13 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Tanzania + Zanzibar
Tanzania and the quiet, cozy, island of Zanzibar were where I had an opportunity to hang out in November. Honestly, this was the perfect time to go; the weather was perfect and it was “low season” (read: not many tourist and cheaper rates).
Honestly, this trip was less about ‘work’ and more about truly taking the time to relax at the end of 2016. No MacDaddy (my laptop), limited cell phone usage, and genuinely enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of this gorgeous, East African country.
Here are 13 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Tanzania + Zanzibar:
- The official language of Tanzania is Swahili. However, there are over 120+ languages spoken fluently. No worries if you’re visiting, most of the people you have an opportunity to interact with will speak English.
- The capital city of Dar Es Salaam is busy and bustling. If you want a fantastic city tour to go with Kanuth Adventure Safaris. They are professional, Tanzanian owned, and reasonably priced! Not to mention, Kanuth responds quickly to any inquiries.
- Tanzania is twice the size of California!
- Across East Africa, where Swahili is spoken, make sure you know the following phrases:
- “Karibu!” meaning “Welcome!”
- “Asante Sana!” meaning “Thank you!”
- You’ve seen ‘The Lion King,’ you know the drill!
Without a doubt, Zanzibar lives up to its reputation of being a slice of paradise in the heart of Africa. Coined as “The Spice Island,” Zanzibar has tons of history from, pristine beaches, and simple, delicious food.
- There are several ways to get from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar. If you’re on a budget, consider taking the ferry (about $35 each way), or you want a little more adventure and beautiful sites, take a 20-minute flight. You’ve been warned; this is a very local experience.
- While the entire island is beautiful, the best beaches and the most amazing sunsets are north of the island in Nungwi.
- Known as ‘The Spice Island,’ Zanzibar had tons of aromatic spices and known for nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon! If this is your thing, make sure to take a spice tour.
- Explore Stone Town. This was one of the world’s last open slave markets. The architecture in Stone Town is Arab, Indian, and European influenced.
- Although we did not get a chance to experience it first hand, make sure to explore the Night Market in Stone Town to enjoy a taste of the island!
- The beaches are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling!
- You can do lots of local shopping on the island, but remember barter, barter, barter!
- Hands down, one of the BEST meals I have ever eaten in life was at Emerson on Hurumzi and the Tea House Restaurant. OMG! Everything on the lunch menu was life changing! We had an opportunity to take a tour of the hotel too, and it was stunning. No doubt, this is where you should stay when visiting Zanzibar!