Zanzibar

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Zanzibar

    Vika
    August 4, 2021

    Last update: September 2021

    Looking for the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS to Zanzibar? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • All travellers are now required to show a negative Covid-19 PCR certificate not older than 96 hours before departure to Tanzania.
    • An online health form needs to be filled out by the traveller before travelling via this link: https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/
    • Upon arrival, all travellers will be subjected to rapid Covid-19 testing. The cost of this test is $25 USD and should be paid online while filling in the online health form. If it is not possible to pay online you can pay on arrival in cash. It is recommended to pay online to prevent any unnecessary delays.
    • Children aged 5 years and below, travellers in transit and aircraft crew are exempted from both RT-PCR certificate and COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test.

    The Tanzanian & Zanzibari government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriouslyand has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Tanzania has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    f you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Zanzibar - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

  • Saadani - Perfect for a short safari from Zanizbar

    Vika
    July 1, 2021

    The only place in east Africa, where the beach literally meets the bush is Saadani national park in Tanzania. You can have an early morning swim, go for a game drive after breakfast, and sip on a cocktail while observing the fishermen preparing for the night out on the sea. A fantastic blend of leisure, pleasure, and action!

    Short safari from zanzibar saadani

    While relaxing on the beach don’t act surprised, when animals come for a drink in the nearby waterhole. Or when they just stroll past your towels, checking your reaction carefully with the corner of the eye.

    Visiting Saadani is also a great way to combine your Zanzibari vacation with a thrill of a real safari. Give it a day and have a lifetime memory! Departing from Kendwa daily early in the morning, a two hours long boat ride will bring you to the shores of the Saadani national park. Daily flights from Zanzibar are also available. A fantastic day in the bush, supported by a picnic lunch somewhere in the middle of nowhere and finished with an invigorating swim in the ocean - certainly something to consider!
    saadani national park

    What to expect on your short safari in Saadani?

    A 1.100 km² of grassland, mainly plains, in-between acacia thickets, semi-arid land. Beautiful palm-fringed beaches continue through mangroves that form a kind of border into the wilderness.
    Usually, you can expect to see giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, reedbucks, waterbucks, hartebeest, wildebeest, vervet monkeys, yellow baboons, red duikers, the endangered Roosevelt’s sable, many different bird species, and much more. For example, green turtles, since this is their major breeding site in Tanzania. Or hippos and crocodiles, especially if you opt for a boat trip on the river Wami.
    safari from zanzibar saadani national park

    When to visit Saadani National Park?

    A visit is always a good idea, except perhaps in April and May, when the weather is really wet - this is the peak season for the rain. But immediately after, in June, July, and August, when there is still much water in the hollows on the plains and the animals linger around, the sights are amazing. Just as beautiful in January or February. Visiting from September to December won’t leave you short of experiences, spotting animals will just need a little more effort from your guides.

    saadani national park

    Expert tip for your short safari from Zanzibar

    Saadani National park offers an insight into different habitats and therefore puts a variety of wildlife on display. Avoid the heavy rainy months of April and May, the rest of the year is great for visiting . Combine it with beach holidays, either on definitely underrated Tanzania’s mainland coast or on the famous Zanzibar.

    Safari saadani national park
    giraffe in saadani national park

  • What camera to bring on safari

    Giulia
    March 30, 2021

    If you are wondering what camera gear to pack for your safari experience, look no further! Here is the comprehensive list of all the camera equipment and accessories you will need for your safari.

    This photography gear list is brought to you by our resident photographer Giulia Cimarosti, safari specialist at Shadows of Africa and professional photographer. Guilia also leads groups on our special photographic safaris in Tanzania.

    Generally speaking, depending on the device you use you can expect different results. Let’s go through some options:

    Mobile Photography on Safari

    You don’t have to own super pricey, professional equipment, however it’s quite safe to say that using a mobile phone to take photos during your safari won’t make good close-up images of the wildlife possible, no matter the phone’s model or quality.

    Mobile phones tend to have very poor zooming capabilities, however they can be great for African sunsets, photographing a herd in the landscape, and of course to take the occasional short video for social media, when a curious cheetah decides to climb on the vehicle!

    Keep in mind though that during your safari you won’t always get very close to the animals, so the best way to frame the subject is to use a zoom-telephoto lens on an actual camera.

    Cameras and Lenses on Safari

    If you want to take really good photos on your safari, make sure you bring your DSLR camera! A digital single lens reflex camera will allow you to use manual settings, adapting them to the lighting situation, the distance to the subject and the effects you want to achieve.

    Now you may be wondering what camera body is the best one, but the answer is not an easy one. There are cameras of all formats and brands, but they all have one thing in common: manual settings!

