Tourist’s guide to vacation in Zanzibar – all you need to know

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean that is part of Tanzania.

Why visit Zanzibar? Mainly for endless beaches, snow-white, soft sand, clear waters and picturesque nature.

The island will appeal to adventurers, because guests are offered walking tours in the jungle, diving and other extreme activities.

And admirers of a calm, peaceful holiday will undoubtedly enjoy the warm weather, great hotels and the beautiful waters.

Zanzibar - Indian Ocean Island

Tanzania and Zanzibar are NOT dangerous. Visitors are offered a relaxing holiday and a high level of service.

There are hotels, restaurants, cafes, and in combination with beautiful nature and the beautiful ocean, you will have an unforgettable vacation.

Table of Contents

When it is best to go to Tanzania

Heavy rains in Zanzibar

If you are interested in a vacation in Tanzania, choose the winter months or a period from mid-summer to mid-autumn for your trip. In October, November, and also in the second half of spring, heavy rains occur in Zanzibar, the temperature drops by several degrees, but it is still quite comfortable. The vacation season in Zanzibar for months is as follows:

  • February is the hottest and driest month
  • August is a cold month, but remember – we are talking about an African island, so the term “cold” is very relative, we are talking about air temperature +26 degrees
  • November is the rainiest month
  • the second half of winter, summer and early fall are the best months for a vacation in Zanzibar in Tanzania

Related entries:

Temperature in Zanzibar:

  • air warms up to + 29-35 degrees
  • water warms up to +28 degrees

If we talk about the question, when to visit Zanzibar for a beach holiday, experienced tourists say all year round. Water temperature does not fall below +25 degrees year-round. At the same time, the difference between air temperature and the ocean does not exceed 10 degrees – these are comfortable conditions for relaxing on the sea coast.

Pay attention to the west coast

Regarding where to choose a hotel in Zanzibar, focus on individual preferences. If you are interested in a secluded vacation, pay attention to the west coast, which attracts with its calmness, absolute harmony with nature, as well as a calm sea. Although sometimes there are bigger waves.

In the northern part of the island there are strong tides, so one is unlikely to be able to relax comfortably on the beach. At the same time, in the north are the busiest areas, as there are many restaurants and bars.

It is important! To relax on the island, you can apply for a visa immediately after arrival at the airport. The maximum term is 90 days.

Different areas in Zanzibar

North Coast, Nungwi Beach

North coast – Most of the beaches are quite calm, however, here is the most popular and visited Zanzibar beach – Nungwi. The tides in the northern part of the island are not as critical as in the east of the island. There is a well-developed infrastructure, many discos, bars and quite affordable prices.

South coast – If you want to plunge into the local culture and find out how the islanders live, stop in the south of Zanzibar. It is crowded, but there are fewer tourists than in the north or east. Also, southern resorts choose for a romantic getaway. The infrastructure is poorly developed, so this part of Zanzibar is not suitable for families with children. The south of Zanzibar is the only place where wild dolphins live, you can swim with them in the ocean.

East Coast

East Coast – Here, perhaps the most picturesque beaches of Zanzibar are located . It is here that there are most hotels, you can rent a bungalow, a guest house right on the ocean. Remember that in the east there are rather strong tides, which undoubtedly does not add comfort to a beach holiday. In addition, the infrastructure is less developed than in the northern regions, and food prices are several times higher.

Southeast coast – Many hotels are also concentrated here, there are beaches, however, in this part of Zanzibar, the ebbs and flows are most pronounced. Swimming is unlikely to succeed.

West Bank – The resorts of this part of the island are little known among travelers, but it is here that the capital, Stone Town, is located. People come here exclusively for visiting sights, there are practically no good beaches here.

Best beach in Zanzibar

It is difficult to answer where the best beach vacation in Tanzania is. Each tourist has his own priorities, individual wishes. We will offer what experts agree on.

Nungwi - a large village with a large selection of places of residence
Nungwi – a large village with a large selection of places of residence

1. Nungwi  – The list of the best places to stay is headed by the resort of Nungwi – a large village with a large selection of places of residence and affordable prices for food. There are great diving spots near Nungwi. According to tourists, this beach and resort is the best for relaxation.

