Eco-friendly travel guide to Zanzibar advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
- Air quality: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3/ 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$5 - $55
- Budget per day: US$40 - $100
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Zanzibar is a group of islands that are under the responsibility of the Tanzanian government. Typically, it is known as Unguja. It is famous for a lot of things, including its wildlife. It is not uncommon to see people booking tickets and preparing to spend their holiday on this island because there is a lot.
While you are enjoying the wildlife on the island, you should ensure to stay quiet so that you would not frighten the animals. They are particular about the animals and do not want a situation that would make them extinct.
Asides from wildlife, the people of this island, care about their natural environment, so one way of traveling responsibly is to ensure that you do not pluck any flowers or plants as it can get you on the locals’ wrong side.
Other ways include:
- If you want to settle down properly on this island, you should mingle with the locals, including buying their local products. All these are ways to ensure that you have a responsible trip.
- Do not litter
- Use public transport as much as you can
- Avoid use plastic
- Use metal straws
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality of any environment usually determines if it is conducive to living. Hence, it is not out of place to see foreigners curious about the air quality and pollution factors in their destination city.
The idea is to have an enjoyable environment, and not getting sick while you are on holiday. Being sick in a new environment is usually uncomfortable as you do not know how things work there, and you would not know how to navigate and get comfortable.
However, if Zanzibar is your destination for the holidays, you should not have any worries as the air quality is good, so the chance of getting sick due to air pollution is low.
Respect the Culture
It will be wrong not to talk about how to be respectful towards the locals of the area you are visiting while on a trip as they can either make or mar your holiday.
The locals of Zanzibar are friendly, but you must be respectful of their culture and traditions. One way of doing so is by dressing conservatively. Since the people live by the Islamic religion, you should know that they do not dress provocatively. The only way you can wear sleeveless or shorts is if you are visiting the beach.
It is considered indecent if your shoulders or knees are showing when you dress up. Thus, be mindful of your clothing, and you would not have issues with anyone while on holiday.
Littering is also frowned upon on this island, so refraining from such an act is a way of being respectful there. They pride themselves on having a clean environment, so you should also contribute your little quota by appropriately throwing your trash.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Here are some places to visit in Zanzibar to have an exciting stay:
- Old Fort: It is an ancient building on the island, also known as Arab Fort. Many people love to hold events at this spot, especially as it is spacious. It has a conducive atmosphere that makes it easy for people to associate. You would see many vendor stands at this place that makes it easy for you to try the local meals.
- Mnemba Island: If you are a fan of snorkeling and diving, you should visit this island on Zanzibar. It usually gives an exceptional experience that you will remember for years. The clear water is always inviting, and we know that you cannot resist the urge.
- Hamamni Persian Baths: If you are curious to know where the sultan used to bath back in the days, you should visit this place when on the island. There are tour guides to take you around the building and give you information that you do not know about Zanzibar. It was built as a public bath for the sultan between 1870 -1888 and stopped being used in 1920.
- Cheetah's Rock: It is a place for animals and wildlife lovers as you get to see many animals that you have never seen in real life. Upon closer observation, you will notice that the animals are well-kept, and this pleases many people. It is a place that leaves you happy when you visit.
- Zanzibar Butterfly Centre: Some people always have a stratified smile when they look at butterflies. If you want to experience the same feeling, you should visit this garden when in Zanzibar. You will see an array of butterflies that will keep you compelled.
- House of Wonders (Beit Al Ajaib): As a former palace of the sultan, you are sure to see information that entails the island’s wonders. It is never a mistake to visit this place as it would help you learn more about Zanzibar, which allows you to get more comfortable. It mainly has information on the history of stone town, the capital of the island.
- Kidichi Spice Farms: Zanzibar has an array of food options for its visitors, and it will not be wrong to visit one of its farms to know about the different spices and fruits available on the island. We know that food enthusiasts and chefs would love this island, so add it to the list of places you need to visit.
