island for 10 days. We were hoping to camp on the beach but I don’t see camping advertised as an accomodation option, is it possible at all?
You have to book the ferry tickets ahead of time. The ferries are full during high season. There are long queues, even if you already have tickets.
Please read my page “getting here” regarding ferry as opposed to taking a local flight. The prices are similar. If you are in the center of Dar already, you don’t have to worry about the high taxi cost. If you arrive by plane, I recommend you take a plane for the 15 min trip to Zanzibar. Taxis are very expensive and traffic is horrendous from the airport to the ferry, or vice versa.
Camping or sleeping in tents is not allowed on Zanzibar. You for sure will get into trouble with the local police. There are a few budget places all over the island, or you can book a bed in dorms.
Thanks a lot for all the information you’ve shared on your blog. It helped me to plan the trip and also choose Kibabu Cars and they were great.
After the trip I’ve summarized my experience and also made a video, which you can see here https://www.kravchuk.com/zanzibar-guide/
Thanks again for your help!
Hi Slava, well written, excellent observations and advice. I will gladly also add the link to my Zanzibar Insider Buzz facebook page. Glad to know that you thoroughly enjoyed “my” island.
i will be staying near Jambiani beach for 5 nights and then move close to stown town for another 4.
i will rent a car, and i was wondering whether you can help me and suggest where to go from each place.
i am instersted in seeing all the beautiful beaches, spice farms, forest….
Please read the pages “Discover Zanzibar south of Stone Town” (when you are driving to Jambiani and also whilst you stay in Jambiani).
For the beaches: you’ll find the best beaches on the stretch Jambiani – Paje – Bwejuu, which you can discover by taking a leasurely walk. Drive to Pingwe (where the Rock Restaurant is, and Upendo opposite) and Michamvi, where you also find beautiful beaches.
When you are in Stone Town, please read “Discover Zanzibar north of Stone Town”. When you drive from Stone Town to the north, check out Kendwa beaches. Nungwi is for my liking far too touristy.
Great blog…thank you.
What are your views on Matemwe and how does it compare to Paje which seem to favour!
Any views on the hotels there?
Hi, you are most welcome.
I personally prefer the south east coast stretch from Michamvi to Jambiani. There you find the typical white sand beaches lined with coconut trees.
Please check Tripadvisor etc for reviews on hotels.
Is there a company to hire good mountainbikes to make some cycling trips?
I can imagine Zanzibar is a great place for cycling.
Thanks in advance
There are many places all over the island where you can rent regular bicycles. Depending on the area, you can also rent mountainbikes and even e-bikes, for example in Paje.
Hope you are doing well.
Sorry to bug you with another query but would you happen to know if there are any ‘schools’/places on the island offering English lessons to the local community?
Thank you so much.
There are a number of projects on the island that endeavour to teach adults the English language.
English is also taught at the State University of Zanzibar in Tunguu.
Hello Gaby! I also would like to do as so many others have done, which is to thank you for a great an informative blog on all the practical know-how about Zanzibar. It really is a great compliment to guide books and travel stories.
The question I have is about contacts and procedure if me and my family would like to support a local school in Jambiani. We will be there for a couple of weeks in early february and are thinking about making a donation of pens, notebooks and some other things we think the school will benefit from.
I’m aware of the delicate problem of the fact that we need to do this in the right way. We understand that the teacher or principal is the one to give the gifts to and not to the children directly. We are also aware of that a time need to be settled not to intrude in the schools daily routine.
So my question is: do you have any contacts at the school in Jambiani or know any person who could be a link between us and the school? Would you happen to know what other things or material they could be in need of? Maybe a football, skipping ropes or other toys that could be used by several kids? And finally: we consider to bring our used, but functional Iphone 4 and charger, to give to the school or teacher. Would that be appropriate and practical, or do you know of any other person or organization who will benefit from a used phone.
Best regards Patrick
Thank you, glad to hear you appreciate the info on my blog.
I contacted friends of mine who live in Jambiani for over 30 years. Alastair and Pat are very much involved there in community work, they know best which school or project would greatly benefit from your support. I will get back to you as soon as I receive their recommendations.
Many blessings to you and your family.
I really appreciate your time and effort to make contact with your friends in Jambiani. Looking forward to your answer. Best regards /Patrick
I met with Pat and Alastair in the meantime. Apparently, and shockingly, the school principals/officials all over the island hand out donated pens, pencils, notebooks (which have to be in a certain format and therefore must be bought on the island) and other goods to the pupils while the tourists watch, but when they leave all these donations are taken away from the kids – in order to be sold in the school shop!