Interesting to know! If you have chosen a different beach to stay, but want to visit Nungwi, take sightseeing trips that offer guests relaxing on the beach, seafood lunch, swimming with turtles and a sea cruise in the setting sun.

2. Kendwa – Another popular resort is Kendwa, which is located near Nungwi. Here is a great beach, the village, unlike Nungwi, is calm, parties are held only one evening a week, but travelers and islanders from all over Zanzibar and many people from Tanzania come here.

Kendwa Village

Pay attention to the resorts of Dongwe, Paje and Bweju. They are located on the same shore, there is a feeling of absolute unity with nature. The advantage of the resorts is their proximity to the national park and Chwaka Bay.

Hotel Features in Zanzibar

The tourist destination in Zanzibar is developing quite rapidly, but large resorts of the European level are not yet here. Most hotels are authentic, colorful villages with small hotels, bars and restaurants. There are no large water parks, large shopping and entertainment centers, comfortable golf courses.

Zanzibar Hotels

Active construction of hotels began only in 2005, their design is aimed at creating a special flavor characteristic of Zanzibar – thatched roofs, minimalism, whitewashed walls. Most hotels are built on the first line and this is their undoubted advantage. Around the hotels there is a lot of greenery, and living conditions correspond to stardom.

When choosing a specific location, focus on the characteristics of the coast where it is located. Nevertheless, regardless of geographical coordinates, all Zanzibar hotels have characteristic features:

Lots of oceanfront bungalows
  • Hotels on the island are small – 100 rooms are a rarity, traditionally in a hotel from 10 to 20 rooms. In addition to traditional hotels in Zanzibar, there are many oceanfront bungalows.
  • Each hotel has a large adjoining territory, so large that some guests meet only in the restaurant when they have lunch or dinner.
  • The rooms of 3-star hotels do not have a TV.
  • Travelers pay tourist tax only upon eviction.
  • There is no special baby food in hotels, only 5-star hotels have yogurt, milk and light soups.
Adapter required
  • The rooms are equipped with sockets of the English standard, so an adapter is required, the voltage in the network 220V.
  • There is no animation in the hotels, from entertainment only water polo and evening shows are not every day.
  • All hotels have free internet access. Generally, the speed is very good.

Good to know! If your plans include not only a beach holiday in Zanzibar in Tanzania, but also excursions, choose resorts located north of the capital, Stone Town. This is due to the fact that many travel companies offer sightseeing tours departing from hotels built north of Stone Town. Departure from the southern point of the island will cost a tourist much more.

Transfer on the island

Transfer on the island is as follows – transport picks up all the tourists who arrived on one flight and carries them to hotels located in the same region. The general transfer does not involve the transportation of bulky baggage, in this case it makes sense to order an individual transfer.

Prices for holidays in Zanzibar

1. How much is accommodation in Zanzibar

Room in 5 * hotel Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort
Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort

There are many options for living on the island. There are traditional hotels. Double room here costs from 35 €. A room in a 5-star hotel room will cost from 170 €.

You can also rent a bungalow right on the ocean for the price of 20 €. If you want to feel the flavor of an exotic island, but are not ready to give up comfort, go for high-end bungalows. In this case, the cost is north of 100 €. Double room in a guesthouse and lodge will cost from 35 €, this price includes a transfer. The most budget accommodation option is hostels and campsites – here a place costs from 15 €.

2. Food prices on the island of Zanzibar

Dinner at the restaurant

Food prices depend on where you plan to have lunch or dinner. Dinner at the most expensive restaurant will cost an average of $ 70. In an inexpensive café it costs about $ 20-30.

If you are interested in local flavor and want to save on food, buy products in the local market, but it is better to buy fish and meat in a supermarket, since they are sold in the market in conditions of complete unsanitary conditions.

3. Rates of guided tours

  • A walk in the historical part of the capital with a guide costs about $ 3, duration from 2 to 3 hours.
Ocean tour with fishing
  • A tour of the ocean along with fishing will cost $ 50.
  • Visiting several remote, uninhabited islands, local farms and swimming in the ocean – from $ 200.
  • Water activities – one dive from $ 45, diving at night is a bit more expensive – $ 50, kitesurfing will cost $ 60. Read more about diving in Zanzibar.
  • Visiting spa treatments depends on the number of hotel stars, a massage on the beach costs from $ 10.
  • The cost of souvenirs. The price of the smallest figurine is about $ 20; larger souvenirs cost from $ 50 to $ 200.