- Kuza Cave: It is a cave that captures the attention of foreigners on the island. There are people on the ground to give you a tour of this place, and you also get to enjoy local music. It is right to appreciate the locals with a token as the money is used to support schools and other community projects.
- Baraka Natural Aquarium – Nungwi: It is an aquarium that stands out on the island. It allows you to feed the turtles and even swim with them! It is always a sight to behold, and we would not want you to miss this opportunity when in Zanzibar.
- Kiwengwa Caves: If you are a lover of exploration, you should visit this cave when in Zanzibar, and we know that you would not regret it.
The island of Zanzibar might not be huge but it is not small either. The best areas to explore include Paje, Jambiani, and Nungwi. Zanzibar is known for its mesmerising beaches and happening beach parties. Nungwi takes the lead on these things and it has most of the famous resorts and hotels as well. There are so many surrounding islands to explore as well where you can enjoy different types of water sports. Other than that markets, landmarks, historical sites are also great places to explore in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar might not have too many city parks but there is a decent collection of them. Some of the notable ones are:
- Forodhani Park: This beautiful city park offers the view of the sea and also has a centuries old fort inside it. Lots of greenery and dedicated paths for walking or jogging are an added plus. It is located in the historic city of Stone town.
- Jamhuri Gardens: Another public park right in the middle of Zanzibar town. It has a playing area as well so if you have children accompanying you on the trip, this park will be the right choice.
- Zanzibar Park: This park that is accompanied with a zoo, a swimming area (segregated so both genders can enjoy in peace), a play area is the perfect place to enjoy a day out in Zanzibar without getting bored.
A national park may be set aside for purposes of public recreation and enjoyment or because of its historical or scientific interest. Most of the landscapes and their accompanying plants and animals in a national park are kept in their natural state. There are some national parks in Zanzibar which include:
- Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park: This is by far the most popular national park in Zanzibar and is known for red colobus monkeys which live in the park, along with tree hyrax and bush babies. These monkeys are known as one of the most rarest species of Monkeys in Africa and the world so when visiting the park you have to extra careful about not littering or disturbing them in any way.
- Chumbe Island Park: As the name suggests, this park is located in the Chumbe island and is home to one of the most beautiful coral gardens in the world. The reef attracts huge numbers of fish, turtles and dolphins, which are perhaps best viewed by donning a snorkel and getting close to their natural habitat. It is worth noting that scuba diving is strictly forbidden, though.
- Kiwengwa / Pongwe Forest Reserve: The reserve's rich biodiversity means that it is home to a large number of animal and bird species. The distinctive green wings and red crest of the Fischer's turaco can be seen amidst its trees, as can the white belly and black wings of the crowned hornbill.
The island of Zanzibar is home to many water bodies, so you know that you will sea beaches, and you will have a pleasurable time exploring time. Sometimes, you may be confused about which beach to visit as they are all unique in different ways and promise something special.
Some of your beach options on Zanzibar:
- 'Jambiani Beach': It is located in Jambiani village of the island, and it is always open at all times of the day. Thus, you do not need to worry about trying to find the perfect time to visit. There are many exciting activities to do on this beach, including snorkeling. You can also interact with the locals and learn new things. We know that you would pick up new beneficial knowledge when you visit this beach.
- Paje: It has an environment that people always appreciate, and its activities are not limited. If you love to kitesurf, you can do it at this beach. The friendliness of the locals will make you have a splendid time.
Other beaches include:
- Pongwe Beach
- Kendwa Beach
- Matemwe Beach
Zanzibar's landmarks might not be too renowned around the world like the Eiffel Tower from Paris or the Statute of liberty of New York or the leaning tower of Pisa etc but it does have plenty of landmarks that are worth visiting. Some of these include:
- Old Fort
- Changu Island
- Forodhani Park
- Stone Town
- Kizimkazi Mosque
- Fukuchani Ruins
- Mbweni Ruins
- Christ church Cathedral
- Zanzibar Excursions
- Hamami Persian Baths
If you are in Zanzibar, there are different museums you can visit. Some of them are:
- Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral: It tells of the slave era in Tanzania. It is a special place for both the locals and foreigners as it would help everyone get a clearer understanding of what happened back in the days. Some people say that exploring this place makes them feel like they are in the slave trade era, and commendations are given to the tour guides as they thoroughly know their work and provide adequate information.