    The thing you need to concentrate on, when thinking about the right photography gear for safari photography, is what lens - or better, lenses - to bring.

    Zoom lenses

    The must-have kind of lens for safari photography is a zoom or telephoto. This is the kind of lens that allows you to zoom into the subject, making it appear closer. There are countless zoom lenses on the market, but make sure your telephoto lens has a focal length of at least 200 mm.

    • Budget
      28-300 mm or 70-300 mm lenses are good budget options for beginners.
    • Medium
      A 150-600 mm lens will allow you to shoot almost anything in daylight, taking your photography to the next level with a reasonable investment.
    • Pro
      A 70-200 mm f/2,8 prime lens, although the focal length is not extreme, is an excellent lens that will not disappoint.
      There are other lenses such 400 mm f/4 or even f/2,8 prime lenses which are top choices but at an extremely high price tag.

    If there is a lens worth an investment when planning to go on a photographic safari, it has to be the zoom!

    Medium and Wide Angle Lenses

    Although zoom lenses are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about safari photography, a wide angle lens also goes a long way when it comes to shooting the animals in their habitat, dramatic African skies and sunsets, and large herds moving during the Great Migration. Make sure you pack a wide to medium lens too!

    • Budget
      The 18-55 mm “kit lens” that comes with most camera kits works perfectly for this kind of photos. As a budget option, any kit lens works perfectly, actually!
      Lenses in the 10-24 mm range are much wider - another good option that will allow you to take creative photographs during your safari.
    • Medium
      A 15-30 mm f/2,8 wide lens is a high quality choice for landscape.
    • Pro
      The 24-70 mm f/2,8 is a “classic”, very sharp lens that never disappoints, allowing you to shoot landscapes (or good quality files to stitch in panoramas later on) and zoom into the subject too.

    Bear in mind that a good wide angle lens also allows you to take wonderful nocturnal photos of the clear skies of the savannah.

    Other accessories

    Now that you know what to use to shoot your safari photographs, let’s think about the accessories you shouldn’t forget:

    • Spare batteries. Although all our vehicles have charging stations to recharge your batteries during the game drives, having one or two extra batteries is always a good idea to keep shooting without a single worry!
    • Memory cards. Believe it or not, I can guarantee you will find yourself shooting dozens and dozens of photos to the same animal or scene. It’s easy when you have lions posing for you, or a hunting scene taking place. So pack extra memory cards!
    • Battery charger. There are regular battery chargers and also double battery chargers that work with USB and/or car power outlets. I like these, as you can charge 2 batteries at once.
    • Protection for your camera gear. The savannah is dusty, and dust is the real enemy of cameras and their sensors. Try to keep everything protected from dust except what you are using. Camera bags or pouches/cloths will work great.
    • Cleaning kit. A full kit includes the sensor cleaning kit and tools to remove dust and clean the camera. Try to keep everything clean by gently removing the dust every day after the game drives. Please note: the sensor tends to get dirty with all the dust of the safari, but at the same time cleaning the sensor is a very delicate task so don’t risk it if you are not sure how to do it!

    Are you ready to embark on your photographic safari adventure? Please let us know if you need more suggestions and information about what camera gear to pack for your safari. We look forward to having you travel with us!

  • Get your PCR & Rapid Covid Test in Arusha, Zanzibar and the Serengeti!

    Vika
    February 3, 2021

    Latest update!

    Since 26th of January 2021 KLM requires a Rapid Covid-19 test as an additional obligation to the PCR test. This rapid test must be taken no more than 4 hours before departure. Rapid testing is performed on all airports that KLM flies from and to: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
    The cost for this test is 25 USD per person/test. To be paid in cash at the airport.
    Reserve enough time for this test to prevent any issues, and arrive at the airport at least five hours before departure.

    Where to get a PCR test in Arusha

    A PCR test can be taken in Mount Meru Regional Hospital

    and in Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre

    Where to get a PCR test on Zanzibar

      The Ministry of Health Zanzibar has currently designated three locations for Covid PCR tests:

    • Emergency Operation Centre in Lumumba
    • Global Hospital in Vuga and
    • North Valley Hospital in Nungwi

    What's the cost

    The cost of the test is 100 USD.
    In Zanzibar private hospitals charge 150 USD.
    In the Serengeti the cost are $100 for the test and $17 for the handling fee

    Where to get a PCR test in the Serengeti

    To be able to get the PCR test in the Serengeti you also have the register via the normal website: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz
    After registering, a control number will be generated. Pay the test fee, which is equivalent to 100$ in TZS, following the instructions provided when the control is generated.
    For taking a test in the Serengeti there is a small extra handling fee covering the extra cost with taking a test in the Serengeti. Pay the handling fee via Mpesa, through Vodacom pay ‘Number 5106362 Tanzania Association of Tour Operators’. Shadows of Africa can assist with this. The handling fee is 40,000 TZS or roughly $17
    Go to the Testing Center in Seronera between 8AM and 12AM. No appointment needed.
    The test will travel to Dar es Salaam for the physical testing. The results take 48 hours to be delivered to you via email, WhatsApp - like with tests taken in Arusha & Zanzibar.

