Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is part of Tanzania, one of the most populous countries in Africa. It lies off the east coast of the continent and is famous for its numerous clove and coconut palm plantations, among other things. It has also been a very popular tourist destination for many years.
Zanzibar is about 35 kilometers from the East African coast, making the islands easily accessible by boat or ferry. It is Tanzania’s largest administrative region, full of sandy beaches and made up of numerous islets. The largest one is officially called Unguja, but in colloquial language it is often just called Zanzibar Island. The second largest island in the archipelago is Pemba, about 50 km away.
When is the best time to go to Zanzibar?
Zanzibar’s climate is described as humid and tropical – the archipelago lies very close to the equator. Temperatures on the Tanzanian islands are quite similar throughout the year and rarely drop below 20 degrees Celsius, and the warmest months are those of winter – in January and February the bars of the mercury can reach over 33 degrees. The average temperature on the island is 25-28 degrees Celsius. As the reviews of Zanzibar show, it is definitely worth spending your exotic vacation here, and practically all year round there are great conditions for relaxation.
While the air temperature is relatively stable, depending on the month you can see quite a bit of change in the frequency and intensity of rainfall. The dry season is from June to October, and during this time rains are extremely rare. The main rainy season falls in April and May, and it is worth considering that although the rainfall is very violent, it is of short duration, so you can count on a successful holiday in these months as well. Rainfall is also to be expected in November and December, but it is less intense and a pleasant, sunny aura returns as soon as the rainfall ends.
In Zanzibar you can bathe in the sea all year round. During the coolest months, namely August and September, the water is about 25 degrees. The ocean waters are heated the most during the winter season and early spring – in April the temperature reaches over 30 degrees. It is worth knowing that in Zanzibar there are tides and tides, making the beach and the depth of the water completely change. Information for tourists about the tides is usually made available at the hotel reception.
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How big is Zanzibar?
The total area of Zanzibar is 2643 km².In addition to the two main islands, the archipelago includes numerous smaller islets, usually uninhabited. The island of Zanzibar, or Unguja, is1658 km² and is home to more than 622,000 people.Unguja is a coral island, made mostly of sandstone and limestone, rather little mountainous, but the surrounding coral reef is famous for its biodiversity. Pemba’s area is 984 square kilometers.The main city of the island is Chake Chake, and the total population reaches 406,000.
How big is Tanzania?
Zanzibar is not an independent country.It is an autonomous region of Tanzania.The United Republic of Tanzania was formed from the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, two British colonies.Until 1996, the capital of the country was the city of Dar es Salaam, now it is Dodoma.Tanzania has an area of more than 947 square kilometers, and the population of the entire country is more than 61.7 million. The official language is English and Swahili.
Unlike Zanzibar, the mainland of Tanzania is mostly mountainous and densely forested, especially in the northern and eastern regions. The highest peak in Tanzania, as well as in all of Africa, is Kilimanjaro, rising to nearly 6,000 meters. Tanzania’s coastline stretches for 1,424 kilometers. On the border with Kenya is the famous Serengeti National Park, where safaris are organized.
How to get to Zanzibar?
You can get to Zanzibar either by plane or by ferry. Air travel is definitely shorter and more convenient, although you have to reckon with the fact that it will not always be a direct flight.The main transfer point on the way to Zanzibar is Dar es Salaam.It’s also worth making sure that your chosen mode of transportation works outside the vacation season.Because of the connecting flights, it is advisable to decide prudently what to take to Zanzibar so as not to have the problem of too much luggage.
How to get to Zanzibar by plane? Most tourists opt for flights. There are planes arriving at Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, by air you can also get to the island of Pemba.
How to get to Zanzibar by ferry?
The ferry is not as fast as a plane, of course, but it costs a lot less, plus the crossing itself is quite an attraction because of the views.Ferries to Zanzibar depart from Dar es Salaam.The first courses run early in the morning, with the last ferries leaving in the afternoon.
How to travel around Zanzibar?
What to do in Zanzibar besides beachcombing? When it comes to scuba diving, the best place to go is the Underwater Nature Reserve, located on Mnemba Atoll, which can be reached by private boat. Renting a boat is also ideal for those wishing to explore neighboring Pemba.
The island of Unguja can be traversed by rental car, in addition to available transportation such as:
This is a very inexpensive option – a ride costs about a dollar. Dala Dala are passenger minibuses that run all over the island, including to the most remote settlements like Nungwi. They have fixed routes between the main villages, but they also stop at other places upon request. The downside of the Dala Dala is the lack of fixed departure times – the bus simply starts when there is a full complement of passengers.
Prices in Zanzibar are not exorbitant and this also applies to cab service.By this means of transport you can get virtually anywhere, for example to Stone Town, which is the Unesco Listed Stone Town, Jozani National Park or one of the African plantations of cloves, nutmeg and other spices.A ride around the entire island will cost more than 50 usd, so when planning a longer trip, it’s worth taking several people in a larger car, which will bring the cost of transportation down to $10-15.
Do you need a visa to go to Zanzibar?
Zanzibar offers a range of attractions and is an ideal destination for water sports, so it’s no wonder that so many people want to spend their vacation on this island. The peak tourist season lasts from June to September, and this is when prices are highest on this paradise island, so consider going in other months. The trip does not need to be planned long in advance, because although tourists are admitted to Tanzania only on the basis of a valid visa, it can be purchased at all major border crossings and international airports. A visa can also be ordered online. Before leaving for Zanzibar, it’s a good idea to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the time you cross the border.