- Freddie Mercury Museum: We can say that this is a private museum that gives information about Freddie Mercury. However, some people complain about its cost as it is not free to visit.
You will see an element of different cultures in Zanzibar cuisine. From Bantu, Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British and even Chinese cuisine. For example pIlaf (Pulao) and Biryani which are staple dishes in Pakistan and India are also amongst the most popular dishes of Zanzibar. Hence you will find that the food in Zanzibar has a unique yet a familiar flavour as well. You will love the food and the key is to have an open mind and a diverse palette.
Traditional Local Restaurants
A typical local restaurant would be the best place to eat the traditional meals as only a local of the island can make these meals perfectly.
Some of the traditional local restaurants you should try in Zanzibar are:
- Loulou: It is one of those local restaurants with the majority of their menu consisting of seafood. If you love eating seafood, you know that this should be your go-to eatery when on the island. They have a menu filled with tasty options, so you know that you would have a fulfilling time at this place. It also has a conducive environment for relating to others, so it is a complete package. Their meals would always leave you licking your fingers as it is well prepared.
- The Rock Zanzibar: If you want to be mesmerized by different food options, this is the place you should visit. It has a calm environment that appeals to many people, and their meals are always delicious. It is not big, so you have to be strategic about the times you visit.
Vegetarian and Vegan
We have noticed that vegetarians always find it harder to get a place to eat than others, as many cities do not have select restaurants for their taste preferences. However, it is not so on Zanzibar as there are some vegan restaurants.
At these restaurants, you are sure to enjoy their meals and have a relaxing time. The vegetarian restaurants are:
- Joshi’s Vegetarian Food Fort: One of the best things you would enjoy at this restaurant, aside from the meals, is interacting with Josh, the owner. He is a friendly person who is always ready to share stories that keep people captivated. He ensures that his meals meet the preference of vegetarians, and you would notice that the place is always bubbling. The energy here is always positive and contagious.
- Krishna Food House: There are numerous options that this restaurant, and you will have a good time. The place is always clean, so it appeals to many people. You will also be able to connect with many of the locals here.
Zanzibar has a great street food scene. Not only is it diverse but its extremely delicious. A great way to know more about a place and its people is to try out its local street food. Some of the street food items worth trying include:
- Zanzibar Pizza: More like a galette (savoury crepe) than a pizza, a Zanzibar pizza begins as a small ball of dough that is thinned out then piled with your choice of ingredients (such as chicken or beef) followed by onion, capsicum, an egg, a triangle of Happy Cow cheese, a dollop of mayonnaise, and chilli sauce (if you like it hot).
- Biryani And Pilau: Thought to have originated in the Indian Subcontinent, biryani and pilau (also known as pilaf and plov) are rice dishes cooked with a mixture of spices such as nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and coriander. The key difference between the two is that biryani is cooked separately to the meat dishes that typically accompany it. Pilau, on the other hand, is cooked in the same pot as the meat (or meat broth), allowing the rice to absorb the juices. Both are delicious.
- Mishkaki: Marinated in a blend of spices and sauce, then grilled to charred perfection, mishkaki (meat skewers) are an ubiquitous Zanzibarian snack food, often seen grilling in alleyways of an afternoon. Buy them straight off the grill to ensure they’re fresh.
- Urojo Soup: Also known as Zanzibar mix, this mash-up of a dish typically comprises a bowl of tangy, flour-based soup full of crispy bhajias (a fried, pakora-like snack), fried mashed potatoes and topped with a spoonful of coconut chutney, a dash of chilli, and a scoop of cassava shavings. It’s not particularly healthy, but it’s a great filler.
- Mandazi: These triangular ‘Swahili doughnuts’ are essentially deep-friend balls of dough, lightly sweetened and occasionally seasoned with a hint of cardamom. Yum.
