Zanzibar, Tanzania

Planes from Moscow fly to Zanzibar International Airport Abeid Amani Karum only with transfers. The fastest flight from Domodedovo is a compound flight that takes a little more than 14 hours: there with Qatar Airways, a plane change in Doha and a 3-hour wait, and back with Condor and Deutsche Lufthansa with a 1.5-hour transfer in Munich. Also, Fly Dubai, Es Seven, Emirates fly from Domodedovo to Zanzibar with transfers in Dubai and Munich, Aeroflot and Ural Airlines fly back. Fly Dubai operates flights from Vnukovo. See JIBIN123 for Tanzania customs regulations and visa requirements.

From St. Petersburg, there are more often options with two or three transfers in Dubai, Nairobi, London, Dar es Salaam, and Amsterdam. The minimum travel time is 16 hours 40 minutes there and a little more than 18 hours back.

From airport to city

Zanzibar Airport is located 6 km from the capital of the archipelago – Stone Town, which can be reached both by public transport and by taxi. True, leaving here by bus or minibus is a great success: they rarely go, without a stable schedule and only during the day, there are no direct routes to villages and towns, the transfer is always in the capital. But it’s exotic and cheap.

Taxi prices are quite high. To Stone Town they will take 58,000 TZS, to hotels on the opposite side of the island – from 82,000 TZS. Parking with cars is located 200 m from the exit from the airport terminal, the cost of the trip should be discussed with the driver in advance.

Transportation

In Zanzibar, in principle, you don’t have to go anywhere: all the entertainment is concentrated on the coast in the immediate vicinity of the hotels. So here it is more interesting and useful to walk on foot. Well, if you want to get to the capital, to the city of Zanzibar or to the beach at the opposite end of the island, you can use the services of public transport or a taxi.

Public transport

There is no understandable transport system in Zanzibar: such phenomena as “excellent roads”, “regular routes”, “equipped bus stops” are practically not found. But you can try to go in the right direction by public transport, however, it is better to use it not for trips around the city, but for trips to other settlements. In the center of any of them there is a platform where buses and minibuses “dala-dala” are waiting for passengers.

“Dala-dala” is a truck with an awning and benches. The price in them is two times lower than in buses, they depart as they fill up, stops – on demand, payment – to the driver.

And “dala-dala”, and buses to other villages and cities follow through Stone Town, in the capital, the parking of minibuses is located on Benjamin Mkapa Rd.

Taxis

You can take a car everywhere – at the hotel, on the beach, on the street. The main feature of local taxis is the lack of meters and high prices. It is not necessary to agree to them – bargaining, as they say, is appropriate and even recommended, you can reduce the initial amount by half. A trip around the city after the auction will cost 20,000-25,000 TZS. The prices on the page are for September 2022.

Renting a car in Zanzibar is not worth it because of the difficulties in paperwork, the corruption of the local police and left-hand traffic. Bicycles are also a dubious pleasure: even in relatively “cool” months, it is too hot for cycling here.

Zanzibar Hotels

The coasts of Zanzibar are densely strewn with guest houses, hostels, villas and hotels. In the city of the same name, there are few “fives”, and there are fewer 3-4 * hotels on the island than establishments without “stars” at all. Bed and breakfasts are the most popular. Some of them are ordinary hostels with shared bathrooms and bedrooms, some are hotels with private rooms (ceiling fan, mosquito net, and sometimes air conditioning available; price per night – from 56,000 TZS).

You can arrange a vacation in the style of a European colonizer in Zanzibar by renting a villa with a private pool and access to the beach. For pleasure, they will ask from 200,000 to 1,200,000 TZS per day.

It is easy to choose an accommodation option on the island depending on additional wishes: living in cities or villages, free Wi-Fi, proximity to attractions, entertainment venues or water entertainment centers.

10 best hotels in Zanzibar according to the reviews of tourists who have rested there.

Beaches

Zanzibar has white sandy beaches lined with picturesque fishing villages. Not far from the capital are the beaches of Fuji and Chuini with a rich selection of water sports and boat rentals on Turtle Island, to the north there is a secluded Mangapwani beach.

All beaches are public and free. However, hotel areas may be closed to outsiders. It is there that there are sun loungers – there are almost none in public areas. Visitors can access a sunbed by ordering at the hotel restaurant.

At the northern end of the island, near the town of Nungwi, you can swim in beautiful coral lagoons – this beach is considered one of the best in the archipelago, low tides are not so noticeable here, the bottom is sandy, sunsets are mesmerizing. On the northeast coast of Zanzibar are the beaches of Matemwe, Mapenzi, Kiwengwa and Uroa, chosen by divers. The beaches of Pingwe, Jambiani, Paje are located on the southeast coast. There, guests from the north can enjoy water sports and fishing, as well as idly watch the work of local fishermen.

In the east, the Indian Ocean at low tide leaves the coast for 1.5-2 km, making the beaches unsuitable for swimming for part of the day. The inconvenience is compensated by the opportunity to observe sea stars and urchins on the exposed bottom.

The most luxurious is the “millionaires’ beach” Kendwa in the north. There are luxury hotels and restaurants here, the water is of a pale turquoise color, the sand is constantly cleaned of debris – like Nungwi beach, Kendwa is ideal for families with children. Paje beach (east coast) is considered the center of kitesurfing, and Kizimkazi in the south is visited to watch dolphins.

Zanzibar, Tanzania