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Discover Zanzibar (What you need to know about Zanzibar)

Is Zanzibar a Country?

Zanzibar is not a country but is considered a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. Politically it is part of Tanzania. Zanzibar is also isn’t just one island but is the largest of the Zanzibar Archipelago, which consists of several islands. The four main islands are Unguja Island (which is Zanzibar), Pemba Island, Latham Island, and Mafia Island.

Zanzibar’s 2023 population is now estimated at 1,358,803. In 1950, the population of Zanzibar was 53,530. Zanzibar has grown by 55,571 in the last year, which represents a 4.26% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Zanzibar, which typically includes Zanzibar’s population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Zanzibar has a good potential for foreign investment in offshore (EEZ) marine capture fisheries, in aquaculture and in fisheries infrastructure. Zanzibar’s fisheries resources could be better managed in an effort to alleviate the poverty of its rural population and to provide food security.

At present, Zanzibar’s fisheries are artisan and its total annual production of

fish of just over 20 000 t, caught in inshore waters, is consumed locally. The government of Zanzibar has liberalised its policies to make Zanzibar a good environment for foreign investment.

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean, a two-hour (15 miles) ferry ride from Dar Es Salaam, a major city in Tanzania.

Most Asked Questions

  • Where is Zanzibar?
  • The Best Things To Do In Zanzibar
  • The Best Restaurants in Zanzibar
  • Where To Stay In Zanzibar
  • The Best Time To Visit Zanzibar?
  • How To Get To Zanzibar

Whether you choose to fly to Zanzibar over the stunning blue waters to view the tropical wilderness from the air, or take a ferry to Stone Town and experience the heart of Zanzibar from the ground or the ocean Zanzibar won’t disappoint.

How to get to Zanzibar

How to get to Zanzibar is entirely up to you. The best way to get to Zanzibar is by plane – first with an international flight to one of Tanzania’s domestic airports. From there, you can take relaxing and inexpensive ferry rides along this illustrious island. 

Flights to Zanzibar

Flying to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam is only marginally more expensive than catching a ferry but the views from the sky are stunning and with so many flights available it’s a fast and reliable option that takes you straight to Abeid Amani Karume Airport in Zanzibar City where you have the option of spending a few nights in Stone Town or going straight to your vacation spot.

Flights from Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar

Mountaineers and tourists visiting Kilimanjaro can fly straight to Zanzibar from the airport in Makao Mapya. This direct flight takes only one hour and with multiple airlines and daily scheduled flights, getting to Zanzibar is reasonably priced and flexible, for a spontaneous post-hike getaway.  

Take a Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam

Zanzibar city is located to the west of the island and is between one and two hours from Dar Es Salaam, the main business port of Tanzania. The ferry gives travellers a unique oceanic view of Ugunja as the horizon of white coral stone buildings of Stone Town (the oldest part of Zanzibar city) line the turquoise water around the port and come into view. 

Azam Marine

There are two main ferry companies (Azam Marine and Fast Ferries) both offering modern catamarans, that provide a comfortable and fast excursion to the island, with multiple departure times throughout the day. Prices range between $35 and $50 depending on your seats and times of travel, but be sure to book a day or more before as they can get busy. 

Fast Ferries

Best Time to Visit Zanzibar

The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the archipelago’s dry season, from June to October, which is a very popular time to travel. However, it’s worthwhile travelling at most times of year, with balmy temperatures between 28°C and 34°C and sunshine the norm. 

Why Visit Zanzibar? 

  • Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a capital city of Zanzibar was built in the 19th century by Arab and Indian merchants.
  • The Zanzibar archipelago is set in the Indian Ocean and is made up of the larger islands of Pemba and Unguja (also called Zanzibar Island).
  • Zanzibar is also known as the ‘Spice Island’ due to the delicious variety of spices grown on the island’s many plantations.
  • Another must-see attraction on Zanzibar is the Jozani Forest Reserve – home to the rare Kirk’s red colobus monkey and Aders’ duiker.
  • The island is surrounded by pristine waters, dotted with beautiful dhows (traditional Arabic sailboats) and home to a plethora of underwater inhabitants.
  • Another must-see attraction on Zanzibar includes the Jozani Forest Reserve – home to the rare Kirk’s red colobus monkey and Aders’ duiker. Off the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar is Mnemba Island – an idyllic private island featuring luxurious accommodation, breathtaking scenery and rich marine diversity. 
  • Zanzibar is one of my favourite places in the world. It has history, culture, gorgeous beaches, tons of activities, and flavoursome food. 

There are so many things to do in Zanzibar and whether you’re backpacking Zanzibar, on your honeymoon, going for a 2-week holiday, or relaxing for a few days after a Serengeti safari or a trek up Kilimanjaro I’m sure you’ll love it. There’s a Zanzibar for everyone. 

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