We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

General Advice

Birmingham
Level Contributor
12 posts
18 reviews
Save Topic
General Advice

Just got back from a 2 week stay in Zanzibar. We had a great time and this website has helped make sure of that. Here's a few bits of advice which might help, based upon my experience.

1. Visa - Just get this when you land at Dar. It's easy, just get in the queue, pay your $50 and get your visa. We had no problems at all.

2. Airport Tax - I thought we would have to pay $30 departure tax each when we left Zan, but this never happened. Not sure if they have scrapped it, would be worth seeing if anyone else has found this.

3. Money - we took all our money in hard US$. We had money belts under our clothes and made sure each hotel had a safe. As a result we had no problems at all. Using US$ in general also proved to be very easy. We occassionally used TSH as a result of getting change here and there, but we didn't bother going out of way to get it all changed when we arrived. In general the exchange rate we got all over the island was 1200 TSH to 1 dollar. Occassionally you get worse, but that seemed pretty standard. If I thought long and hard about it all I'm sure I could have worked out a way to get the very best value for my money by having some US$ and some TSH, but it just didn't seem worth the hassle. I simply forgot what the "real" exchange rate was and simply accepted that 1200TSH was the exchange rate, meaning dollars works just fine. To some this might not be sound advice, so do what you feel necessary. I'm not in the habit of throwing away money, but I am in the habit of making sure I make things easy for myself.

4. Tours - we did a village walk in Kizimkazi which was superb. We did the dolphin tour, saw about 5, swam with none as they disappeared. They're wild, so you have to accept that this might happen. Spice tour and stone town tour were excellent. The Mnemba atoll tour from Nungwi was also a great day and good snorkelling.

5. Tipping - very occassionally we were asked to tip, but not anything like what I feared from reading some posts. All in all I probably tipped $5 throughout my stay arriving and departing at the airport. Just have some $1 notes.

6. Costs - Difficult one as it depends where you eat, what you do etc. As a guide, soft drinks were about $1.50, beers $2.50 and meals at most restaurants were about $10 for a main. They are all hotel prices or fairly decent restaurants (not top end though). Go local and you will get it cheaper.

Hope this all helps. It's probably all been posted before, but might be spread across a number of posts.

Cheers

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,768 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: General Advice

Thanks for your feedback.

How (and who with) did you arrange the dolphin tour?

BTW, I think the departure tax is only if you are leaving the country (eg flying to Nairobi). If flying to Dar, it's not levied in ZNZ , but included in your Dar-UK ticket.

Birmingham
Level Contributor
12 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: General Advice

Ah, I see on the departure tax. Yep, I think you're probably right then. I just didn't spot that from the posts I read. It just meant we had $60 for duty free so that was a bonus.

For the Dolphin Tour, we stayed a few days at the Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise resort. I stayed there thinking we'd get really cheap (if not free) dolphin trips, so didn't pre-book anything. So we sorted it direct with the hotel when we got there. It was a bit disappointing to find out they charged $90 for 2 people. You can only get it down to something like $25 each if there are 6 people. As the resort was pretty quiet we had to go on our own and paid the $45 each. I thought that was a touch steep.

We did arrange 2 other trips with Indomatours and I found them very reliable and good on the trips. If they do the dolphin trip I'm sure they would do a good job and you might get it for a better price than I paid.

london
5 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: General Advice

Hey great advice! Was it easy to get around the island if u wanted? Which part did u stay in and was there much nightlife (ie for a single person?) Did u hear much about Pemba while u were there? Cheers...

Birmingham
Level Contributor
12 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: General Advice

Hi docpk. Yes, getting around the island was easy. We used a company called Indomatours for all our trips and didn't have any problems. You can see the island by doing various tours or you could just use a company like that for transfers.

We stayed in Kizimkazi for 5 days. Very quiet there, but that was kind of what we were after. We then moved to Nungwi for 7 days. There's a bit more happening here, but it depends what you mean by nightlife. It is still pretty quiet, but has a fair few restaurants with a nice atmosphere. Langi Langi and Cinamon are both recommended. We then spent 2 days in Stone Town which has a lot more to see and some really good restaurants. All in all, Zanzibar is a pretty quiet, chilled out place. We ended up loving it, but if you're after nightlife such as bars and clubs it might not be the best choice.

Regards Pemba, we didn't get there. I'm sure it would be worth a trip though. Again, I would have thought very quiet though.

5. Re: General Advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:16 am, June 17, 2010