One thing you should know about Zanzibar is that alcoholic drinks are allowed even though many of them are Muslims. They have an array of drink options, but you should know that they typically import wines from South Africa.
Coffee is a typical drink on the island, and we are sure that you must have tasted it before. However, you can check if the coffee on Zanzibar is different from what you have taken before.
If you are a fan of spirits, you should take Konyagi, the local gin on the island. If you have never tried gins before, it would be best to stay away from this drink.
There are different beer options on this island, and it would be best to ask a local for the best recommendation as it can be confusing to pick one. One of the best ways to relate with a local is over a drink, so you should not pass up the opportunity as it also helps you relax.
There are different discussions to determine if the tap water in Zanzibar is satisfactory for drinking, and people have different schools of thought. According to some people, the water is perfect for drinking since it is chlorinated. However, it has some strains of local E.coil, which will affect those who are not used to the water.
It is not shocking that another school of thought would argue that drinking the water in Zanzibar is harmful. Thus, people ask what to do concerning drinking when on the island.
If you go to Zanzibar people, it is best to use the tap water for brushing your teeth or other purposes, but do not drink it as it would be best to buy bottled water. Understandably, buying bottled water may add extra expenses to your budget, but it helps ensure that you stay in perfect health.
In some hotels, there are dispensers that purify the water for drinking, which serves as a plus. The idea is to ensure that people do not directly drink tap water to not trigger anything in their body system.
If your preference in getting food is from organic cafes, here are some of the options you have when in Zanzibar:
- Shanti Café: Some people might have an off idea about eating at an organic café, but we know that this place will change the perception as the meals are delicious and satisfactory. Its location is also beautiful and strategic as it is on a beach. Thus, there is a sense of calm as you are eating. It is also affordable as the prices are not high, so it is not surprising that it is a top choice.
- Café Turquoise: It is a warm and cozy place with different options that leave you drooling. Since it has a conducive and perfect atmosphere, many people love eating here, and some even lose track of time. It is a great place for interacting and establishing connections as well.
- Lazuli Café: There is almost nothing you desire that you cannot get from this café, so it is a favorite of many people on the island. One of its perks is that it is affordable.
A brewery is typically a place that produces drinks. We know that some foreigners are curious to find the different breweries in a city, appreciating the various beverages.
One brewery in Zanzibar is the Tanzania Breweries Limited. It is the oldest and largest brewery company in Tanzania and has branches spread out over the country, although its headquarter is not in Zanzibar.
It has been around for a long time as it was established in 1930, and it has not let go of its high standard as it always produces high quality and premium drinks that leave people in a happy mood.
The different beers from this brewery are top options in the country and on Zanzibar, so you should try to enjoy it while there. Typically, some locals would offer any of the drinks to a foreigner as a form of friendship, and they believe that conversations would flow from there.
This brewery is one of the significant selling points of the country, and they always ensure not to drop their standard.
There are so many activities to do in Zanzibar for example:
- Wind Surfing
- Jet Skiing
- Wake Boarding
- Water Skiing
- Kite Surfing
- Cliff Diving
- Scuba Diving
Yoga and Retreats
If you are a yogi, we are sure that you are familiar with the term yoga retreat and would not mind attending one while in Zanzibar. The idea is to be with people that share the love for yoga is a place away from your home, which in the case of foreigners would be their hotel or anywhere they are lodging.
You get to engage in different activities that are not your regular everyday pattern. Typically, these activities would help you relax the mind. The goal is to have a calmer mind and be happier when you are back.
Different yoga retreats are usually organized in Zanzibar, and you are welcome to join any of them if you desire. Since the locals are always friendly, we have no doubts that you would be comfortable going on a retreat with them.
Some people may encounter challenges as they do not know how to get adequate information about the retreats. This is why you should be friends with the locals so that you would always get information.
Everyone wishes to be comfortable, but it may not be easy to get this when visiting a new place as you are not familiar with the terrain. This is why we always encourage people to make adequate plans and preparation for accommodation once you conceive the thoughts of visiting a new place.