Cost of a 10 day beach holiday in Zanzibar

Beach holidays in Zanzibar

If your plans include only a beach holiday, and do not include trips on excursions, you can easily manage $400 for two for ten days. This amount is enough to soak up on the shore, to visit several excursions.

The cost of food depends on the place where tourists plan to eat. On average, about $40 is spent on products for two per day. You can boo and eat at a restaurant for $200.

In general, for an economical trip and an inexpensive vacation on the island with food and the purchase of souvenirs, $1000 for two for ten days is enough. If you choose a hotel with an all-inclusive service, $500  is enough.

The prices on the page are for the season 2018/2019.

Things to See and Do in Zanzibar

When you get bored of relaxing on the coast, there are other attractions in Zanzibar. So, what else is attractive to an exotic island in the Indian Ocean.

  • Sights – The centuries-old history of the island of Zanzibar is full of dramatic events, the memory of them remained in numerous architectural monuments. In different eras, the island was inhabited by sultans, slave traders, in addition, the first medieval multinational settlement appeared here.
Stone Town (Zanzibar)
Stone town
  • Architecture – Stone Town is the capital of the island in Tanzania, which has something to see. Arab palaces, oriental bazaars, aromas of spices reminiscent of an amazing fairy tale from the collection “A Thousand and One Nights.” And here Freddie Mercury was born, his house is still preserved here.
  • Beaches – Undoubtedly, the sunny beach with snow-white soft sand washed by the Indian Ocean is one of the main attractions of Zanzibar. On the beaches you can relax at least 7 hours a day. At any time, guests can go on an exciting journey – visit the pools, whirlpools formed as a result of the tides. Each vacationer will find a beach for himself to taste and for the soul – for a relaxing, peaceful vacation, for fishing, for diving.
Diving in Zanzibar
  • Diving – The island has world-famous diving sites – reefs, lagoons, where a variety of exotic species of fish, turtles, and whales are found. The main diving center is located in the capital. One of the most fascinating diving spots is Range Reef, located in the west of the island and attracting athletes with a sunken English ship. Today it is a picturesque artificial reef – a home for lion fish, moray eels and other ocean inhabitants. Another magnificent reef where you will have to sail is Boribi. A distinctive feature of the reef is beautiful mountains, a variety of corals, sharks and lobsters live here. There are also diving schools for beginners on the island.
Fishing in Tanzania
  • Fishing – If you are a fan of fishing, having flown to Tanzania, be inspired by the example of Ernest Hemingway – be sure to try to catch tuna or a garfish. Want to take part in deep sea fishing? The holiday season in Tanzania begins in January-February or in July-August.
  • Sea entertainment – Travelers are invited to take part in a local, exotic sport – ngalava. This is sailing on boats. Sea transport moves under the gusts of monsoons, and allows you to travel in the Indian Ocean.
Dinner at Zanzibar Beach
  • Romantic holidays and relaxation – Throughout the rest of the island you will not leave the feeling that you were in the Garden of Eden. The hotels are built surrounded by gardens and lush vegetation, the hotels are small – from 10 to 20 rooms, so many guests do not even intersect during the holidays. The owners of most hotels are Europeans – migrants from Italy, Germany, respectively, the level of service in hotels is European. All wishes are fulfilled quickly and carefully. You can order dinner on the beach, breakfast in the villa, transfers, excursions. I have SPA centers in many hotels.
Holidays in Zanzibar

One of the main arguments in favor of traveling to Zanzibar is affordable prices for holidays. Regardless, you must visit Zanzibar at least once. The island goes by many names – the island of spices, the pearl of the Indian Ocean – and each name reflects the essence, moods and flavors of Zanzibar.

Despite the fact that the island is a fairly young tourist destination, Zanzibar vacation offers no less comfortable and excitement as compared to well established world-class locations. No matter when you arrive on the island, you are guaranteed excellent weather, high service, exotic nature and unforgettable emotions. Each coast of Zanzibar is unique in its own way and has a unique flavor.

Leave a Comment