From: #flymeto | Jan 09, 2020
Zanzibar is a fabulously sounding name of an exotic island in the Indian Ocean. For centuries, the island belonged to the Sultans of Oman and was a gateway to black Africa, an important place for the slave trade. In the middle of the 18th century there were reportedly sold up to 15 thousand slaves a year. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, but a piece of history persists. This is a spice shop that travels from all over the world to become an integral part of local cuisine.
Tourists’ favorite island offers crystal clear sandy beaches with coral reefs, unspoiled nature and architectural attractions. The popularity is helped by top and ever improving service of hotel complexes.
Due to the proximity of the equator, there is a tropical climate in Zanzibar and you can expect a temperature of 30 ° C all year round.
The main currency of Zanzibar as an island belonging to Tanzania is Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). 100 TZS is about CZK 0.96 but you can also pay US dollars, which you will receive in hotels, restaurants and even souvenir shops. The hotel’s large resorts also accept euro. If you run out of Tanzanian shillings, exchange offices are available in Stone Town, where you can also find ATMs, which are very often out of service.
Prices in Zanzibar shops are very similar to those in our country, the fundamental difference is in the water you buy here for about 56 CZK / 1.5 liters and fuel, which will cost around 5 CZK / l. Beer fans can cheer because in restaurants you can get your favorite drink for about 40 CZK / 0,5l. If you are a haggling fan, you can do so at local markets and often get interesting discounts.
How and how to travel
For approximately USD 40 per day, you can rent a car, the fastest way to get around the island. Due to the road conditions on the island, go for the off-road vehicle, which is standard in all rental companies. You will need an international driving license, or a local permit (available locally) and a very light foot on the accelerator, as police patrols line the roads every 10 km.
If you are not in a hurry, want to meet and want to save money, you can take advantage of the local “dalla-dalla” buses (which are actually tarpaulin trucks). The fare costs only one US dollar, but the short journey can easily be extended for several hours, in which you can get authentic information from the passengers.
If you are not a friend of the map and do not have updated navigation, take advantage of local taxi services, which cost less than USD 1 / 1km. Avoid TAXI agents and always try to reach the driver yourself and negotiate the price with him. This will save you a mediation surcharge, which can be up to twice the normal tax.
Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the historic heart of Zanzibar City. The architecture of the city reflects the diverse influences of Swahili culture, with a unique interweaving of Arab, Persian, Indian and European cultures. You will definitely not forget to visit. A maze of narrow and brightly decorated streets awaits you, and even if you walk around you will find new things in them. It is ideal to use the local guides, who will offer you on the street themselves.
When visiting the city, be sure to visit the former Sultan’s Palace, which has an exotic food market in front of it every evening. You should not miss the House of Wonders, which got its name because it was already in the 19th century equipped with a lift, sewage, running water and electricity and beautifully decorated old dispensary. The sculptural group of slaves with chains deserves a mandatory stop, referring to the history of the island.
Visit the spice farm
If you are a fan of cooking and fragrance, don’t forget the “spice tour” where you will see the spices before they reach the shelves in the shops. Approximately 40 km from the capital, you can visit the local farm where the best and most fragrant spices are grown. You can smell fresh cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. You will see how pepper actually grows and you may be surprised that different kinds of pepper grow on the same plant. You can taste fresh coconut water and just picked sweet bananas.
Jozaniforest is a wonderful walk through unspoiled nature surrounded by ubiquitous monkeys, lizards, turtles, nasty caterpillars and other insects unknown to you. At the same time, you will get information about the flora that will guide you all the way. On this trip, you will probably not stop shooting the life of monkeys, but beware of shooting with your mobile so you don’t lose it. However, you can forget the whole trip from April to June, where the rain is half a meter to one meter of water, but you can take the trip to the mangroves on a high road. It is definitely worth it. Admission is approximately $ 7.50 and the price includes a guide, but as is customary in Zanzibar, he should receive a “tip”.
Safari v Selousu
In Selous from the capital you get a cessna and the flight itself will fill you with experiences you will not forget. Fly over the blue ocean and yellow savannah where you can see hippos in the lakes. After landing you will be guided by an experienced guide who knows every detail about the animals and traces each of them. Forget about the zoo, you will get an authentic experience and the opportunity to see the Big Five in a natural environment.
Snorkeling and swimming with dolphins
The most popular dolphin spot is Kimimzaki, located on the south coast of Zanzibar Island. Go to the place in the morning when the sea level is not heated by the sun and dolphins jump on the surface. Sometimes you will have to stay in place for up to three hours, but the moment you see five dolphins above the surface you will recognize that waiting was worth it.
Cruise at sunset
If you are a romantic, do not forget the evening sailing on the open sea in a traditional wooden dhow dhow. Experienced sailors will take you off the shore with the help of engines and then sail only with the help of wind and sails. It is up to you whether you will listen to the calm evening sea, the wind propped up in the sails or reach into your engagement ring pocket.
Hints in conclusion
Be sure to include the British Plug Adapter, a 20+ Factor Sunscreen before taking off. Remember that water in the water system is not drinkable, do not go to bed without mosquito netting and certainly do not export ivory products from the ground. Ladies must not forget that society is made up of conservative Muslims, so they should wear skirts or pants under their knees when walking around the city.
Currently, no vaccination is compulsory for Zanzibar, but the recommended vaccines include hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever. Due to the ubiquitous mosquitoes, it is recommended to use antimalarials and repellents.
If you want to please the locals, you can study a few basic words before you leave http://www.jak-se-rekne.cz/svahilsky/