When traveling, the goal is to be happy and make memories. However, this will not be possible if you do not have proper accommodation plans. Understandably, some people may have doubts about paying online before arriving in the city. In such a case, research and know the accommodation option you desire, then pay for it when you get to the city.
The idea of researching different accommodation options is to know the best suitable one for your budget so that you will not be stranded. It helps in proper planning as running out of cash is one horror that many foreigners do not wish to encounter.
We know that having proper plans for accommodation is one of the first steps to enjoying your holiday.
If you do not know where to stay or lodge while in Zanzibar, we recommend staying in a sustainable hotel, which is also known as a green hotel. It is a way of traveling responsibly, as you know that the facilities owned by these hotels would not have any adverse effect on the environment.
Some green hotels in Zanzibar are:
- Park Hyatt Zanzibar: There are different rooms at this hotel, and we are sure that one of them would be within your accommodation budget. The cleanliness here is highly commendable, and some people say that it is next to none. If you ever want to cancel your booking at this hotel, it is free. It is in the island’s capital, and has a pool where people can relax.
- Zawadi Hotel Zanzibar: Some people have dreams of lodging in a place that gives them an ocean view. If you share such an idea, you should stay at this hotel when in Zanzibar. The staff speak different languages to ensure proper communication, and many amenities are in place for convenience.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you do not have a high budget for accommodation, one of your best options while in Zanzibar is to lodge at a hostel or guesthouse as they are usually cheaper.
Some of these options are:
- Kimte Beach Guesthouse: One perk of this guest house is that it is at a strategic location, so you can access different places. Although the rooms are small since it is a guest house, it does not cancel the fact that they are always clean, and you will enjoy the environment. The view is also relaxing as it is on a beach, and you can engage in different activities.
- Lost & Found Hostel: different options are available at this hostel as you can lodge in either a strictly male or female dorm, so decide to stay in a mixed dormitory; it depends on your preference. The bunk beds are usually comfortable, and we know that you will not regret your stay there. It is close to many important places on this island, so your navigation process will be easy.
Some people say that it is more expensive to lodge in an apartment. Still, we know that it is the preference of others, so we cannot help but include it in the available accommodation options in Zanzibar.
Understandably, lodging at an apartment might give you a feel of home, so some of the apartments in Zanzibar are:
- Residence Gadea Zanzibar: Lodging at this place makes many people happy because of the ambiance. Asides from the comfortable rooms, you also get a garden where you can relax and unwind while interacting with other people. Also, there is a pool that promises more relaxation, and customers at this apartment get to enjoy free Wi-Fi. The prices vary on the type of room you pick, so we cannot say a specific amount.
- Nyumbani Residence: It is situated in Jambiani village and is a beautiful place to stay in Zanzibar. It is not far from a beach, and they ensure to treat all customers like royalty. The convenient accessibility of this apartment is one of its pluses.
Some people are familiar with the idea of Couchsurfing, while others are not. We do not know the category you fall under, but allow us to explain it in detail. The idea here is to put up in the house of a local instead of paying for accommodation while in a new place. Yes, you do not get to pay for the locals’ home, so you can save costs as you do not need an accommodation budget.
It is an initiative that has been welcomed by many people, especially those who travel on a tight budget. However, you should know that Couchsurfing does not work everywhere. Although the Couchsurfing idea works in Zanzibar, you should know that you also need to always put in an effort to please your host local as that is the only way to have a comfortable stay.
Some people usually have second thoughts about Couchsurfing, and it is understandable. If you are open to this idea, you should try it when you travel to Zanzibar.
Some people love to camp when in a new place, and others might find it weird since you do not know the terrain properly. However, we cannot write off this idea as it would be wrong to assume that it is impossible. After all, you can conquer many feats if you are friendly with the locals.
One tip about doing things in a new place is to bond with many of the locals so that they would adequately coach you on the dos and don’ts. Once everything is in place, it would be like that area is your second home.
