Before you pack your suitcase
Updated: Sep 28
Some useful information
Travellers to Zanzibar require a valid visa. The costs are US$50 for most nationalities (US$100 for US citizens) for a single-entry visa, it is valid for a maximum of three months. If you want to avoid long lines at the airport, it's recommended to apply for your visa online in advance.
You also get it on arrival at the Zanzibar International Airport, it has to be paid by credit card.
For Zanzibar a Yellow Feaver vaccination is an entry requirement for all travelers arriving (including airport transit more than 6 hours) from countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.
Zanzibar is considered to be malaria-free, but there were some cases from November 2020. Please contact your doctor for more information.
The official currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). Banknotes come in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 TZS. However, if you're bringing cash, the preferred means of payment is the U.S. Dollar. Just be sure to bring bills that are no older than 2006, as older bills may not be accepted.
On the east coast, there are no banks, but there is an ATM in Paje. It's worth noting that all ATMs in Zanzibar only dispense Tanzanian Shillings. You can also withdraw money at the airport or in Zanzibar Town.
Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards.
Time Zone & Swahili time
Zanzibar's time zone is East Africa Time (EAT), which is UCT (Universal Time Coordinated) plus three hours. This means that during Central European Time (CET), Zanzibar is two hours ahead.
The Swahili Time is different from all other parts in the world. The reference points are sunrise and sunset. Most Swahili speakers live close to the equator, where sunrise and sunset are at the same time all year long between 6 & 7 am and 6 & 7 pm. The rising sun is the beginning of the day, therefore 7 am is 1 o’clock in Swahili time.