GENERAL INFORMATION ZANZIBAR
(a) BUSINESSES OURS
Office hours for government organizations are 07h30 – 15h30 Monday to Friday. On Friday there is a short break (12h00-18h00) for prayers.
Banks open 08h00-16h00 Monday to Friday and 08h00-13h00 on Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Bureau de change open 08h00-20h00 Monday to Saturday
Shops open ‘’around’’ 08h30-13h00 and many re-open at 16h00-18h00
Lying within the tropics, Zanzibar experiences warm weather most of the year, however it can be unpredictable. From December to March when the Northeast monsoon blows it is hot and comparatively dry; February is the hottest month with a maximum average temperature of 290 C (840 F) From June to October is the coolest and driest (South-West monsoon). The average daily temperature in August falls to 210 C (700 F).There are two periods of rains – heaviest in March through May, with lesser rains during the October to November season.
Dress code is an important consideration in this predominantly Muslim society.
Wear loose fitting, non-transparent clothing and do not expose your body. Do not wear bathing costumes, running shorts, tank tops or other revealing clothing in the villages or stone town, beach wear is for the beach only. Topless or nude sunbathing is NOT permitted anywhere in Zanzibar. Clothes should be informal, comfortable and practical.
(d) DRINKING WATER
We recommend you drink only bottle mineral water during your stay on the island. Remember to carry plenty of water with you if joining any tours and excursions to avoid dehydration as many trips are on dry dusty roads and water is not always available in the remote areas.
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts 50hz. Sockets are usually 3pin Square or round type. Please remember to use an adapter for appliances of 110v. If you identify or suspect any electrical faults within your hotel please report this to the reception and/or your hotel representative.
Malaria is endemic in Africa even if by now we manage to control it for more then 90% to Zanzibar, and therefore prophylactics should be taken before, during and after your visit as prescribed by doctor. Rabbies in wild and domestic animals is becoming more widespread. Should you be bitten or scratched by any animal, please seek medical attention immediately. It is advisable not to feed or touch any wild or domestic animals
All hotels have a doctor on call. We hope you will not require these services, but please ensure if you need any medical attention during your stay that you contact the hotel reception or your hotel representative for assistance. Remember to keep all bills and receipts as you may be entitled to reclaim any charges via your insurance on your return. In extreme medical conditions flying doctor services are available from Mombasa and Nairobi.
Holiday Insurance can exclude certain sports and activities, please check your policy very carefully. Please not that any settlements for bills for your personal insurance cover (damage or loss of personal items, personal accident and medical expenses) must be settled locally in Zanzibar and claims made to your insurance company on return to your country.
(h) TIPPING AND TAXES
Tipping is not obligatory – but tips are appreciated
(i) Airport international departure service charge is US$25
(j) Airport domestic service charge is T/Shs 5000.
(k) Port departure service charge is US$5
(l) Tax must be paid in CASH
Swahili is the national language. English and Arabic are widely spoken
(n) PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
1st January – New years day
12th January – Revolution Day
26th April – Union day, Good Friday, Easter Monday
1st May – Labour Day, Prophet Muhammad’s Day
8th August – Peasant Day
9th December – Independence Day
25th December – Christmas Day
26th December – Boxing Day, Eid-el-Fitri, Eid-el-Haj
Although Zanzibar is still a safe island, usual precautions should be taken. Do not carry large sums of money or wear expensive jewellery during your stay. All valuables should be kept in a safe deposit box at the hotel.
Driving is on the left. Please take extra care when crossing or walking along busy roads. You will find that there are not always pavements or sufficient lighting in the evenings and cars do not automatically stop at Zebra crossings.
Do not take photos of sensitive government sites. Always ask permission before taking photographs of local people.