Pat suggested that to ensure the kids get to keep the pencils etc, they must be handed out directly to them, not as a gift but rather as a reward. An excellent way to do so is to organize days of collecting recycling garbage that is washed up on the beaches, together with Zanrec (recycling company). For every collected bag of recycling the child gets a pen, for example. Pat will gladly organize such events.
Ever since Pat and Alastair arrived on the island 30 years ago they work tirelessly to support and uplift the local community. They founded the Hands Across Borders Society (HABS), a Canadian and Zanzibar registered NGO whose main focus is to provide free health care and education to those in need, specifically on the island of Zanzibar.
You are welcome to contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to meet them at their house in Jambiani and to drop off any goods you wish to donate for the kids.
I will also amend my blog regarding donations at the schools accordingly.
Really appreciate this blog as a realistic day-to-day view of the island. Really looking forward to coming. My question is whether to hire a 4-wheel drive car or to hire a driver for the 6 days of our stay? We have driven when in Mauritius and in Koh Samui in Thailand but both are pretty stressful with the amount of scooters. So I’ve read your driving tips, what would you suggest please?
There are a lot of scooters on our roads. If you found driving on Mauritius stressful then rather go for the driver option.
I am travelling to Zanzibar in 2 weeks and I wanted to help in someway. I was thinking about taking some school material to distribute in some schools. Can you please tell me what kind of school material is more needed?
Thank you very much in advance.
That’s great. You can bring pencils and pens. Often 10 kids share one pencil or pen. Notebooks must be of a certain format, best is if you buy those in Stone Town. Please be aware that many school principals seem to distribute the gifts to the pupils in front of the kind tourists, but these gifts are taken away from the kids after the tourists leave and are sold then in the school shop. Please don’t hand out the gifts to the kids directly! I suggest that you ask at your hotel for the name of the person that organizes the regular beach clean-ups in that area and then donate the pens etc to that organizer, to be then given to the kids for every bag full of plastics etc that they collected on the beach.
Gaby thank you so much for your reply. I will do as you suggest, I also checked on a website called Pack for a Purpose and there they mention some places that need materials.
Very useful info, thank you.
I’ll be coming solo from Lebanon to Zanzibar from October 12th till 29th. I shall take notes of your recomendations and tips
My concern is the length of my visit may be too long for a solo visitor, am I right? Do you think splitting the time with maybe seychells is a good idea? Do you recommend other places in Tanzania?
Many visitors of Zanzibar spend 2-3 weeks on Zanzibar, solo travellers, couples, families. Besides exploring our beautiful beaches there is lots to do here. Please read the three different “Discover” pages of my blog. Should you get bored you could take a trip to Selous Game Reserve on Tanzania mainland – that’s only a 2 1/2 hours flight – or the Serengeti. It depends on what you like or are interested in.
I’m so glad I’ve found your blog — in a brief two and a half weeks, I will be visiting Zanzibar with my older brother. Currently, we are planning on flying in from JRO, and thinking of spending 4 days (max.) in Zanzibar since we are only in Tanzania for a week.
1) How are the scooter / motorbike rentals in Zanzibar (and Tanzania in general, if you do happen to know)? Would you have a recommendation for a rental company perhaps? And would you say that it would be possible for us to ride a scooter to some tourist spots on the island? Would you consider them a safe and more affordable alternative to renting a car in Zanzibar?
2) Do you think that spending four days in Zanzibar may not be enough? Our agenda is to have a mixture of relaxed beach days, possibly snorkelling, and a bit of sight seeing. This would leave us with the remaining three days visiting surrounding destinations of Arusha, namely Lake MAnyara and Tarangire national park.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Hi Jin Young,
Four days are far too short for Zanzibar, but it’s better than nothing.
Scooters are available for rent anywhere on the island. Bring your original driver’s license since you need a driving permit for a scooter. In my opinion it is not safe to drive a scooter here, please read page “driving/getting around” on my blog for more details.
There is lots to do and to explore on the island, besides our amazing beaches (especially at the south east coast) and snorkeling. Please read the “discover” pages on my blog and see what interests you.
