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ZANZIBAR USEFUL INFORMATION
While all effort are being taken to ensure comfort to all visitors the following tips when considered can even maximize the comfort and avoid all the inconveniences that might happen to the visitors.
All visitors entering Zanzibar are required to have a valid passport and Visa. Visa can be obtained from the Tanzania Diplomatic Mission Abroad or alternatively at the point of entry. The rate of the Visa varies according to the types, duration and nationality. It is advisable to check this well in advance in order to avoid inconveniences.
Health and Safety
A valid International Yellow Fever, Vaccination Certificate could be demanded from visitors on arrival as precautionary public health measure. Exemptions are made to travelers coming on direct flight from non-endemic areas such as Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and some parts of the Middle East. For these visitors, evidence of Yellow Fever Vaccination is not mandatory.
Travelers who before coming to Zanzibar intend to transit through endemic areas even for a brief stay are strongly advised to protect themselves with vaccination against Yellow Fever at least two weeks prior to their departure from their own home countries.
All visitors to Zanzibar are advised to observe the following.
1. Swim suits and skimpy dresses are restricted to hotels and resort premises.
2. Taking alcohol in the public may offend the residents.
3. Nudity is not acceptable in public places including beach.
4. Kissing in public or display of affection is not customary to Zanzibar.
5. Taking photographs of residents without asking their permission is considered offensive. Military and security sensitive areas cannot be photographed.
Money, Currency and Exchange
Tanzania currency is called Shillingi (Tanzania shilling) Notes are in the denomination of 200, 500,1000,5000 and 10,000, shillings. Coins are order of 5, 10,20,50,100,200.
Money can only be changed in the banks, bureaus and hotels . Exchange rate varies from place to place and according to the time. By December 1999, one USA dollar was changed at 800 Tanzania shillings. Only few areas accept credit cards and traveler cheques.
The following items are regarded as personal effect and are not charged any tax: - 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, I litre of wine or sprit, 250mls of perfume. Some of the curio or handicraft purchased in Zanzibar as souvenirs may require tax and it is advisable to keep all receipts.
The following services are taxed in Zanzibar.
1. An Airport tax of US. $20 per ticket must be paid on departure. Keep small denomination ready, as changes might be limited sometimes.
2. A tax of US$ 5 for every ticket traveling through the see port.
3. A 15% of hotel levy for every used bed. Check the hotel tariffs and asks if hotel levy included.
4. Local authorities may impose other taxes in their areas for specific objectives. In any way a receipt must be given whenever payment is made
Large proportion of residents of Zanzibar are Islam and that is reflected in all their lives. Mosques are sacred places and usually no entry by non-Muslims. Photographing of the mosque interior from the doorway is not allowed during prayers.
During "Ramadhani" the holy month (dates change) Muslims are fasting from morning to evening you may find it difficult to find food during the daylight hours. However, some specified restaurants are allowed to serve the tourists. Get the advice from the Commission for Tourism. You are requested not to eat, drink or smoke in the public a day time during this month. In Zanzibar there are also churches and temples. The Anglican Cathedral at Mkunazini and Minara Miwili Church offer regular services on Sundays and special days.
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