TIPS & HINTS
Heat-lovers (December to February), while Diving Enthusiasts (July-August or February-Marc) for optimal conditions. (Fair warning: the rains do come in mid-March to late May, and again in November.)
CASH – Before travelling we would advise you bring USD notes with you no older than 2013 (anything older is difficult to exchange in Tanzania) in large denominations ($50 & $100) or EURO as they give you the best rates to the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS).
The only place to withdraw cash in USD$ is inside Barclays Bank in Stone Town.
The roads in Zanzibar are fairly decent but often the drivers can be unpredictable. Rental cars are not new and always well maintained! Come with your license, ideally an international one. If you feel adventurous, you can also experience local transport and use the local buses called dala-dala – fair warning they are often packed, noisy and very dusty but very cheap and a real experience! Bikes can very easily be arranged and do not require prior booking.
Risk of Malaria is low in Zanzibar, but not unheard of. Decent health services are available, and quite economical, in Stone Town. Upendo also has access to a trained medical expert in case of emergencies. At Upendo, we maintain the standards of hygiene you would expect in an international class luxury hotel; we can’t promise the same of local shops and cafes. Enjoy the Zanzibari cuisine as you explore the island, but eat at your own risk!
Don’t carry around large amounts of cash, and try not to be ostentatious in displaying wealth. Dress modestly & respectfully in Stone Town (longer pants or skirts and covered shoulders for women, shirts for men).
With over 90 percent of locals abstaining from food or drink between sunrise and sundown. Many small shops and cafes will be closed during the day, and it is appreciated when tourists dress modestly in more urban areas.
Qatar, Kenya Airways, South African Airlines and Air Tanzania all fly to Zanzibar. International airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates run regular flights to Dar. Don’t love those little planes? The ferry is a great option, taking you straight to the heart of Stone Town in as little as 75 minutes. Tickets cost around $35 USD, and you can book here, or buy directly at the port.