Magically placed in the Indian Ocean, some 36 km from Dar es Salaam Tanzania, Zanzibar is a spectacular island whose magnificent beaches make for some of the region’s best beach destinations.

The beauty of this famous island lies in its unique combination of rich cultural heritage, forests and spectacular beaches. The southern beaches are more popular among those on Zanzibar holidays, as the northern area of the coast has been slightly damaged by the construction of tourist resorts.

Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar, is the cultural heart of the island. Indeed very little has changed for hundreds of years as can be testified by grand Arab houses, crumbly mosques.

Most of the buildings in Zanzibar were built by the Oman sultans in the 19th century when the island was a key trading centre in the Indian Ocean.

Getting There:
KLM (together with Kenya Airways), Air Mauritius, Gulf Air and Ethiopia Airlines presently offer scheduled flights to Zanzibar. It is also possible to reach Zanzibar from the nearby city of Dar es Salaam, which has regular scheduled flights to Zanzibar, as well as small charters and fast boats.

Zanzibar weather:
The best time for Zanzibar holidays is from July to March. However, the short rains in November can make the island quite humid, though this should not worry you a lot since most Zanzibar luxury hotels have air-conditioning.

The heavy rains usually fall from April to June and this is not a good time to visit the island. January and February are the hottest months with daytime temperatures varying between 26 and 28 degrees centigrade.

Quick Facts About Zanzibar:
Time: GMT/UTC +3

Population: 982,000 (2002, Tanzania census)

Area: 1464 sq km

Seasons: Wet season (March to May), shorter rainy season  (November); dry season (December to February and June to October).

Telephone: +259

Capital: Stone Town

Visa: All visitors must have visas except nationals of Commonwealth countries who do not require visas unless they are citizens of the UK, Canada, Nigeria or India.

Language: Swahili, English

Currency: Tanzania shillings (Tsh)