There are a few different spots but some better then others and mainly along the South East Coast. Paje is one of the most popular lagoons with about 5 sqaure kilometers of perfect sandy bottom, kiteable even in the lowest spring tide. Neaptides in the quarter moons are generally the best teaching and training conditions and work well for the surf trips too. Spring low tides offer butter flat water for freestyle and choppy high tides for strapless riding. Paje is a great spot for kiters of all levels.
THE ISLAND ITSELF
Zanzibar belongs to the United Republic of Tanzania and has a population of around 1.15 million friendly people.
The official local language in Tanzania and in Zanzibar is Kiswahili. In addition to Swahili, English is also an official national language. Many schools teach in English and it is possible to get in touch with the local people in many situations if you can talk English. Nevertheless the locals are excited when tourists pick up some words in Kiswahili on their journey.
Religion is a central topic for many people in Zanzibar.
The island of Zanzibar is dominated by the Islam religion. Approximately 95% of the local population are Muslims. In Stone Town you can find a big number of mosques and also prayer sounds that echo through the streets are part of the cityscape. Besides the mosques there are also Christian institutions and Hindu temples in Zanzibar.
The currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzania Shilling (TZS). U.S. Dollar (USD) are accepted in addition to the Tanzania shilling to pay . Usually you pay for small purchases in Tanzania shillings and such amounts as private hotel bills at the end of the trip in USD .
Current exchange rate (as of October 2014)
€ 1.00 = 2500 TZS = $ 1.13
USD 1.00 = 2250 TZS = 0.88 €
1000 TZS = 0.4 € = $ 0.44
You can not change Tanzania Shilling before getting to Tanzania as it is only available in the country and also the export of currency is prohibited.
Be advised that you can not pay by card in all hotels and restaurants in Tanzania. We always recommend to bring enough Dollar which you can also easily change after your arrival in Tanzania. The amount should be sufficient to pay for the entry visa and first bills. Moreover, it is always advisable to also bring euro notes because you can change them as well on site in Tanzania shillings.
There is also the possibility to withdraw money from ATMs. Please note that you can only get Tanzania Shillings from the vending machines! ATM can only be found in Stone Town, so take out enough cash in Zanzibar Town before continuing your journey to the coast.
UPDATE: There is a ATM machine in Paje now. It works well on many days but can often be found empty in busy tourist season.
When entering Zanzibar you will need a valid passport and a visa. The passport has to be valid for at least 6 months after arrival. The costs are 50 USD when buying your visa in the airport and can be paid via card or in cash (regulations and payment methods change regularly). A normal tourist visa is valid for 90 days and entitles single entry into the country.
With direct entry from Europe compulsory vaccinations are not provided when entering from a yellow fever area (eg neighbors), the evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination from the age of one is required – see www.who.int .
If you plan to rent a car during your trip you should know that you drive on the left side of the road in Tanzania and on Zanzibar. For self-driving an international driving license is required as well as a special Zanzibar Driving Permit. It is always best to have both documents to avoid trouble with the police in street controls. We are happy to provide you with a reliable agency where you can hire well-maintained cars with full insurance.
It is easy and cheap to register a local SIM Card on Zanzibar. There are many small jobs offering this service. With the local providers such as Zantel you can use mobile data in your phone for a small price. Also international calls are much cheaper with the local SIM-Cards. Costs of SIM and registration is about 2 USD.
Code of Tanzania : 00255 / +255
Pharmacies, doctors and hospitals are located in every major city.
MasterCard and VISA are accepted in larger hotels and more touristy facilities. Note that most places add a 5% banking charge to your invoice amount when paying via credit card
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3)