When it concerns camping, it is a thing that people do when in Zanzibar. It is almost similar to yoga retreats as you need to leave your comfort zone and be in the midst of others. The experience is always exciting, and the thrill is something that many do not want to miss.
If you love camping, ensure that you are on the lookout for camping information while on the island.
How to Get There
If you are sure that you want to travel somewhere, the next reasonable thing to do is find out how you can get there. After all, you do not think that a form of magic would happen, transporting you to your destination.
The ideal thing for any foreigner who wishes to travel to do is check for the various means of transportation that can get to their destination city. After getting them, you should check for the ones available in your current city so that you will know how to navigate your movement.
Sometimes, there may be no direct means of transportation from your location to your destination, so you need to check for other cities or countries you need to reach before getting a direct means.
The process might not be easy, but reaching there is usually the motivation as you get to accomplish the reason you wanted to travel there. Always ensure not to overlook this step while making preparations.
People say that it is easier to fly when traveling, so we see people opting for air when traveling to Zanzibar. Fortunately, there is an airport on the island, so you can fly down there directly. However, we cannot assure you that you would get a flight from your current location to Zanzibar as it is dependent on your proximity to the island.
If you are within Tanzania, you can quickly get a flight that takes you to the island. The view when flying is usually one that you will remember for a long time. Those in East African countries can also get a direct flight to Zanzibar as its airport has different flights that connect straight without any hassle. If you are not within East Africa, you would need to get a flight to any East African country before you getting a direct flight to Zanzibar.
When using air to Zanzibar, you will fly over mountain Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, as it is in Tanzania as well.
Using a bus is a common means of traveling, and we see people opting for it, especially as it is cheaper than using air. However, we want you to know that it is not every time you can use a bus for traveling, as it is dependent on road networks.
Public service vehicles available are minibusses only and private taxis also known as “dala dala” to move people. It is also possible to rent the whole minibus if you happen to be many.
It is not out of place that some people consider using a train to reach their destination. Some people may argue or wonder why anyone would want to travel on a train, especially as it is slower than other means of transportation. However, it is the preference of others, and you need to respect their decision.
The same way using a bus is dependent on road networks is the same way it works for a train, but it also goes further as there is the need for a railway connection. If there is no railway, you cannot use a train to reach your destination.
Typically, it is impossible to see trains connecting different continents, so you need to be close to your destination before using a train. However, you cannot use a train to Zanzibar as there is no road network, so there is no hope for a railway connection.
The same way a bus should not be on your list of transport means to reach Zanzibar is the same way you should eliminate the idea of using a train.
Sometimes, a person may not have the means of reaching a place and would desire to hitchhike. The idea of hitchhiking is to get a ride with someone else who is headed in that direction. So you do not need to bother about the transport fee.
As a traveler, it is understandable if traveling costs are becoming high and above your budget. Thus, the reasonable thing is to find ways of minimizing, and that would be through hitchhiking.
Sometimes, a person stays on the road and hails down drivers, hoping that one would stop and take them to their destination. However, you know that this would not be possible in Zanzibar since there is no road connection down there. Thus, people begin to wonder if it is possible to hitchhike to Zanzibar or not.
The concept of hitchhiking to Zanzibar is not impossible, as you can go to the seaport and try to hitchhike on a ferry going to the island. If you are lucky, they can carry you for free.
Since there is no road network to Zanzibar, it is almost as if the only way to reach there is via an airport. However, people seem to forget that since it is an island, there would be seaports, and you can use a ferry there.
The official means of reaching Zanzibar is either through the airport or a seaport. Some people are scared of traveling through water bodies, so we understand if you do not have this means of transportation as a top choice.
However, some people do not mind using it, and we are sure that you would have an exceptional experience. If it is your first time traveling via water, the thrill will be consuming, and you would have a happy smile on your face.
The seaport is in Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar. You can either take a taxi from the port or walk. However, foreigners would not know their way around if they decide to trek. You can only do this after understanding your terrain.
It is one thing to know how to reach Zanzibar, but it is another thing to understand how to move around on the island. You should know that there would be a significant difference from your home city, so you should not assume that everything would be the same.