First of all thank you very much for this amazing blog. I have been in 67 countries and before all my journeys including business oriented ones I alway check local blogs and simply yours is the best. I admire your patience and kidness. I will try to avoid repeated questions or information but if my questions have been already replied please forgive me in advance:)
I will travel to the island by myself (landing at 1:00 pm on 20th of Sep and leave at 5 pm on 24th of Sep) I rented a car unfortunately before reading your blog and prefered coompany, hope I will not have any problem. I will appreciate if you can make your comments for my below questions, I will be staying at Nungwi:
1) I see you mentioned Google maps. Is there a good signal all over the island with local simcard and is Google Maps accurate to find pinned points?
2) I read you mentioned Paje about parties, since you dont recomend drinking and driving I would like to hang out in Nungwi at night, could you please recommend me parties or bars in that area?
3) Do you think trying to be mobile on the island is efficient? My concern is wasting my time too much while driving but at the same time in my limited 4.5 days I want to experience as much as possible
4) Can you please make your comment about my agenda? Saturday: Nungwi combined with turtle park, Sunday Paje, combined with Rock Restaurant (do I need reservation?) and swim in Blue Lagoon. Monday:Blue Safari. Tuesday: Hang out in Stone Town from 8 am to 2 pm before my return flight, do you think I can also make Prison Island visit in this 6 hours slot?
5) I live in SA and besides USD planning to bring ZAR but I saw some terrible rates such as 110, I checked the link that you mentioned, rates are far better there but I couldnt find if there is any commission charger or not. Can you please let me know current rate of ZAR/TSH.
6)Since I will land on Friday, can I find open exchange offices in Stone Town? Based on your advices I want to make money exchange in Stone town
Thank you very much agin for this great blog.
Oh my, sounds like you visited most of the countries in the world. Thank you for your kind words. I made it my mission to inform as many tourists as possible about this beautiful island before they arrive here, that they know exactly what to expect and make the most of their holiday here.
4.5 days are not enough of course to explore the island but its better than nothing.
As to your questions:
1) Best get a “Zantel” simcard, they have the best coverage on the island. You will be able to use Google maps in the coastal areas, it works well here. There is no alternative anyway, the available printed “maps” are outdated.
2) I have no idea about bars or parties in Nungwi. Rather post your question on Tripadvisor “Zanzibar Forum”, you’ll get advice from people who’ve recently been in the area.
3) I would always opt to rent a car. It gives you independence, saves time, you can stop wherever you want to and it is much cheaper than using a taxi.
4) Sounds good. Rather reserve a table at The Rock. You can fit a trip to Prison Island into the available 6 hours.
5) Please use the link on my blog to CRDB Bank Forex Rates for current rates. I don’t know if a commission is charged. Last time I exchanged money the exchange bureaus were still in business, there were no commission charges at that time. You can also withdraw cash at local ATMs with your credit card, you’ll get Tzs.
6) The banks and their foreign exchange outlets are open on Friday afternoons. You can also exchange money at the airport, the bureau at the parking lot has good rates.
Have a wonderful holiday on my beautiful island
I’m Cristóvão and i’m neither addict or alcoholic hehe
I came by just to thank you for your help. Your site is being very helpful in preparing my trip to “your” beautiful island.
I’ll be there during February, which I think is a good time to see the island.
If you want I can offer you a drink to toast your good work in helping travelers 🙂 and also to tell me more stories about the island
I took your advice and rented a scooter from Kibabucars.
Thanks again for your help.Ahsante
Haha, be careful, Zanzibar is highly addictive.
Thank you, glad my info helps. February is an excellent time to visit Zanzibar, it’s very hot though.
Have a wonderful holiday on “my” beautiful island 🙂
Thank you for your website, we are visiting Zanzibar this week and your site has been useful for planning our own visit. I have a question, my friend started a charity about beachsports with some projects to work with local NGOs, orphanages and give the kids opportunity to learn how to play beach soccer, Footvolley, beach tennis. Do you know of any of these organizations who we can speak to? Another question, are there any individuals or cooperatives that can make some simple bags from natural materials? One last one, Could you be knowing where we source some old fishing nets?
I suggest that you contact the organizers of the annual Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival in Jambiani via their fb page of the same name. They will for sure be able to give you the required info.
Additionally I suggest that you contact the NGO “Move_Zanzibar” also in Jambiani. They do amazing work with the local kids, you might want to collaborate with them. Contact also via their fb page, Clalence is very quick to respond.
For simple bags made of our beautiful Kanga visit Malkia in Bwejuu – turn left onto the sandroad just after you passed the Bwejuu Charity School.
Old fishing nets you get from the local fishermen at the beaches.
