Zanzibar Tourist Information
Tanzania's currency is the Shilling (abbreviated to "Tsh"). Tourists are expected to pay in US$ (visa, admission and park entry fees, accommodation, restaurants, ferry fares to Zanzibar, domestic flights, etc.). Hard currencies, such as Euro, Swiss Francs or US$ can be exchanged into local currencies at reputable foreign exchange bureaux ("forex") all over Stone Town.
All arrivals from endemic countries including Africa and South America must be vaccinated against yellow fever and show the certificate at the point entries in Zanzibar. Direct arrivals from non endemic countires in Europe and North America are not required to show the certificate but sometimes immigration officers do ask for them. If you do not have it, you will get it at the spot. For your own safety it is always better to get the vaccination anyway, as it lasts for ten years.
Zanzibar managed to reduce malaria dramatically in the last few years. A consultation with your doctor is recommended before departing to Zanzibar.
In terms of time, Zanzibar is two hours ahead of Western European time and one hour ahead of Central European time in summer. In winter, it is two hours ahead of Central European time, since there is no daylight-saving time change in Zanzibar.
Credit cards should not be relied on as the primary means of accessing money, but hotels and the bigger shopping emporiums are most likely to accept them (by adding a surcharge of 5 to 10 percent). Travelers' cheques are perfect in theory, but accessing money is troublesome. Getting cash (in Shillings) on a credit card is possible through ATMs in Stone Town only.
The Muslim population expects and appreciates visitors to dress modestly in public places. Knees and shoulders should be covered and tight clothing, skimpy tops or skin-tight shorts may offend Muslims. Topless or nude bathing is an absolute no-go in all of Zanzibar and Tanzania.
In Tanzania, Kiswahili is spoken. Hotel staff and people working in the tourism industry usually speak simple English. Apart from that, English is hardly understood.
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