Zanzibar Holiday Beach


All you need to know about Zanzibar

where is Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago, located off the eastern coast of Tanzania, Africa in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, bursting with culture & history it is so much more than white sand beaches, clear warm waters with coral reefs perfect for snorkelling. Zanzibar is made up of many small islands and two major islands Unguja (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar) & Pemba

Zanzibar’s history
Zanzibar like mainland Tanzania was settled by Bantu-speakers at the outset of the first millennium, with trade rapidly increasing & by the 10th century it was one of the central Swahili trading towns. Persians, Indians, and Arabs used Zanzibar as the base for voyages between the middle east, India, and Africa. Unguja, the larger island offered a protected & defensible harbour

In the 14th century Zanzibar was controlled by the Portuguese, later came to the under influence of the sultanate of Oman. The Zanzibar archipelago developed an economy of trade and cash crops it was famous for its cloves and other spices that’s why to date it is also known as spice island as it was the centre of the spice trade, ivory & slaves were other major products, Zanzibar at the time was more of the power & business capital of the Swahili coast (stretching from present-day Mozambique to Kenya), Zanzibar city was the Swahili coasts main port for the slave trade in the middle east. In the 19th century, as many as 50000 slaves passed annually through the port, the sultanate furthered its relationship with the British who put pressure on the sultanate to abolish the slave trade as time progressed Zanzibar became a British protectorate until 10th December 1963 when it was terminated by the United Kingdom and made provision for full self-government in Zanzibar, Zanzibar became a constitutional monarchy under the sultan

However, a month later, on 12 January 1964, the sultanate was deposed during the Zanzibar revolution & replaced by the people’s republic

In April 1964, the Zanzibar republic merged with mainland Tanganyika, was soon renamed, blending the two names, as the united republic of Tanzania, within which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region

Facts about Present-day Zanzibar

After the union of Zanzibar & Tanganyika, Tanzania was born, within which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region. The Zanzibar archipelago is 25-50km off the coast of mainland Tanzania.

The capital is Zanzibar City, located on Unguja island, its historic centre is a stone town, which is a world heritage site
Like mainland Tanzania, the official language is Swahili & English but many Zanzibaris are also fluent in Arabic
the official currency being the Tanzania shillings
Islam is the dominant religion by over 90%
The population is over a 1.3million according to the 2012 census
Main industries are spices, raffia & tourism

Best time to visit Zanzibar

Like mainland Tanzania throughout the year, you can visit Zanzibar but it is during the dry season (June to October) that is regarded by many as the best time to visit Zanzibar

Why June to October is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

First of all, the skies are clear and most days are sunny (perfect weather for your stay)
Secondly, you can do a safari, Mount Kilimanjaro hike & other extensions in mainland Tanzania as it is during this time that it is favourable to visit the mainland too
Easy mobility, moving around is easier when it is dry unlike rainy season
fewer mosquitoes unlike the rainy season which is a favourable condition for mosquitoes
easier to meet people, do group tours, group activities and greater parties
lastly, there are plenty and more options for activities to do during the dry season
Few considerations against this period
Prices are high as it is the peak season
Many travellers as it is peak season, if your preference is a quiet trip
Other favourable times to visit Tanzania
it is expected to be dry, sunny so it is a great time for a visit
little chances for short shower rains which are expected in December & January
weather will be between sunny and short rain showers (to reduce the dust)
small peak season around festival season
January to February
it is expected to be sunny & dry so it is a great time for a visit
this is a grey time, not clear if it will be dry or perhaps the rainy season will begin
April to May
this is probably the least favourable time to visit Tanzania as it is expected to be the rainy season therefore very difficult to move around or enjoy the sun
but there are some advantages for this period

lower rates
fewer travellers (low season)
How to get to Zanzibar
The best way of getting to Zanzibar is to fly to Zanzibar

If you are coming from a foreign country, you can fly directly to Zanzibar international airport

You can fly to Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro international airport, from Arusha airport (Arusha airport is more recommended after northern circuit safari), from Dar es salaam international airport, from Mwanza airport

Air Tanzania flight 7:40 pm from Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) to Zanzibar (possible flight after a northern circuit safari) however it is recommended not to fly directly after a safari as any major emergency can hurt chances of catching your flight
Air Tanzania flight 7:15 am from Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) to Zanzibar
Precision air flight 4:00 pm from Arusha airport (ARK) to Zanzibar
Coastal air, flight link, precision air, air Tanzania & Auric air running multiple flights from domestic airports to Zanzibar
You can also take a bus to Dar es salaam(17usd) & then take a ferry to Zanzibar(35usd) however this option is not greater value than a direct flight to Zanzibar as a bus will take almost 10hours to Dar es salaam & ferry takes about 2 hours from dar es salaam to Zanzibar

Budget & cost of your stay in Zanzibar

Your budget for your stay in Zanzibar will be highly influenced by your accommodation choices, with a variety of budget hostels to luxury villas Zanzibar can accommodate travellers of different budget level


budget hostels – 20 – 30usd
Budget hotels – 35 – 80usd
Mid-range hotels – 80 – 300usd
Luxury – over 400usd
Daily meals & drinks budget

Budget meals – 6usd – 12usd
Mid-level restaurants – 20usd – 40usd
High-end restaurants – over 70usd

Budget (public transport) – 2 US$ daily budget
Private transportation – 5usd – 80usd
Private transportation from stone town to the beach elsewhere is 45usd average
Car rental – from 120usd daily
Tour & activities

Budget tours (prion island, stone town, Mnemba atoll) – 20 -40usd
Jet ski – 40usd an hour
Scuba diving – 180 – 300usd
So a daily budget of 50usd can be enough for a strict budget traveller to cover essentials (accommodation, meals & something to do for the day)

How long to stay in Zanzibar?

As you are planning your vacation you keep asking yourself how many days, weeks you should spend at a place, this time you are looking at how many days you should stay in Zanzibar? We understand how long you should stay is sometimes not a flexible choice for many but we recommend a minimum of 7days as ideal a maximum of 2-3 weeks is advisable. As you can move from beach to beach or to a different island on your stay

why you should visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is renowned for its crystal clear waters, pristine coral reefs & blissful beach but there is more history, culture, etc, see reasons why you should visit Zanzibar

Where to stay in Zanzibar

Often travellers are faced with the question “Where should I stay in Zanzibar?” after saving & yearning about your vacation in Zanzibar it is just right for you to know where you should stay, which side of the island you should stay, north, south, east or west?



We are true experts when it comes to Tanzania. We live, work and travel here. Makini Tanzania Safari arranges lodge and camping safaris, trekking and hiking tours and beach holidays. We carefully select our well-trained guides, drivers, cooks and porters.


Pangani Street, Arusha
Tanzania – East Africa