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Hi. I’m from Nigeria and wish to go on honeymoon in February, do i require visa or does the visa on arrival stand for Zanzibar
Hi, you have to get a visa. You can do so on arrival at Zanzibar International Airport. For further details read page “How to get here / Visa / Zanzibar International Airport” on http://www.zanzibarinsiderbuzz.wordpress.com
I hope you have been well during this COVID-19 time. I have just arrived back on the Island after lock-down in the UK. Some of my colleagues are now coming to live here so that we can continue our project working with the ministries of Education, PORALGSD and Finance. One of them who is Tanzanian and lives in Dar es Salaam, is keen to bring her vehicle over from the mainland to save on taxi fares. Do you happen to know if there are special rules for doing that. It is a private vehicle to be used for personal purposes only and is fully registered in Tanzania.
By the way, I was delighted to learn that Kibabu Car Hire is still going strong and very happy to rent a vehicle for this trip. They remain the best and most accommodating car hire company on the Island.
Hi Andrew, welcome back on Zanzibar. I am well, thank you for asking. I heard a while ago that it is quite difficult and costly to bring a car from Tanzania to Zanzibar but I don’t have any real info. Maybe ask Kibabu, he might know. Kibabu Cars are indeed the best car rental company on the island.
Thank you for putting together such a fantastic website full of information for visitors! I am planning my first visit to Tanzania from the USA for September: first in Zanzibar for 4 nights, than off to Arusha. I have some questions that I would like your input:
1) I am planning to stay either in the north (Nungwi) or northeast (Matemwe) since I want to SCUBA Dive while I am there. I am leaning toward Matemwe because of not as commercial or crowded and less resort-like. I do like a nice beach with fine sand, able to swim, and even some snorkeling possibility. It looks like the north/northwest coast line has slightly better beach/water than Matemwe. I just want your opinion on that.
2) I am arriving (airport) in mid-morning and considering hiring a tour/vehicle to do some touring at Stone Town and then take me to hotel. Are there anyone I can contact with to arrange this custom-made itinerary?
3) I understand that both US Dollar and TS are accepted on the island. I certainly will have USD, but I wonder how much TS do I need on this trip. Do people prefer one over the other? How widely accepted are credit cards?
4) At the airport (ZNZ), does it have luggage storage facility? Since I will be flying out of Tanzania from ZNZ and I have a few hours between flights at ZNZ, not sure what to do but any suggestions are welcome.
Thank you very much for all your help!
1) Matemwe is at the north east coast and affected by the tides, swimming is not possible during low tide. Nungwi is not affected by the tides, there you can swim all day.
Matemwe is close to the Mnemba Atoll which is well known for it’s beautiful reef for snorkelling and diving. There are only a few tourists on the island which will only change toward December/January, in my opinion, so Nungwi will not be overcrowded in September.
2) I highly recommend Kibabu Cars for the transfer to Stone Town, tour and transfer to your hotel: email@example.com I know them for many years, very professional and reliable.
3) A mix of both currencies is good. I cannot possibly advise on the amount of Tzs needed. You can always draw Tzs at the ATM. Please read page “money/ATMs/simcard” for detailed info.
4) There is no luggage storage facility at the airport. Check with Kibabu Cars, they might safely storage your luggage
For further info please read all pages on my blog.
Hello, do you know if there are labo providing covid-19 test in Zanzibar? this is now mandatory to fly back in our home country and i am unable to find any information on this
Hi Fred, you can get the test done at Mnazi Moja Hospital in Stone Town.
Hi Gaby, what a wealth of information you provide! Thank you so much!
I’m considering coming to Zanzibar in November when Qatar Airways starts nonstop flights again. What are the Covid19 restrictions for tourists? I understand there is no mandatory test and no mandatory quarantine (I am from Finland), so basically no special entry restrictions?
Is the visa on arrival still available at the airport? I would feel safer doing that if the eVisa system isn’t working. Africa + eVisa doesn’t sound like a very reliable way of getting a visa…
Furthermore, what is everyday life like in Zanzibar right now? Is it far from normal? Are restaurants etc open? Do people wear masks?
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Please read the paragraph “Coronavirus” on this page. The complete Travel Advisory of the United Republic of Tanzania is published on my Facebook page Zanzibar Insider Buzz.
Visa on arrival is still available.
Life on Zanzibar is as normal as it gets. Most people don’t wear masks, usually only foreigners do. I wear a mask when I know that social distancing is not possible and always carry a hand sanitizer, that’s my personal choice. Hotels have strict guidelines from the Government.
