How to get here / Visa

Getting here from overseas

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

Travellers from South Africa: I just learned that Fastjet (based in Dar es Salaam) has suspended all flights between Zanzibar and South Africa until further notice (as of January 2017). That’s sad news. Let’s hope that this is just for a short while. I will post updates.

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

Zanzibar airport

By ferry: www.azammarine.com is the ferry of choice! Ticket cost $35 – $40.  NB: The departure times given on their “Terms of Travel & Ticket Rates” page are incorrect. Rather check the booking page for correct times. The ferry takes about 2 hours to reach Zanzibar.

Visa

Citizens of most countries get their visa for stays of up to 3 months at the Zanzibar International Airport. It is quite quick, they are equipped with cameras and laser finger print check.  Cost is US$ 50 per person (adults and children).
Payment for the visa is in cash or by credit/debit card*. If you bring cash, they apparently only accept US$ 50 notes, new notes only (NB: US$ notes printed before 2004 are not valid in Tanzania/Zanzibar!). No other currencies are accepted!
*NB: I heard that often the counter for the credit card payments is closed. And every other day, US$ cash is not accepted, only credit cards… Rather bring both, credit card and US$ cash, just in case.

Visa excemptions: No visa is required (for stays of less than 3 months) for citizens of South Africa, Namibia, Romania, Rwanda, Hong Kong and Malaysia (these regulations are frequently changed, please check with the Tanzanian Embassy in your country).

Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months from the date of departure from Zanzibar!

23 thoughts on “How to get here / Visa

  1. I love this blog!

    question, if I travel to Zanibar from the mainland (Arusha), after staying there a few days; will I need to have a yellow fever shot to leave the airport? I’m from US.

    Can I get the jab at the airport and is it safe?

    Like

  2. I love love love this blog! We are arriving in Zanzibar from the USA in mid October for our honeymoon. I just learned about the need for a visa yesterday. I just want to clarify that you’re sure we don’t need to arrange our visa ahead of time.

    Like

    • Hello Rose,
      Thank you! I am so happy that my blog helps that visitors arrive well informed on our beautiful island.
      Wonderful to hear that you will spend your honeymoon here. You will love it. Zanzibar is one of the top destinations for honeymooners.
      You get your visa on arrival at the airport, it’s very quick actually. No need to waste your time beforehand to get the visa.
      Cheers
      Gaby

      Like

  3. Thanks a lot for your informative blog Gaby.
    There are some valuable information that one cannot find in other official or mainstream sources.

    I’ll be in Zanzibar after tomorrow with my wife and 2 years old daughter. We’re very excited about that but I’m a bit concerned about the conflicting testimonies I found about the departure tax.

    We’re coming with Qatar Airways by the way.

    Regards

    Like

    • Hi, as much as I know, the departure tax is included in the ticket price of international flights. But I am not sure. I am not a travel agent. You might want to email Qatar Airways and ask that question.
      Have a wonderful holiday on our beautiful island. Please read the page “Important” on my blog regarding the upcoming elections on Zanzibar and Tanzania island.
      Regards, Gaby

      Like

  4. Hello Gaby, thank you so much for providing this great blog!
    My friend and I will be arriving in a few weeks to Dar es Salaam and eventually make our way to Zanzibar later in our trip. As we get our visas on arrival in Dar, I just want to verify that we don’t have to pay with cash and that we can pay with credit card instead?

    Thank you,

    Jacob

    Like

    • Hello Jacob,
      Great to hear you chose Zanzibar for your holiday. You can pay for the visa on arrival on Zanzibar either in cash or with your credit card.
      Cheers
      Gaby

      Like

  5. Hi there..

    Your blogs have been a pleasure to read! I was just wondering, would I be able to pay in £ for a visa when arriving?

    Like

  6. Hi,

    I love you blogs on Zanzibar!! Beautiful you write about the indeed, Beautiful Island!

