About Zanzibar

Time Zone

Regarding the time zone, two more hours are counted than in Italy when winter time is running and one more hour when daylight saving time is in effect.


The equatorial and oceanic position of the archipelago determines a low annual temperature range. From June to October the average temperature is 26° and from November to April is 28°. Every year there are two dry and two rainy seasons;  the dry ones – from December to February and from June to October – are perfect for hot weather lovers, while the wet seasons – from April to May and November – are more suitable for those who love green and nature because the abundant rains lead to an increase in vegetation and the tourist presence is lower.

cose da sapere zanzibar
lo sapevi che a zanzibar


The official language of Zanzibar is Swahili, the most spoken language in Africa. Most of the people employed in tourism sectors also speak English.

Sports and day trips

Zanzibar offers many recreation possibilities, from sports to day trips: the monkey forest (Jozani forest), the UNESCO heritage capital Stone Town, the spices and slaves’ prisons tours, the island of giant turtles and quad excursions along the island. Zanzibar allows kite surfing, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, exceptional diving and to obtain Padi patents in the various diving centers during the holiday period.


To travel in Tanzania, Italian citizens must necessarily have a passport with at least six months of residual validity and must have at least one free page.

$50 Visa per person (subject to change)

The Visa must be requested for both tourist and business reasons and the application must be done before the departure at the Embassy of Tanzania in Rome or the Honorary Consulate of Milan. You can find the application form and the amount to be paid on the website http://www.embassyoftanzaniarome.info/. If it is not possible to apply for a Visa in Italy, you can also obtain it at your arrival in Tanzania at one of the three airports in the country, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

pesca a zanzibar

Exit fees

In addition to the $50 Visa, for people who arrive in Zanzibar with charter flights (Neos company, Meridiana / Air Italy, Blu Panorama or similar) there are the exit fees of $40 or $49 per person (the price changes depending on the airline) to be paid locally on the day of return to Italy, at the airport check-in in Zanzibar.

Vaccinations and health

For those coming from Italy, both in Tanzania and in Zanzibar, no vaccination is required. Only for those who come from areas known to be infected, vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory. While anti-malarial prophylaxis is recommended for Safari tourists.


There are no particular recommendations regarding clothing. In general we recommend a casual and informal clothing and, in some areas, the use of rubber shoes for swimming at sea.

Charter flights

At certain times of the year, flights departing from Malpensa, Verona and Fiumicino are available (in winter also from Bologna). Zanzibar can be reached directly from Italy with various ITC companies (charter); the flight duration is about 8-9 hours, sometimes with technical stops.

Line Flights

There are flights departing from the major Italian airports and the their duration depends on the airline. I recommend Oman Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar – but there are many others in the various online sites.

mercato di zanzibar
cosa pescare a zanzibar

Currency and credit card

The local currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). The most widespread foreign currency is the dollar (USD). The euro can also be accepted but remember that only banks apply normal exchange rates. 1 euro for traders is generally worth 1 dollar, so it is convenient to pay with the latter. Credit cards (especially Visa and Master Card) are accepted in the large hotels and shopping centers of Stone Town (commissions vary between 5% and 10%).


The electrical systems at Maisha Marefu Apartements are Italian. However, it is important to point out that there may be electricity interruptions, for minutes or even hours, sometimes even for days, due to the conditions of cable connections from the mainland to the island. Maisha Marefu Apartements owns a generator to avoid the absence of electricity.


In Zanzibar and in Tanzania in general, tips are always welcome, especially if the Chef has lived up to it and the cleaning of your liking.

le maree a zanzibar

The tides

Throughout the island – as in most of East Africa – there is the tidal phenomenon which occurs every 6.45 hours approximately with changes between low and high seas. This phenomenon, however, does not represent a limit or a problem, actually, the tides offer the possibility to arrive by walking to the colorful coral reef and discover the many marine species.

Driving license and car

In Zanzibar car driving is on the left. In order to drive, it is mandatory to have an international driving license. The Italian driving license is not valid, but it is possible to request a temporary permit on site. It is possible to rent cars.

Knowing that…

For photos and video recordings it is always recommended to ask for permission to local people.
During the Ramadan period it is good practice not to eat, drink or smoke in public. In this period, those who are not Muslims cannot enter the mosques. For the Puritanism of the Muslim religion, the spirits are not well seen by the population. In cities there are places where it is possible to buy and consume alcohol, it is a gesture of education, especially during Ramadan, to consume them there. It is forbidden to import: weapons, drugs, gold objects (not personal) and pornographic material. It is forbidden to export more than 4000 TSh in local currency. The export of ivory and fine leather requires special permission. It is strictly forbidden to export tortoise shells and objects, shells or coral reef products. Heavy sentences are scheduled for consumption and drug dealing. The rules for sexual violence in general and in particular for minors are very strict: convictions for violence and pedophilia involve penalties from 20 years up to life imprisonment. Unfortunately, homosexuality is not well seen, neither for cultural Puritanism nor by law: homosexual behavior can be punished with 25 years of imprisonment, while female ones with 7 years.

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