Many hotels and restaurants re-opened, I guess that by November most of them will be up and running, to be ready for the high season. Hotels offer excellent deals – check my facebook page.
In my opinion I live at the safest place in the world. Our beaches are empty, no need for social distancing.
We are a group of 4 senior citizens 65-75, 3 male, 1 female. We are planning to come to Zanzibar 12th Jan – 9th Feb 2021
Whilst we are all well travelled, non of us have been to Zanzibar before, so we are all doing as much research as possible.
We are all quite active, but one of us has a slight mobility problem, which makes very long walks uncomfortable. Whilst we are all quite gregarious and enjoy a party, we are now sadly past the rave scene. Whilst we all enjoy sea and beaches, we also like to discover about the history and culture of places we visit.
We intend to stay in Stone Town for our first 3-4 nights, the remainder will be at one of the beach resorts, or possibly split our time between two. We would require three separate rooms, with a budget of up to $60 per night. Somewhere with shops, bars and restaurants within easy walk would be ideal.
We have all trawled through the various information and accommodation sites, we are still unsure which resorts would be the most suitable for us.
Any suggestions/recommendations you can offer would be much appreciated
Kim William Hough Cook
I suggest that you read the page Beaches of Zanzibar and then decide which is the best suitable area for your group. Then check on Google Maps the available hotels etc. Read recent reviews on the different places and make your selection. We have now over 500 places of accommodation on the island. I cannot possibly recommend any of them since I don’t stay at hotels, I live here permanently. Please also check specials on my facebook page Zanzibar Insider Buzz.
A suitable area might be the south east coast, Paje has the most hotels, bars, shops, followed by Jambiani. If you prefer peaceful look at Bwejuu which is 5 km north of Paje.
Congratulations Gaby for knowledge and making people’s aware while they want to touch Island.Ahsante Sana.
My family have been coming to Zanzibar, and Nugwi specifically for a couple of years. We like Nugwi because of the nice beaches, the multiple restaurants and pubs. We are considering to go to kendwa this time. Does Kendwa also have some restaurants and pubs? Is the beach also good for swimming any time of day like in Nugwi. I would really appreciate any help.
I haven’t been in Kendwa for many years. At that time there were other hotels and pubs.
There are lot of pubs in Kendwa now.
I was there in Christmas
Nice to read your words. I feel the same from the very first days I landed in Zanzibar. Now, it has been 3rd week and I am establishing a company and buying a small land here. I will move here from october from Slovakia. I would like to share yoga and conscious eco friendly living here in east of the island in a small village of Michamvi. Will be happy to welcome nice people that love to share gratitude for life. Also I do private healing yoga sessions if anyone interested and would love to open a healing center here, one day….maybe with a help of some investors who would have similar intention and desire to share the beauty and healthy life style and support local people too….sharing is caring…🌿💜🌿
Kindly help me out. I’m travelling from South Africa next week. Do I need to get a COVID test before my arrival and another one upon my departure?
There’s so many conflicting views I’m very confused.
Hi Tebo. All travelers must bring a negative Covid-19 test certificate. Also, a rapid test is mandatory on arrival, at a cost of US$ 25 per test. The official travel directive of 4 May 2021 is on my face book page “Zanzibar Insider Buzz”.
When leaving Zanzibar: it depends on your airline as well as country you fly back to if any tests are required.
I must point out my affection for your generosity giving support to people that actually need help on the subject. Your personal dedication to getting the message all-around had been exceptionally good and have specifically enabled somebody like me to reach their pursuits. Your own informative publication indicates a lot to me and far more to my peers. Thanks a ton; from all of us.
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Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation!
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because 1st of January is official holiday, do you know if commerce (shops and restaurants) are open in Stone Town, an also Forodhani market?
1st of January its our last day of holidays in Zanzibar 😦
But at the same time, it will be our day to get lost in the labyrinth of the old city and find lots of souvenirs 🙂
Asante sana Gaby
Banks and offices will be closed on 1 January. Restaurants and the small shops/traders in the old city, Forodhani and Darajani are open. You will have plenty opportunity for browsing and shopping.
