From many years I have been searching for a destination with perfect white, powdery sand, turquoise ocean, delicious food and tradition. Just a quiet place far away from big cities where I can relax from daily busy life. I have seen many beautiful destinations (Cuba, Sri Lanka, Jamaica), but Zanzibar is like no other. Without any doubts this place is a real paradise.
Read my guide, how to organise holiday in such a stunning destination.
How to get to Zanzibar
If you are coming from Europe, there are numbers of flights connected to Zanzibar, with stops in Kilimanjaro, Doha, Nairobi. I flew with Oman Airlines with 48 hours stopover in Muscat. It turned to be a great opportunity to discover the capital of Oman.
There are also daily 20 minutes flights connecting Dar es Salaam with Zanzibar. The main airlines are: Precision Air and Coastal Aviation. The prices are affordable and that can be a great idea to do Safari and Beach Holiday in one go!
To find good deals for flights from United States check the Qatar Airlines or Air France.
Visa / Money
Zanzibar is not one of the cheapest tourist destinations. Although prices are not as high as in England and European cities, but you have to be careful. Often the price, you pay depends on your negotiation skills. Be tough, don’t give up and you will pay between 50-70% less than original price.
You can pay in Zanzibar alternatively in Tanzanian Shillings or US dollars. I used both, but I suggest you to be careful as the currency rate is often unprofitable if you pay in dollars.
If you are a tourist with a limited budget, do not be discouraged. Zanzibar can be affordable, and you can have a great time. There are numbers of mid-range hotels and bars offering cheaper meals.
For me the option of staying two nights in Stone Town and 6 nights in Nungwi worked perfectly. I could organise a lot cheaper tours to Prison Island, The Rock or Jozani Forest Reserve when I was based in the city. There are loads of shops with souvenirs, spices and food with better prices than in the coastline.
Lobster meal- 15$
Lobster and seafood plater 20$
Fish Burger with fries and salad 15$
Fruit juices 4$
Mango, avocado, prawn salad 13$
Prices for the tours:
Prison Island: 20$
Sunset cruise, Nungwi 15$
Parasailing, Nungwi 140$ (for two) 90$ (single)
You cannot be bored in Zanzibar. You can of course spend all two weeks lying down on the beach and looking at the sky, but if you are an active person, like me you can do the tours around the island either with local agency or on your own.
The list is endless. My favourite:
Prison Island: the best way is to do this from Stone Town. In just 40 minutes boat tour you will get in touch with the Giant Turtles. It is amazing experience.
Walk to the local village, visit school. Bring books, pens, notebooks with you have a chance. Children will be delighted!
Sunset cruise– stunning, romantic and very relaxing
Yoga, meditation sessions– during the sunrise or sunset- beautiful experience.
Safari Blue– Boat cruise, snorkelling, music,
Jozani Forest Reserve– The monkeys are hilarious and at your hand.
Where to sleep:
Dhow Palace Hotel
Beyt Al Salaam
Riverman Hotel Nice budget hotel
Smiles Beach Hotel I can highly recommend.
Villa Kiva Boutique Hotel A bit expensive, but great hotel
Homeland Swahili Lodge For Backpackers