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Zanzibar Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 111

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Zanzibar , created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Capital Zanzibar City
Language Swahili
Time Difference 3 hours
Currency Tanzanian Shilling
Voltage 230V

Located just off the coast of Tanzania is the beautiful ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar. This magnificent archipelago is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches that are simply irresistible. It is also a haven for snorkelling and diving fanatics, with its offshore reefs teeming with tropical fish and diverse marine life. However, there is so much more to Zanzibar than meets the eye, especially its fascinating history as the centre of the spice trade during the 19th century. Amble around the narrow, twisting, maze-like streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town in Zanzibar Town (otherwise referred to as Zanzibar City) and discover the many ancient ruins before spotting the traditional sailing dhows, which will evoke mysterious images of Zanzibar’s rich past and inspire you find out more.

Highlights+

House of Wonders
Whilst visiting iconic Stone Town, do visit the extraordinary House of Wonders, which rises in impressive tiers of lean steel pillars and large open balconies and overlooks the waterfront. Built in 1883 for Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar, it is the largest and tallest building in Stone Town. The origins of the name, ‘House of Wonders’ comes from it being the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity and running water, along with being the first building in East Africa to have a lift.

Anglican Cathedral
The Anglican Cathedral is a must-see in Stone Town. Building work started in 1873 and lasted ten years, under the vision and contribution of Edward Steere, third Anglican Bishop of Zanzibar. The tall spire and yellow-grey walls blend in with the surrounding streets of Stone Town, whilst the dark-wood pews and stained-glass windows reminded the British visitors of churches back home. With the history of the slave trade in Zanzibar, there is a monument that remembers the history of this dark period of history.

Old Fort
Located on the main seafront, discover the impressive ramparts of the Old Fort in Stone Town, overlooking the beautiful Forodhani Gardens and the ocean beyond. The forts were constructed by the Omani Arabs to defend the island from the Portuguese in 1698 and today, the Old Fort is still an impressive sight, along with souvenir shops for those little keepsakes and a pleasant café for refreshment. Local shows in the open-air amphitheatre (located next to the Old Fort) are also a brilliant accompaniment to visiting the Old Fort.

Prison Island
Take a boat trip to Prison Island, which was never actually used as a prison, but was once used to quarantine Yellow Fever sufferers. The island is a great place to snorkel and to see giant Aldabra Tortoises − some of whom are around one-hundred years old. Perhaps you fancy exploring the island’s interior woodland, as you keep your eyes peeled for birds, bats, various butterflies and Duiker Antelope.

Wildlife-lovers
For wildlife-lovers, visit Jozani Natural Forest Reserve (home to the Red Colobus Monkey), where you will get a wonderful opportunity to see and photograph these rare species. Furthermore, experience a dolphin safari from the village of Kizimkazi, on the southern coast of the island, as you spot the majestic Bottlenose and Humpback Dolphins, for an unforgettable experience for all the family.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
 

Climate+

Zanzibar enjoys hot and sunny weather throughout the year, with an ideal sea breeze. Rain becomes more frequent in April and May, but the showers throughout the remainder of the year are generally short.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Zanzibar.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January3286
February3354
March32150
April30385
May29254
June2970
July2950
August2948
September3052
October3196
November31216
December31184

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Onward connecting flights with Precision Air to Zanzibar.

Flight Time
From London Heathrow to Dar Es Salaam: 9 hours, 35 minutes. London Heathrow to Nairobi: 8 hours, 25 minutes.
Onward connecting flights from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar: 30 minutes.
From Nairobi to Zanzibar: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Visas are required prior to arrival and can be obtained from the Tanzanian High Commission http://www.immigration.go.tz for approximately USD$50 per person. Please note five passports are required for the application.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Please be advised that a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate will be required for travel (in any direction) between South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania (Zanzibar) and Zambia. Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide. You should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. Sources of information include: www.gov.uk

Talk to our Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts

Our dedicated Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Zanzibar. Furthermore, we have 4 Travel Consultants who have personally visited Zanzibar and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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