Here are some findings and hope it helps those of you still to go as there is so much conflicting info to be found on the forums.

 

- Sit at the front of the plane that way you can be out of the plane, get to the visa area first, and then out of the airport within 20 minutes! First you hand your passports and wait to be called. So it might look like there is a queue to join but it might be the queue for the people whose visas are already being processed. Make sure you go to the right one.

- Money/currency: Both $ and Tsh can be used, most restaurants quoted in Tsh. For souvernirs you also pay in Tsh. Taxis could be payed in both although you get a bgetter deal with Tsh due to currency exchange the taxi drivers apply. Most hotels bills in $. Visa in $. Also some hotels quoted food in $.

- Taxi prices were negotiated without much difficuty

Airport to Kendwa $40

Kendwa to Matemwe Tsh 30000

Matemwe to Bwejuu $ 50

Check that the taxis are "real taxis" and have all the stickers they need to show they have payed taxes etc.Got stopped about 6 times by police on the airport to Kendwa route and they checked everything

- Shopping:

If you want to buy a Kanga go to the market and Darajani (Stone Town) and there is a street behind the main food market where they have lots and where the locals buy theirs so you will get a cheaper deal than in the main tourist trail. Same goes for spices  bough really cheaply from the little shopsin the market rather than the "prepackaged" overpriced spice kits they sell.

Big bottles of water in local shops cost between 1000 and 1500Tsh and same for small bottle of coke

- Activities:

Kendwa is great for swimming. The food at Kendwa rocks is excellent and so is the service

Matemwe is a lovely beach. You cannot swim all day but wathcing the women working at the seaweed farms and wakign towads the reef at low tide is fascinating. I would reccomend conmbining both beach experiences. The drive is not that long, maybe 35 minutes

- Misc Tips:

If you learn to say "no thank you" you in Swahili, (see hee tajee is how  it sounds not sure re spelling) you will find the local sellers leave you in peace at once. It was really effective.

There were very few mosquitos this time of year (mid July)