Located just 20 miles from mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar is not only the place where Swahili culture was born, but also represents a melting pot of other cultures; African, Persian, Middle East and Asian; a legacy of colonialism. In fact, around 1840, the sultan of Oman moved to Zanzibar and established Stone Town as the capital of Oman. It wasn’t until after a communist-led revolution that Zanzibar established itself as a republic and linked with mainland Tanzania to become the United Republic of Tanzania.
Today Zanzibar is mostly populated by ethnic Swahili people, but the Arab influence is still evident in their culture; the food, the architecture, and the religion. Islam has become the most dominant religion on the island and the Zanzibari (Zanzibar people) are some of the most welcoming and polite people in the world. If you already have a visa for Tanzania, you do not need to get a separate visa for Zanzibar. But if you are coming from mainland, you will need to bring your passport with the necessary visa and yellow fever vaccination. For more information, check out our post on what you need to know before visiting Tanzania. Here is a guideline to help you get around this East African island. Don’t forget to check our list for the best free apps for your holiday!