The best of Zanzibar 2023

Frank Neumann


Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean and part of the country Tanzania. The island is located east of the African mainland and northwest of Madagascar. The island is about 90 kilometers long , 30 kilometers wide and consists of several islands, of which the two largest are Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and Pemba. There are also a number of smaller islands, including Mafia Island, Chumbe Island and Latham Island. All of these islands together form the Zanzibar Archipelago.
The island is also known as the Spice Island, is a dream destination for those seeking nature, culture and adventure. The island is located in the Indian Ocean and is part of Tanzania. With its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and exotic landscapes, the island offers a unique vacation experience. The archipelago is also known for its rich history and culture, reflected in its ancient buildings, markets and temples.
Zanzibar offers a wealth of activities for adventurers and nature lovers. Visit the turtle reserves and observe the sea creatures in their daily activities. Dive into the underwater world and discover the colorful coral reefs and exotic fish species. Or wander through the green tea and spice plantations and learn about the history of spice production on the island.
Whether you want to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, get a glimpse of the island’s history and culture, or experience exciting adventures, There is something for everyone here. Visit the island to enjoy an unforgettable vacation experience and get a glimpse of Africa’s unique culture and history.
The most beautiful beaches are located in the northwest of Unguja Island.
This is where we spent our vacation. The drive to the south of the island e.g. to Zanzibar City takes about 1 1/2 hours from the northern tip.

Sansibar Map
Zanzibar map

Best time to travel and weather

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar?

The best time to travel depends on personal preferences and activities. Generally, it can be said that the dry seasons in January and February and from June to October are the best time to visit, as the weather is stable and warm during this period. The rainy season lasts from March to May and there can be heavy rains and strong winds.
The climate on is tropical and humid. The average temperatures are about 27°C to 32°C all year round. The island’s location on the equator ensures plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. However, it is important to note that sudden rain showers can occur during the rainy season. Nevertheless, even in the rainy season it is warm and it does not rain permanently.
In summary, there is no bad time to visit. Just choose the best time for you based on your plans and preferences.

Tips on entry, money, and electricity

Immigration & Visas

To spend your vacation in Zanzibar you have to apply for a visa in advance. If you want to save yourself the stress at the airport, you can do this comfortably from home online. It is best to go to the website of the Tanzanian Immigration Department. The cost per visa is currently 50 US dollars. The visa is mandatory for all visitors. In addition, the vaccination status is checked at the airport upon entry (vaccination card or app).

Money and payment options

The currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling. The current exchange rate is 1 Euro = approx. 2,400 Shillings. But it is very advisable to take also dollars with you. On the one hand, it is a stable currency for the people there, and on the other hand, it is very easy to get along with small denominations as a welcome tip. In the hotel and in some stores in StoneTown, you can also pay by card. However, you should not leave with this claim, but stock up with cash.


On Zanzibar there is 220-240V at 50Hz just like in Germany. Normally, type D and G mains plugs are used here, but many hotels have already converted their sockets to Multinorm, so that Euro plugs can also be used without any problems.
In the evening hours, however, short power outages are to be expected. These are intercepted by most hotels by their own, powerful emergency generators and as a guest you notice almost nothing.

Zanzibar excursion tips

the rock

"The Rock" is a small but very fine restaurant on the east coast of the island. The special thing about this restaurant is not only the very good quality of the food, but the location. The restaurant was built on a rock very close to the coast. At low tide you can reach it on foot. at high tide there is a boat shuttle. However, quality plus exposed location also has its price.

jozani forrest

Jozani National Park or Jozani Forrest is located in the southern part of the main island. It is home to the red Colobus monkeys, which are only found on Zanzibar. There are also many other animals and mahogany trees to admire. It is recommended to book the park in a half day tour with a visit to the restaurant "The Rock". The prices for this are between 50-75 dollars.


Mnemba Island is a beautiful private island in the northeast. The owner of this island is none other than Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has created an exclusive resort here. However, around the island is the playground of many dolphins. Unfortunately, we can't really recommend the snorkeling excursions that are offered. In the meantime, they turn into real hunts for the dolphins.

spice garden

Spice Garden bzw. Gewürz Gärten oder Plantagen gibt es zu Hauf auf Sansibar. Die meisten davon gehören privaten Bauern und sehen eigentlich eher wie natürlich gewachsene Flora aus. Was aber definitiv beeindruckt, ist die schiere Vielfalt. Neben Nelkenbäumen, Kaffee, Vanille, Zitrusfrüchten, Muskat, Zimt gibt es bis auf Apfelbäume fast nichts, was hier nicht wächst.Fast vergleichbar mit
Sri Lanka.
Es empfiehlt sich, Spice Garden in einem Tagesausflug mit Stonetown und Prison Island zu verbinden.

stone town

Stone Town is a small part of the capital Zanzibar. The old part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has its name from the many buildings, which were built from the early 19th century from bright coral limestone. Unfortunately, even today very many buildings are not in the best condition. But a visit to the market, the narrow streets and the former slave market is still worthwhile. As an insider tip, I would like to suggest a visit to one of the many rooftop cafes. These offer a very nice view over the city.

prison island

Prison Island or Changuu Private Island is a small island off Stone Town. It can be reached after a 30-minute boat ride. Actually, this island was never really a prison island. It was used as a quarantine station for yellow fever patients. Today the island is mainly known for its giant tortoises. The Aldabra giant tortoises, which can be up to 198 years old, weigh around 250kg and grow up to 1.22 meters long. Between April and May you can watch the hatching of the turtles.

Hotel recommendation

Riu Palace Zansibar


Nungwi Rd, Nungwi, North Coast Zanzibar 73107, Tansania

Telefon: +255 24 550 1500

One of the top 5 hotels on the island of Zanzibar is the RIU Palace

The hotel is located directly on Kendwa Beach, one of Zanzibar’s dream beaches, almost on the northern tip of the main island of Unguja.
The 5-star resort is located about 66km (1 1/2 hours by car) from the airport. It is built on a slight slope, so you have a beautiful view of the sea from every room.

Rooms range from regular doubles to Jacuzzi suites to exclusive villas. At the highest point is the reception.

The main restaurant, the 3 specialty restaurants as well as the pool and show stage are all down by the sea. Should you have your room at the top of the resort, it is a good workout. A shuttle service is also available for the elderly or more comfortable guests. In addition to a SPA area, there are also many opportunities to engage in sports.

The hotel is an Adults Only hotel. The minimum age for hotel guests is 18 years. Especially worth mentioning is the extremely good service, which is not self-evident in other 5 star hotels.

I can really only recommend this hotel, without ifs and buts.

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