    How to take a PCR test in Arusha or on Zanzibar

    Since 4th of January 2021 new rules have been implemented by the Tanzanian government.
    You need to register on the official test site: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz, with your passport and telephone number. You should do this 5 days before you plan to take your test.

    Choose a hospital, pay and get tested.
    Roughly, this is the procedure on arrival in the hospital:
    Get in a line to pay for the test. Cash is preferred, although cards are accepted. Using cards to pay might cause some trouble or delay. After paying, you'll receive a receipt, which is also a necessary document when leaving the country, so don't lose it!
    You'll then proceed to another line. You'll present your paid receipt and submit your personal information and flight details. In the third line, you will then declare how you want to get the results, on-line via WhatsApp or email or a printed copy. We suggest the latter since you will need a printed result to present at the airport.
    You will then receive a control number, and when it's your turn, you get tested. The samples are taken from your throat and nose.

    How long does it take to get the result?

    It will take up to 48 hours to get the results since the samples are sent to Dar es Salaam for testing. If your airline has strict regulations regarding the validity time of the certificate make sure you perform your sample taking in the morning - so it can be sent to Dar es Salaam the same day of the sample taking.

    Will I get the results on time to comply with the requirements of the airline or the country I'm travelling to?

    The date stated on your certificate is the date the test was performed in Dar es Salaam, not the date the sample was taken. So in short, yes you can meet all requirements

  • How to Spend One Week in Tanzania

    Chris
    April 25, 2019
    When looking to spend just one week in Tanzania, you've got a wealth of choices at your fingertips. Chris runs down the many options you have to choose from.
  • Why We Love Tulia Unique Beach Resort

    Lesia
    August 20, 2018
    Tulia Unique Beach Resort is one of our favourite resorts on Zanzibar. With its attention to detail and impressive inclusions, it's the perfect choice!
  • Exploring Historic Stone Town - A Guide

    Chris
    August 6, 2018

    Stone Town - A Guide

    Historic Stone Town is one of Tanzania's most beloved tourist attractions.

    The storied history of Stone Town is every bit as big an attraction as Zanzibar's famous white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. No visit to Zanzibar would be complete without a night (or two) in Stone Town.

    Are you planning a trip to Zanzibar's historic stone town? Here's the ultimate guide to Stone Town for your Tanzania trip! #zanzibar #stonetown #tanzania #travel #africa

     

    Getting to Stone Town

    Flights

    Stone Town is home to Zanzibar's only international airport: Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

    As such, the easiest way to get there is via flights from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, or even the Serengeti!

    Airlines such as Coastal Aviation, Precision, and FlightLink offer multiple daily flights from a number of airstrips and airports across Tanzania.

    This makes taking a safari from Zanzibar super easy!

    As an international airport, it is also possible to fly to larger international airports such as Nairobi.

    zanzibar-stone-town-view-min

    Ferries

    Zanzibar is quite close to the Tanzanian mainland, so it is also possible to take a ferry to Dar Es Salaam.

    With domestic flights to Dar Es Salaam being so cheap, however, it is often easier to simply fly and avoid the hassle of dealing with a crowded public ferry.

    Where to Stay in Stone Town

    Stone Town boasts a wealth of accommodation options for all budgets. From friendly backpacker hostels to luxury five-star resorts, there's something for all walks of life.

    We've highlighted a few of our favourite Stone Town accommodation options below.

    zenji-zanzibar

    Zenji Guesthouse (Budget)

    Part B&B, part restaurant, and part backpacker hostel, Zenji Guesthouse is a fantastic option for people on a tight budget.

    Boasting a variety of rooms in different styles and price ranges, it is a centrally located property just a few minutes' walk from the Ferry Terminal and popular tourist attractions.

    Recommended For: Backpackers and families on a budget.

    Maru-Maru-Hotel

    Maru Maru (Medium)

    Home to one of the breathtaking views in all of Stone Town, Maru Maru's rooftop bar, restaurant, and pool is the envy of properties all across the island.

    Maru Maru is a modern hotel that stays true to its Zanzibari cultural heritage, Maru Maru offers the comforts from home with a distinctly African sensibility.

    Their buffet breakfast is to die for too!

    Recommended For: Families and couples.

