AN EXOTIC ISLAND ARCHIPELAGO WITH WONDERFUL BEACHES
It is it’s fading past which really fascinates today’s visitors. There are strangely atmospheric ruins dotting the island, including palaces, bath houses, old towns and the harem for the Sultan’s concubines. A constant reminder of an fascinating chapter in the island’s history.
The old quarter of Zanzibar is Stone Town which is time-worn and atmospheric; a muddle of tiny streets, heavily carved woodwork, big studded doors and overhanging balconies. It is a welcoming town too and strolling through tiny back streets, past spice sellers, tailors and darkened doorways one is met with ready smiles and a reassuring sense of quiet acceptance.
Many of the older buildings have become dilapidated, although efforts are now being made to gradually restore them, but this adds further to the atmosphere. For those willing to respect local customs, an unobtrusive visit to the old dhow port provides a stunning glimpse into the traditions of Zanzibar.
Beyond the town are the treasures of chattering villages, verdant forests and glorious beaches. A visit to the spice plantations, a lasting legacy of the Omani influence, is probably on every visitor agenda and, with a good guide, it is fascinating experience. Certainly a stay in town should, without doubt, be balanced by a stay on the coast.
Walk along empty beaches, past unchanged fishing villages with dhows and outrigger canoes pulled up on the sand, snorkel on the reef or dive amongst the glorious fish and coral gardens offshore and it really is not difficult to imagine why Zanzibar has held such appeal for so long.
Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year. The heat of summer is seasonally often cooled by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm all year round, but officially, summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily. Short rains can occur in November but are characterised by short showers which do not last long. The long rains normally occur in April and May although this is often referred to as the ‘Green Season’, and it typically doesn’t rain every day during that time.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Zanzibar enjoys an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily throughout the year and the only real time to avoid travelling to the island is April & May when the heavy rains occur. The peak season is July & August as people combine a safari in Kenya or Tanzania with the island. The months of September & October plus January & February are excellent months to travel with great temperatures and perfect sea conditions.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. You will also need a Yellow Fever vaccination before entering Zanzibar. Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. In addition we also recommend that you have a minimum of 2 consecutive blank pages in your passport. British passport holders require a visa that can be obtained upon arrival into Zanzibar. As the island of Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, there is no need to obtain a second visa if your itinerary will include both Tanzania & Zanzibar or Pemba Island – simply obtain a multiple entry visa.