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.
By ferry: www.azammarine.com is the ferry of choice! Ticket cost $35 – $40. NB: The departure times given on their “Terms of Travel & Ticket Rates” page are incorrect. Rather check the booking page for correct times. The ferry takes about 2 hours to reach Zanzibar.
Citizens of most countries get their visa for stays of up to 3 months at the Zanzibar International Airport. It is quite quick, they are equipped with cameras and laser finger print check. Cost is US$ 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!