In recent years, Zanzibar established itself as one of the favorite destinations for travelers looking for their piece of tropical paradise. This Tanzanian archipelago offers great weather all year round, beautiful beaches to soak in the sun, and is quite affordable. However, there are some things you need to know about Zanzibar before traveling there.
You’ll Need a Visa
While Zanzibar has a great deal of autonomy, it is still considered part of Tanzania. This means that U.S. citizens wishing to visit Zanzibar need to obtain a visa. The Bureau of Consular Affairs recommends getting the visa online in advance to travel. Alternatively, you can get it upon arrival at the airport in Tanzania.
There Are Two Rainy Seasons
As we previously said, Zanzibar has great weather all year round. However, if you want to enjoy the sun every day, all day, you might want to skip the rainy seasons. There are two distinct rainy seasons, the first lasting from March to May and the second from November to December.
You Can Get to Zanzibar by Plane or a Boat
Most tourists traveling to Zanzibar depart from the Tanzanian port city of Dar Es Salaam. You can either take a plane or get on a boat that departs several times a day. The second option is quite cheaper, and it will only take you an extra hour or so to get there.
Zanzibar is On Swahili Time
Zanzibar keeps track of time slightly differently than the rest of the world. Here, the day starts with the sunrise and not at midnight. For example, 7 AM in the U.S. would be 1 AM in Zanzibar.
You’re Expected to Respect Zanzibar’s Traditions and Culture
While Zanzibar welcomes tourists with open arms, the locals also expect you to respect its tradition and culture. Among other things, this means that you should abstain from drinking alcohol in public and wear appropriate clothes when not on the beach.