It is ideal for you to research and know how people move around on this island to not look lost while you are there. Yes, you are a foreigner, but it does not always have to be noticeable.
Some people go for the typical method of befriending a local and getting information from them on how to move around. Others use a day or two to observe how people do things, and they absorb into the environment. Whatever method you decide to use, ensure that you correctly understand how to move around; else, you would experience challenges and difficulties.
Do not hesitate always to ask questions and clear your doubts if you are confused about anything.
Walking is one of the easiest ways of moving around, irrespective of the town or village in Zanzibar. One common feature about the cities and villages on this island is that they are small, so you would not have much distance to cover.
Stone Town is the capital of the island, but it is also small. Many of the locations are of walkable distances, so using your leg to move around is one of the viable options.
While walking, you get to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, and you can also meditate. The only complaint people have when it concerns walking is that it can be noisy and might disturb your thoughts.
However, you would not have to contend with such issues if you move away from the noisy areas. Typically, foreigners would want to take pictures while walking around. You should seek permission from a local before involving them in your photos, or they will take offense to it. If you approach them politely, they can also help in snapping you.
One way people employ to move around in different cities is to cycle with a bicycle, so you will see them looking for places where they can rent bikes.
We would not say that it is impossible to do this in Zanzibar, but it is not something that we would recommend a foreigner to do as you are not used to the roads or the driving system.
Typically, the roads on this island are narrow, so it is not easy to ride or cycle on it if you do not correctly know the terrain. Also, the roads get busy, and it is not considered safe for a foreigner. It will be better for a local who knows the area to cycle than a foreigner.
However, suppose you are an experienced biker and insist on cycling while on the island, we would recommend that you get your safety kits to be adequately prepared for any mishap. In that case, it is best to never cycle without your helmet or shin guard.
If you want to use an electronic vehicle in Zanzibar, you need to rent one from a rental company. We cannot say the price of renting a scooter as it varies depending on the rental, but you should have adequate cash.
You should know that since a scooter is an electronic vehicle, you also need to observe the same law as regular car drivers. Thus, you would need to obtain a driving permit when using a scooter on this island. It is cheap to get a license, and most of the rental companies help foreigners to ensure that this is possible.
It is best to always have this permit on you as there are different checkpoints, and you do not want to get into trouble with the local authorities. Some people feel that it is stressful to carry it around, but it is best to be safe than sorry.
You also need to study the roads and be sure that you can drive on it before using an electronic vehicle.
The public bus in Zanzibar, a common means of moving around, is called Dala Dalas. Since it is affordable, you can be sure that everyone would be rushing for it, so it is sometimes a hassle before you can get on it.
Different Dala Dalas go to various locations, so you would need the help of a local to figure out which of them you can use to get to where you desire. However, the conductors are also helpful as they call out their destination or would let you know if they are going your way or not.
If you are in a rush, you may want to reconsider using a Dala Dalas, as its many stops makes it slow. It is always stopping to either pick or drop people, and there is also no specific number of persons it is to carry, so it is always jam-packed.
It is quite an experience for foreigners who are not used to such a system, but you will figure it out with time.
Tram, Train and Subway
Although there might be no railway for you to get a train in reaching Zanzibar, that does not cancel the thoughts of having a railway within the island.
One of the means that people use to move around in Zanzibar is with a train, and it has been efficient over the years. History says that Zanzibar was one of the first cities to get a railway in East Africa, so you know that it is not a new system.
However, everyone can agree that it is slow to use a train, so people are not rushing to get on it. Those who do are not in a hurry would not mind using a train, especially as the pricing is affordable.
While on a train, you get more time to look around and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. If you do not understand how the train system works, you should ask questions, and one of the locals would be glad to put you through. After all, someone who asks questions would always be on the right track.
Sustainable shopping is a way of buying items that contribute to the improvement of the environment. These items are usually eco-friendly, and it is encouraged that foreigners in any place should patronize or buy into the idea of such a shopping system.
