Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of cloth I need?
- Comfortable, light clothes for summer
- Comfortable shoes and beach sandals
- Hat or cap, sunglasses, sun cream, after sun cream
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb, deodorant
- Towel, toilet paper
- Swimwear (most of the lodges have decent pools)
- insect repellent
- Camera, film or memory cards, batteries
- Fold-up umbrella or lightweight raincoat
- General medication (against headaches, dehydration, diarrhea…)
Modesty of clothing is expected for man and woman in all Muslim areas. Women can wear shorts, but not to short and only around bungalows and on the beach. In villages and towns trousers are much more appropriate. In case of shorts women should carry a sari / sarong to cover legs, because showing too much skin might cause offence, especially in all Muslim areas. For that reason also your shirt or blouse shouldn’t be sleeveless. You can wear your swim wear on the beach, from bungalow or beach hotel to the beach, if they are situated close to the beach, but it has to be normal swim wear. Nudity or topless is still not accepted and causes offence. Scarves must be worn when entering mosque. In reality Muslim people on Zanzibar believe that mosque should be visited only by Muslim people. Non-Muslim shouldn’t enter unless there is a disaster and mosque is the only safe place to go. Do not bring too much luggage. Most of the hotels, beach resorts and bungalows have laundry service.
What kind of accommodation there is?
It depends what you want, what you prefer. All major cities in Tanzania have different kind of accommodation from guest house excellent luxury hotels. On island there is also all kind of accommodation from simple bungalows to luxury beach resorts and hotels. It’s your choice. We can make reservation in different kind of safari lodges, hotels, campsites, bungalows or guesthouses.
What kind of religion people practice on Zanzibar?
Most of the inhabitants of Zanzibar are Muslims. Mainly you will find mosques but also some catholic churches. Muslims are quite strict but at the same time they are very tolerant and friendly to non-Muslims.
What should I know not to offend them?
You should dress modest. Proper clothing means no shorts, no short skirts and sleeveless tops or even topless on the beach. You should wear long trousers and you shoulders should be covered. If you not sure how to behave in mosque then better not to enter. Wait for a moment when you can ask on of the locals to explain you or even better to enter with you and show you were is restricted area. Scarves are obligatory for women to cover the head. Always ask if you are allowed to enter, because in some mosque they don’t allow non-Muslim or tourists in general to enter.
Where can I go for shopping?
The best place to do shopping is Stone town there is enormous number of souvenir shops and street vendors. Another possibility is on your Spice tour, where you can buy species, herbs, massage-oils, natural lotions, perfumes etc. for much lower price then in shops in Stone town. Most of the beach hotels, bungalows and beach resorts have a small souvenir shops or they are located close to one of them, but selection is much smaller and prices usually higher.
How about laundry?
In most of the hotels, lodges, bungalows, resorts you can find inexpensive laundry service. In case you are staying at same accommodation for 2 or more nights, you can bring fewer luggages with you and use laundry service. Check price list before deciding for laundry service. Most of the laundry is dried outdoors, so in rainy season it might take a little bit longer. Keep in mind that women’s underwear is excluded from laundry list, so bring sufficient amount of underwear or detergent to do laundry by yourself.
What can I buy as souvernir?
Most popular souvenirs are: postcards, woodcarvings, sculptures, masks, traditional instruments, gemstone “Tanzanite”, batics, leather goods, simple jewellery, great variety of local crafts, textiles, paintings, maps, books… You should look for Makonde carvings or Tingatinga paintings. On Zanzibar also chests and Meerschaum pipes are quite popular. Please notice that items considered as national treasure or products made of endangered species of wildlife are strictly prohibited. If you are caught with that kind of items you will prosecuted.
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