Facts File About Zanzibar

Geography of Zanzibar

Zanzibar lies on the east coast of Africa and consists of Unguja Island (also called Zanzibar) and Pemba Island, with several surrounding islets.

The Island of Unguja is separated from mainland Tanzania by a shallow channel 37 km in width at its narrowest point. It is 73 km from Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast and 219 km from Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. The capital of Unguja Island is Stone Town. Pemba has three major towns; Wete, Chake Chake, and Mkoani.

When To Visit Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a year-round destination. The coolest months are June through October, when the temperature averages 26 Celsius. This can soar to well over 30 degrees in the hot season from December to March. During November (the ‘short rains’) and between April and June (the ‘long rains’), rainfall can be high. Rain in Zanzibar comes in short, sharp showers in the morning or afternoon followed by the return of the sunshine.

High tourist season is June to August, and mid-November to early January. During this period many up market hotels increase their prices, but smaller establishments and local guesthouses keep their rates constant throughout the year.

Zanzibar’s predominantly Muslim population observes the fasting month of Ramadan every year during which believers are forbidden to eat, drink or smoke between sunrise and sunset. As a result, many smaller restaurants and snack bars are closed during the day. Tourist resorts and hotels remain unaffected but local discos and clubs refrain from opening throughout this month. If you plan to travel to Zanzibar during this month, complete your holiday by celebrating Eid al Fitr, at the end of this holy month. There are huge festivities and parties and it is a most enjoyable season on the island.

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