About Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Unguja and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, and 6° south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterized by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town – said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.

Stone Town

Stone Town, the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, has changed little in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dllings. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.

General Information

Time Zone

GMT + 3

Currency

Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh)

Official languages

Kiswahili & English

Electricity

220 – 240 V AC, 50 Hz

Religion

Predominantly Islam

Weather

Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year, with the exception of April and May which are seasonally subject to the long rains. Short rains can occur in November but are characterized by short showers.

The heat of summer is often cooled by the wind, with pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm all year round, but officially, summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily and year round average temperatures of between 25 and 28 Celsius.

Seasons

• Dry season – The dry season is from June to October.

• Short rains – Short rains are from November to December (these are light, intermittent rains).Temperatures can soar to well over 30 degrees.

• Long rains – The long rains are from March until May. Rain in Zanzibar comes short, sharp showers in the morning or afternoon, followed by the return of the sunshine.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit is between June and October the weather is cooler and less humid. December to February is also popular (although it is quite hot, it is also dry).

The coolest months are June through October, when the temperature averages 26 Celsius.

Best Time for Scuba Diving

The best time for Scuba diving is July & August as well as February & March are great times to go diving. Between June and October head to the north coast dive sites, and between November and March, you’ll want to be south.

Best Time for Kite Surfing

The best time for kite surfing is during the Kaskasi wind blows south to north from June to October, while the Kusini blows north to south from December to April (although don’t come later than March because that’s when the long rains usually begin).

Should you have any enquiries regarding the weather forecast in Zanzibar, you are most welcome to visit the following web pages for more information.

1. http://www.accuweather.com/en/tz/zanzibar-city/321607/weather-forecast/321607

2. http://www.weatherforecastmap.com/tanzania/zanzibar/

Visas, Documents & Customs

Zanzibar is a part of the United Republic of Tanzania

Visas are required by almost all nationalities and should be obtained well in advance of departure. We highly recommend that you contact the Tanzanian Embassy/High Commission/ Consulate in your home country. Please also consult with your travel agent or tour operator.

For more information, visit the Tanzanian government’s website:
http://www.immigration.go.tz/index.php/en/services/visa-information