Zanzibar - At a glance


Zanzibar at a glance

Islands Zanzibar Island (Unguja), Pemba Island, and surrounding islands

Location About 40km off the coast of East Africa, in the Indian Ocean, about 6°S of Equator

Size Zanzibar 1,660km², Pemba 985km²

Climate Wet season mid March to end May; short rains November; rest of year generally dry. Average temperature 26–28°C

Status Separate state within United Republic of Tanzania, governed by Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives

Population 1,303,569 (2012 census)

Life expectancy 58 (men); 62 (women)

Main town Zanzibar Town, population 223,033 (2012)

Economy Fishing, agriculture, tourism

Languages Swahili (official), also Arabic

Religion Islam

Currency Tanzanian shilling (TSh) (For up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com)

International telephone code +255

Time GMT +3

Electrical voltage 230v 50Hz; round or square three-pin ‘British-style’ plugs

Weights and measures Metric

Flag The new flag, inaugurated in 2005, consists of three horizontal stripes in blue, black and green, and features an inset of the United Republic of Tanzania flag.

National anthem ‘Mungu ibariki Afrika’ (God Bless Africa)

Public holidays 1 January, 12 January, 7 April, 26 April, 1 May, 7 July, 8 August, 14 October, 9 December, 25 December, 26 December

Zanzibar articles

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What not to miss on a trip to Zanzibar

There's more to a holiday in Zanzibar than simply lazing on its pristine beaches. Here's what you shouldn't miss on your trip. 

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A walking tour of Stone Town

A labyrinth of twisting streets and alleys, Zanzibar's Stone Town is a stroller's paradise.

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The world’s best whale-watching destinations

With whale-watching being the fastest-growing tourist activity worldwide, you may be keen to catch a glimpse of some for yourself. Here are some of the best destinations to do so.

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Related guides and other books

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