Zanzibar Island travel tips

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Zanzibar Island travel tips
 
Passport and Visa Requirement 

All Guest visiting Zanzibar Island must be in possession of a valid passport.  The definition of a valid passport is a passport in the traveler’s name which will not expire within 6 months at least from the date of arrival on Zanzibar Island. The passport must then also have available at least 2 blank pages (next to each other).
South African passport holders (and some other nationalities) are currently exempted from visa formalities for Tanzania. Other passports may require a visa - please enquire from us. People from most nationalities, that includes but is not limited to South Africa, UK, USA and Australia, require a visa to go on holiday on Zanzibar Island. Although visas are obtainable at Zanzibar International Airport, it is recommended to obtain your visa in advance. Dream World Adventures are perfectly located in Pretoria, close to the Tanzanian High Commission based in South Africa, to be able to assist our valued clients in obtaining your travel visa in advance. A holiday visa is valid for 90 days from the date it was issued, thus the reason we recommend to provide us with your passport document +/- 30 days prior to your scheduled arrival. With our easy-to-follow procedure we will gladly assist our clients in obtaining a visa before departure to Zanzibar Island.

 

Health Requirements

As is the case in many places in Africa and on tropical islands preventative measures should be taken against malaria if travelling to Zanzibar Island or mainland Tanzania.

Consulting with your physician is recommended for medical advice on prophylactics that should be safe for you to use. Your closest travel clinic will also be able to provide you with medical advice. It is advisable to take a mosquito repellent and to cover all exposed areas of your body (e.g. neck and arms) during dusk and at night time. Wearing light-coloured trousers and long-sleeved shirts can also reduce the risk. Studies have found that the malaria mosquito is mostly active at night or in dark areas. In recent years the number of malaria cases on Zanzibar Island has dropped significantly, so if you are booked on a direct flight to and from Zanzibar the risk is of contracting malaria is low, however it is our recommendation to take precautions against malaria nevertheless. The yellow fever situation is currently causing much confusion, with different views and news updates currently circulating.

Fact – South Africa is a yellow fever free zone and people travelling from any other yellow fever free zone will not be asked to present proof of vaccination for yellow fever.

Fact – The South African Health Dept. has declared some East African countries, including Zanzibar, to no longer pose any threat towards the safety of the South African population and hence travellers from the mentioned countries, including Tanzania, arriving in South Africa, are no longer required to present proof of vaccination for yellow fever.

In the past, all travellers arriving on Zanzibar from South Africa were asked to present a yellow fever inoculation card as part of the South African Health Dept’s measures to prevent returning passengers from introducing yellow fever into South Africa. Sadly official news in some cases travels slowly and we have noted that the Tanzanian officials are still stating that travellers from South African arriving in Tanzania will be asked for a yellow fever inoculation. While all efforts have been taken by Dream World Adventures to obtain an updated formal statement from the Tanzanian officials, it seems to be taking longer than what was hoped and expected. Some travellers that recently returned from Zanzibar did inform us that they were not asked to provide proof of yellow fever inoculation, but it is possible for a Tanzanian official to insist on this. We still however recommend to take precautions against yellow fever should a traveler take frequent trips into Africa, South America or some Asian countries, and even for a once-off trip to Tanzania, or obtain an exemption letter from your local travel clinic. A yellow fever inoculation needs to be obtained at least 10 days prior to departure.

Fact – if arriving in Tanzania with a yellow fever inoculation card, or an exemption letter, officials cannot hinder your entry!

Fact – Our recent clients that visited Zanzibar on the direct flights between Johannesburg and Zanzibar have not been checked for a yellow fever inoculation card, however other flights not direct or flying to the mainland of Tanzania seems still to be checked.

 

NB!! The above information should not be taken as medical advice due to the fact that only qualified physicians are by law able to provide this after doing a medical examination and reviewing your personal medical history.

 

 
Travel insurance

Travel insurance is the best way to ensure that you will be covered for those unforeseen problems that sometimes can happen while traveling in another country.  We highly recommend that you make sure that you have adequate travel insurance cover for your trip to Zanzibar.

 

Very few travelers take the time to research this important tool that is available at affordable prices if compared to what it offers.

The cost of travel insurance does not relate to the value of the trip but rather depends on the duration of the journey, age of the traveller and level of cover required.

 

Most seasoned travelers will confirm that flight delays and lost luggage is always a possibility and although airlines do their best to minimize any inconvenience, having comprehensive travel cover is still the best.