Sunny greetings, Gaby
I’m loving your website. It’s extremely helpful. My husband and I are considering visiting in beginning of February (coming up very soon!), and I know all about the COVID test requirements, however, I was wondering if you could tell me anything “COVID situation” there. Are the numbers high? How worried should we be if we go grab lunch at a restaurant? Do people wear masks there on the streets/in close quarters? Both my husband and I are pretty strict about following safe protocols (masks in public at all times, except when eating, we have double vaccines) but obviously, we want to have a good time and not be worried about eating in restaurants, walking in crowds, etc. i guess I’m mainly asking if the active case numbers there are high. Any and all info would be much appreciated!
We have no official figures related to Covid-19 cases on the island. That doesn’t mean we are Covid free. I can only give you my personal observations:
I live quite secluded on a large property.
Whenever I leave my property I carry a mask with me. Officially we are supposed to wear a mask in crowded areas or inside rooms. Most Zanzibaris don’t follow these rules. I do.
I do not use the crowded local transport “daladalas” and suggest that you avoid those.
On our wonderful beaches is always a breeze blowing and we have many outdoor eateries or bars. Just avoid closed rooms/areas with bad ventilation – if you don’t have a choice rather wear a mask.
We greet each other with either a fist bump or elbow bump. No hugs.
Hope this helps.
Hello Magali, there are many tour operators on the island. I never heard of the company you mentioined in your comment. You are welcome to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I gladly recommend an excellent tour guide.
Hi there – I see one of your favorite beaches is Jambiani – I have decided that is the beach that probably suits me best (will be solo) – do you have any hotel recs for that area? Thank you!
Hi Janet, my personal favourite in Jambiani is New Teddy’s on the Beach. Great atmosphere, plenty of hanging out places, good food, cheerful staff. Check out their website.
Thank you! Will check it out! have enjoyed your website and still have lots to read through. Appreciated your link to the tide schedule; not looking great when I’m there (during full moon) – generally how long can you swim around high tide – i.e. if high tide is 7am – how long do you have before you can no longer go in? Really appreciate your help!
You are welcome. At the south east coast, you have approx 3 hours swim time per high tide, there are two high tides per day.
We are just checking to visit Zanzibar in October.
We have a 5 year old son, and I am wondering, is it safe to travel around in rent-a-car and visit top sights?
Hi Ines, you can explore Zanzibar safely in a rental car with your 5 year old.
Hi Gaby, I just stumbled upon your page while planning our trip to Zanzibar in early November. We will be staying at the Sea Cliff Resort in Mangapwani for 8 days. The hotel is a little far from all the beautiful beaches, but it offers a daily shuttle to Stone Town. What do you think is the best for us to get around the island? We thought about renting a scooter for smaller distances or booking a guide. Also, are there any guides you can recommend and do you think we should contact them in advance? Really looking forward to your answer and exploring your awesome blog a little more!
Hi Nadine, the Seacliff is indeed quite off the beaten track. Please read the page “driving/getting around” of my blog for the different options of getting from A to B. Tour guides are available with or without a car, please email me for a recommendation on email@example.com
This is a great blog. Thank you for putting it together so well.
I am planning to travel solo to Zanzibar in Dec this year. As a first time solo traveller I wanted to check is Zanzibar safe for females travelling alone.
Looking forward to your response.
Zanzibar is pretty safe for solo female travellers. Having said that, be streetwise. Only carry the cash you need for the day with you, leave your passport and other valuables in the hotel safe (a copy of your passport is sufficient to carry). Sadly, tourism brought the drug dealers to the island, many of our youth are addicts. Petty crimes are on the increase. Don’t walk alone at night, neither on the beach nor anywhere else. Rather arrange for transport with your hotel. Do not believe the tales that the “Masai” tell you (many only dress up as a Masai but don’t follow the original traditions); they view women as an excellent source of income: if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. As I wrote on my blog, only use registered taxis/tour guides. Again, be streetwise and you will have a wonderful holiday on this beautiful island.
My family and I (husband and 2 kids aged 8 and 6) will be traveling for 6 days to Zanzibar in July after our Kenya safari. We will be spending 2 nights in StoneTown. Would you recommend Pongwe as a base for the other 4 days or is Bwejju a better base to move around ? Not interested in Kendwa or Ngungi as I imagine it will be crazy in July.
Most definitely Bwejuu!
Thanks so much for this wonderful blog!
Question: We are coming to Zanzibar 8/18-22, 2023. What do you think the chances are we can day trip to Chumbe Island during this time? Their website says we can only request day passes 4 days in advance due to priority given to those staying at their official bungalows.
Hi, Glad you like my blog. I have no idea. Better ask them directly.