    Emerson Spice Hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Emerson Spice (Medium)

    Built in a refurbished former merchant's home, Emerson Spice gives guests the chance to stay in an authentic bit of Zanzibar history while enjoying all of the comforts you'd expect from a top-class hotel.

    One of our most popular hotel options, Emerson Spice offers a variety of room configurations and prices to cater for all kinds of travelers.

    Recommended For: Families and groups.

    serena-stone-town

    Serena Stone Town (Upper Medium)

    The Serena brand can always be relied upon to provide quality service, spacious rooms, and gorgeous grounds.

    A common feature in many Tanzanian safari itineraries, Serena's presence in Stown Town offers up the opportunity to take advantage of their very competitive circuit discount pricing.

    It's also a thoroughly gorgeous lodge in its own right!

    Recommended For: Groups and families.

    hyatt-zanzibar

    Park Hyatt Zanzibar (Luxury)

    The only name in luxury in Stone Town, the gorgeous Park Hyatt Zanzibar proudly embraces its historic roots while also offering world-class luxury service.

    Whether you're staying in a city view room or one of the lavish suites, you've got access to Park Hyatt's world-renowned service, amazing food, and on-site facilities such as an infinity pool, fully equipped gym, souvenir store, and much more.

    Recommended For: Honeymooners and couples.

    ----

    Of course, there are plenty of other options when it comes to Stone Town accommodation, but the above are a few of our absolute favourites!

    What to do in Stone Town

    Many visitors to Stone Town use it as a stopping off point between the airport and their Zanzibar beach resort, but they're missing out! Some of the most popular Zanzibar activities can be accessed from right here in the city!

    stonetown-zanzibar

    Stone Town City Tour

    First and foremost is a tour of historic Stone Town's labyrinthine alleys, bustling market bazaars, and historic sites. Our Stone Town tour is a memorable half-day experience that showcases the rich and often dark history of the former Omani territory and independent nation.

    Busy all day? We also offer a Stone Town by night tour!

    Spice Plantation Tour

    Before it was famous for its beaches, Zanzibar was famous around the world as the 'spice island' where so many dishes across the globe got their flavour.

    Today, you can take a Zanzibar spice tour to taste, smell, touch, and even cook with the various herbs, spices, and tropical fruits that are still a staple of the Zanzibari economy. It's a delicious experience!

    zanzibar prison island

    Prison Island

    Located not far from Stone Town, Prison Island is a former prison that now acts as a sanctuary for giant tortoises.

    A Prison Island tour allows you to take a walk back in time while also seeing these gigantic amphibians up close and personal!

    Where to Eat in Stone Town

    With so many of the world's herbs and spices coming from Zanzibar, is it any surprise that the food is exquisite?

    Combine this with the island's melting pot of cultures and you've got a dizzying array of dining options at your fingertips.

    Whether you are craving a little Spanish tapas, a fiery Indian curry, authentic Italian, or you want to sample the local fare, Stone Town's dining scene has got you covered.

    Want to know our favourites?

    beach-house-zanzibar

    The Beach House

    A trendy eatery from the people behind the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Beach House offers up both African and European cuisine, designer gin & tonic cocktails, and a stunning view of the Indian Ocean to boot.

    Try their paella - it's to die for!

    Puzzle Coffee Shop

    If you've got some time to spare in Stone Town and want to catch up on your emails, Puzzle Coffee Shop offers high speed WiFi, aromatic coffee, and tasty pastries to sate that hunger.

    Located in one of the city's many winding alleys, it's a cute little hidden treasure that local expats swear by.

    Tea House Restaurant

    Stone Town's top restaurant according to TripAdvisor, Tea House is a rooftop restaurant offering up decadent five-course degustation for gourmands and foodies from around the world.

    For those wanting an intimate dining experience, this is the place to be.

    For guests staying at Emerson Spice, this is the restaurant where you'll be doing all of your dining. Not bad!

    Heading to Zanzibar on your Africa trip? Here's what to do in Zanzibar Stone Town: the ultimate guide and itinerary! #stonetown #zanzibar #africa #tanzania #travel

    Planning Your Stone Town Experience

    Has our Stone Town guide got your attention?

    Get in touch with one of Shadows of Africa's safari experts at info@shadowsofafrica.com to start planning your Stone Town escape!

  • Six Stunning Hotels for your Zanzibar Honeymoon

    Chris
    April 7, 2018
    A Zanzibar honeymoon is a fantastic way to start your adventure with your new partner. We highlight six romantic Zanzibar hotels that are perfect for your first holiday as husband and wife.
  • A Guide to Zanzibar Hotels on the Beach

    Chris
    March 12, 2018
    Looking for the best Zanzibar hotels on the beach? We've put together a list of some of our favourite beachfront hotels for you to escape to.

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