    I’ve a concern regarding visa and vaccination and here they go:

    1. I’m an Indian staying in Bahrain.. I’ll be visiting Zanzibar from 10th to 14th Sep’ 16. Will I get the On Arrival Visa at Zanzibar International Airport?

    2. My flight is via Kenya – I’ve a 3 hr stop at Nairobi. I’ve read somewhere that Yellow Fever vaccination is necessary.. Is it compulsory? And should I take it now as it takes 15 days to get activated? Also, what other vaccinations are compulsory?

    Thank you so much in well advance..

    Awaiting your reply..

    Thank you,

    Regards,

    Akash

    Like

    • Hi, the visa is issued on arrival at Zanzibar International Airport.
      Since cases of yellow fever were reported in DRC, some officials ask for the vaccination certificate, depending on the country the plane comes from. Since you come from Kenya, it might be a good idea to get the vaccination, it lasts for life anyway. There is still no cure if one gets yellow fever. I suggest that you check with a doctor or travel clinic if it is early enough if you get the vaccination now.
      Cheers
      Gaby

      Like

  7. hi

    i am coming from doha to zanzibar via qatar airways..

    and after 2.30 hours hold i have another domestic flight from ZNZ TO DAR via precision air

    my question is

    1. do i have to take visa on arrival at zanzibar airport only or i can directly wait for my domestic flight like transit and get the visa in DAR..

    2. if visa is must at ZNZ . then 2.30 hours is enough for my next domestic flight to DAR to catch .. or the visa will consume time and 2.30 hours is not enough..

    please reply

    Like

    • Hi, I can only give you advice about Zanzibar. You get your visa on arrival at ZANZIBAR airport. It depends on how many people are in the queue, the visa itself takes 5 minutes. You cannot apply for the Zanzibar visa in Dar.
      Cheers
      Gaby

      Like

  8. Hi
    Very good and helpfull blog. I talked to Tanzanian Embassy in Berlin and they said is strictly recommended to obtain visa in Embassy.

    BR
    Daniel

    Like

    • Hi Daniel,
      Thank you for your comment. Great to hear that my blog helps.
      I can well imagine that the Tanzanian Embassy will give you such advice since they surely charge a fee for their efforts. It takes not even 5 minutes to get the visa here after you arrive.
      Hope you enjoy Zanzibar.
      Cheeers
      Gaby

      Like

  9. Hello,

    Thank you for this blog – it’s been very helpful. I’d like to share my experience of arriving in Zanzibar.

    My husband and I arrived at 11pm and we had two $50 bills ready to pay for the visa. However customs would not accept cash; only Mastercard or Visa card. To save time and beat the queue, I’d advise printing the visa form and completing it before arriving at the terminal.

    We are enjoying our stay immensely!

    Like

  10. Hello Gaby,
    We are visiting Zanzibar in July this year.
    I read a lot about an airport departure tax (50 USD per person) when leaving Zanzibar on an international flight. Some sites mention that this is included in the ticket-price, others don’t.
    Do you know if this is true? On some sites it is also mentioned a sort of infrastructure tax and a Levy tax (each 1 USD per night stay).
    Thank you!
    René

    Like

    • Hi Rene,
      The departure tax entirely depends on the airline you booked with. For example, if you booked with Condor, you will read on their booking confirmation email that you need to pay a departure tax of US$ 48 per person. Other airlines already included the departure tax in their air fare. Please check your airline’s booking confirmation or query this directly with them to be sure.
      The levies/taxes have to be paid by the hotels/guest houses and should be included in your accommodation rate, unless otherwise stated in your confirmation.
      Cheers
      Gaby

      Like

  11. Hello,
    Loving this blog! So much great info. I’m going to be in Tanzania in October and want to get the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam. Do you think we should book it in advance or when we get there?
    Many Thanks
    Erin

    Like

    • Hi, thank you!
      By what I heard it is advisable to book the ferry in advance if you want to avoid long queues, and to make sure you actually get onto the ferry of your choice.
      Have a wonderful time in Tanzania and an even better time on my beautiful island,
      Cheers Gaby

      Like

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