Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago part of Tanzania in East Africa, located in the Indian Ocean, 25-50 kilometres (16-31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
Time difference: GMT +3 hours
Given its proximity to the equator (6 degrees south), Zanzibar enjoys a tropical climate with a warm weather all year round, but officially, summer and winter peak in December and June respectively.
Short rains may occur in November but are characterised by short showers which do not last long. The long rains normally occur in April and May although this is often referred to as the ‘Green Season’ and it typically does not rain every day during that time.
“A crossroads of culture, a melting pot of influences where Africa, India and Arabia meet, a complete change of pace from the mainland, a place where life’s rhythms are set by the monsoon winds and the cycles of the moon.” Lonely Planet
Zanzibari people are a mixture of the different visitors of the island over the history (Persian, Arabs, Comorians, Europeans) and the native people (Bantu from the mainland).
The best approach with the locals is to be friendly, patient and to treat them with respect. They are very open, friendly and helpful, and love to talk.
Jambo, Mambo, Karibu (welcome to) Zanzibar! The official languages of Zanzibar are Swahili and English. English is spoken by most of the islanders, and many have a working knowledge of Italian and Arabic. However the local people are proud to speak Swahili and always appreciate if you know few basic words.
Most of the people in Zanzibar are Muslims, the vast majority being Ibadi, a minority branch which was imported from Oman, which formerly ruled the area.