Your travel cover should also include medical cover, as the cost of quality medical assistance in a foreign country can be overwhelming.

 

It is also recommended not to wait until the date of your departure to arrange your travel insurance.  Purchase your cover as soon as you have booked your trip, as a comprehensive travel cover also includes cancelation cover, so that should you have to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen illness or accident, you can recover some if not all of the costs you have outlaid.

 

A word of caution - Many people only rely on the automatic cover provided by loyalty insurance or medical aid when travelling outside South Africa.

Never make the assumption that this automatic insurance is all you need; it usually offers basic medical and emergency cover.

 

Comprehensive cover will provide you with wide-ranging insurance for medical and health eventualities and lost and stolen possessions, as well as 24-hour emergency services. It may also cover you in case of a trip delay or some airline difficulties, including if the company goes bust.

 

Dream World Adventures are able to assist our South African clients comprehensive cover underwritten by Chartis Travel Guard at affordable prices. For more details information please contact us.

 

Photography

Zanzibar offers some spectacular photo opportunities for you to capture your tropical Island holiday.

Please just remember to be sensitive when photographing people.  Tanzanian are renowned for being friendly, however it is courteous to ask permission before snapping away.  Some Government areas and sites (i.e. Police station and Post, Army sites and state houses) are prohibited to be photographed.
The best would be to ask your guide before taking any pictures when you pass through these sites.
 
What to pack
  • Light sandals or rubber flip-flops.

  • Comfortable walking shoes if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing.

  • Sun block and moisturizing cream.

  • Light cotton clothes – as the weather is very hot and humid.

  • When visiting Stone Town, or close to religious places please respect the local populous and do not wear open or reveling clothes.  On the private beaches at the resorts swimwear will not be a problem.

  • The dress code at the smaller guest houses or hotel is not a problem, and normal Island stile clothes are the norm.

  • If staying at one of the up market resorts it is not require to dress up for meals, but they do request smart casual wear. 

  • Camera, with extra memory cards or film

  • Sunglasses with UV protection

  • Sun / Beach hat

  • Bath towels are available at all the hotels that we promote.

  • Most of the resorts on Zanzibar also provide beach towels that are regulated on a token system (each clients are given a token that can be swapped for a beach towel – after use if towel is returned you will get another token.  Please do not lose your token as the hotel will then charge this to your room bill.

  • A small travel medical kit that includes headache tables, Imodium’s (the rich foods on Zanzibar can affect people with a sensitive stomach) plasters, disinfectant (for small cuts and bruises).  In Stone Town on Zanzibar most emergency medical items can be purchased but having them with you makes more sense.
 
Electricity and plugs

The electricity on Zanzibar is the standard 220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz, as found in South Africa and most places in the world.

The 2 point plugs found in RSA will connect to the electricity plugs found on Zanzibar, but an adaptor will be needed for the 3 point plugs.  Depending on your hotel you might need a British adaptor or a Italian adaptor.

Internet and Email
Most of the hotels in Zanzibar offers internet and emailing services.  Many internet cafes are also available in Stone Town.
 

Baggage restrictions for International flights

Checked baggage is normally limited to 20 kg plus one piece of hand luggage (limited to 5 kg and small enough to fit into the aircraft overhead bins) per passenger.  Excess baggage will be charged by the Airline per additional kilogram carried. 

Dangerous articles must not be carried in baggage.  These include flammable goods, poisons, gas cylinders, corrosives, infectious substances, firearms and explosives.  The carriage of firearms is strictly prohibited.

The following articles may not be carried on board; toy guns, cutlery, knives, scissors, syringes, blades, nail clippers or other sharp objects that could be used as weapons.

Live animals may not be carried as checked baggage.

 
Banking and Tanzanian currency

Tanzania runs on a duel currency economy.  Both Tanzanian Shillings (the local currency of Tanzania) and US$ are accepted.

Before traveling it is best to ensure that you have US$ currency with you, and this will also be easier to obtain than Tanzanian Shillings.  It is best to have US$ cash in small denominations with you, as limited places will accept a credit card or travelers cheques.

The larger resort hotels on Zanzibar do except payments for services at the resorts with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard) do not only rely on your credit card general payments on Zanzibar.

The banking hours (that are based in Stone Town) at most commercial banks are:
Mondays to Fridays - 09h00 to 15h30
Saturdays - 09h00 to 12h00

ATM's are found at most of the Banks in Stone Town, but you may expereince delays as they are off line on many occations. 

 
 

 

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