You would see that the locals of a place usually sell a range of sustainable items, and you will require something. By patronizing them, you are not only contributing to the environment, but you are also improving their economy as you are growing their business. The sellers would be appreciative that you patronized them.
You will notice that there are many food markets on the island. After all, how else do you expect the locals to feed if there are no food markets?
The food markets in Zanzibar are almost similar to the food markets you would find in other places. The only difference being in the things they sell, as some ingredients you would see at Zanzibar food markets cannot be found in any other area.
If you love local meals on the island, you should visit their food markets and buy those special spices.
A flea market is where you can purchase previously owned items, and such markets are in Zanzibar. It is a way to get a product or goods at a lesser price since it is not brand new.
These markets operate the same way as a typical market, and the sellers are usually friendly, as everyone is striving to ensure that they win the heart of the customer.
There is almost nothing you desire that you cannot find at such a market as sellers are selling different goods, awaiting your patronage.
Second Hand Stores
It is easy to mistake generalize a second-hand store and a flea market since they sell goods and products that are not brand new. However, the setting is usually different, as a second-hand store does not have a typical market setting.
Many second-hand stores are all over Zanzibar as people have realized that they can make a living from sales of second-hand items. Interestingly, the sellers go a further mile to thoroughly inspect their goods before putting it up for purchase. This is to ensure that they are in a perfect state for the buyer.
The idea of eco-fashion entails that we now have sustainable clothes. People now design clothing items from sustainable materials, so they contribute to the environment and eco-system.
There have been arguments on if this is possible or not, but we are happy to tell you that it is a feasible idea, and people countries have bought into it, including Zanzibar.
Others may feel that eco-fashion is not fashionable, but the fact that models use it on the runway invalidates such claims.
It would help if you patronize sellers of eco-fashion clothing items when in Zanzibar.
Many organizations in Zanzibar have tasked themselves with ensuring that items that can be reused do not go to waste. You see them going around picking up things that they believe are valuable and recycling them into something useable.
It helps to ensure proper waste management, and it is also an eco-friendly system. It is not wrong to say that the people of this island are big on recycling, so you can play your quota in helping these recycling companies when on the island.
If you believe that an item can be recycled, you should send it to them or keep until they come around.
They say that there is a decentralized system of waste management in Zanzibar, as people collect waste from houses daily and take it to a site where it is sorted. The dry wastes that can be recycled are sent to recyclers, while wet waste is left as composite. It is a system that has proven efficient, and it gave birth to strict laws against littering.
You should know that this island prides itself on being clean and would penalize anyone who litters and goes against the rules. Thus, it would help if you act right while there.
Work and Study Abroad
It is possible to see students studying and working on this island. Some do it to keep busy during their free time, while others use it to get funds that would augment their fees or use it to take care of their expenses.
Whatever the reason might be why a student wants to work, what matters is that it is allowed in Zanzibar, which comes as a relief to many people. If you are looking for a place where you can work while schooling, it is not out of place to consider this island.
If you are an international student who wishes to experience Zanzibar and wants to do so through an exchange program, it is dependent on your current school as you need to check if they partner with any school on the island.
We cannot say the schools that have openings for exchange programs as it is dependent on many factors, but we know that some schools in Zanzibar are open to this idea, so it is left to you to check in your current school. If yes, you get the opportunity to stay in Zanzibar for a while and learn.
The idea of au pair makes it easy for some people to get a job as it allows locals to open up positions to those in need.
What makes it easier and accessible is that there are many websites online where people can register and search for au pair jobs on the island. Those with job offers register on these websites, and job searchers go through, searching for the most favorable.
It has come in handy for many people, so we cannot commend the system. If you are in dire need of a job, it is something you should consider.
One of the reasons people visit another place is to volunteer and make an impact if you do not know. If you decide to do analyze the number of persons in a place for volunteering jobs, you will be shocked at the result.
If you are reading this and love the idea of volunteering in a new place, you should search for the available volunteering opportunities and have one in mind before traveling. You should know that it is selfless service, so be sure that encounter discomfort. However, it should not make you relent your efforts.