|MONEY||The local currency in Zanzibaer is the Tanzanian Shiling (Tsh). UD$ are also widely accepted as payment throughout the island. Credit Cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted at larger establishemnts.There is an ATM at the ZNZ airport, several ATMs in Stone Town;, one ATM in Paje ( 30 minutes ride from Kizimkazi)
The most reliable ATM in Stone Town is in main Barclays headquarters, short walk away from Malindi
|TIME||Local time is GMT + 3
In Swahili, the time is measured from sunrise to sunset (daytime) and sunset to sunrise (night time). This is primarily because most Swahili speaking countries are on the equator and the times for sunrise and sunset are almost identical year-round.The counting of time starts from 6:00 a.m. on the English clock. 7:00 a.m. is the first hour in the morning 1:00 a.m.
|ELECTRIC CURRENT||The local electric current is 220-240 V AC 50Hz. Most electric plug sockets take the British plugs. Mama Root has for you universal extension cords (power strips). Visitors are advised not to leave expensive electrical appliances plugged in when not in use, due to occasional power surges.|
|COMMUNICATIONS||Mobile network coverage is good. GSM mobile phones enabled to roam will be able to pick up a reception. Internet despite being a little slow at times, provide a cheap and easy method of communiction|
|MEDICAL||Advice should be sought from a doctor at home. Vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, meningitis and hepatitis A are ussually recommended. Visitors are no longer require to show a yellow fever certificate before entering Zanzibar. Click here for more info. Malaria is possible. Cover up after sunset and use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.
Drinking water should be bought in sealed bottles. Medical facilities in Zanzibar are limitted. Tasakhtaa Hospital is in Stone Town. We can arrange transport if you decide to go. Appointments are available for walk-in guests. Prices vary but are affordable. We all believe that this won’t be necessary.
|WEATHER||It’s summertime all year around. But long Masika rains fall between March and May. Showers, or heavy storms that are followed by periods of glorious sunshine. Very unpredictable. Very spectacular. It’s called low season as not many tourists come to the Island. This is followed by a dry period, Zanzibar’s high tourist season until November when the short, intermittent, Vuli, rains arrive. From mid-November to March the weather is hot and humid. Breeze at Mama Root is always available. For Zanzibar temperatures please click here.|
|TRAVELING WITH KIDS ?||The ocean is usually calm.Planning to go for a long walk when the tide is low? We encourage you to take swimming shoes as you might find see urchins along the way. And star fish. And see weeds. And Octopuses. And small fish trapped by the coral reef. So much wonders. Ah, and shells, a lot of shells. They will love it. And learn so much, and make new friends and explore and taste. If your youngest are picky eaters, tell them that fish comes in all colors of the rainbow (before frying).|
|VISAS||Zanzibar is a semi-autonomus state within Tanzania. Visitors flying direct to Zanzibar are able to purchase a visa on arrival at the airport.|
|GETTIBNG TO ZANZIBAR||Ethiopian Airways and Kenya Airways, Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways,Turkish Airlines, Oman Air, South African Airways flies directly to Zanzibar|
|GETTING TO MAMA ROOT||We offer transfer from the Airport ( Stone Town) to Mama Root Beach House for 45$. Up to 5 passengers. Trip duration: approximately 1h.
Local bus Dala Dala No.326 goes to Kizimkazi, but its not recommended for visitors with kids and big luggage. Buses are usually overpacked and quite uncmfortable.
|BY THE SEA||Kilimanjaro Ferry services operate between Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam five times a day and crossing takes 90 minutes – 2 hours. Ticket cost for non-residence is $35-$40.|
|ETIQUETTE||Zanzibari’s are very hospitable.Muslim are dominating population. Visitors should respect the culture by dressing modestly. Swim suits and revealing clothes should not be worn outside the hotels. Knees and shoulders should be covered while walking in town and villages and public dispalys of affection avoided. Mosques are sacred places. Non-Muslim should not enter.
Ramadan is a holy month in which drinking, smoking, and eating during daylight hours for Muslims is prohibited. During the Holy Month of Ramadan while Muslim are fasting it is consodered the height of bad manners to eat, drink or smoke in public. Some restaurants are closed during this month and outside of town. It can be difficult to get any food at all during daytime hours during Ramadan
|DO’s &DON’Ts & MORE|
|Not all souvenirs can go back home with you||Collecting or exporting shells from Zanzibar beaches is forbidden. Avoid hard woods such as ebony as these threes take centuries to grow and are now endangered through extensive forest cutting. Also prohibited to export: cow horns or any other animal parts, coral and similar materials, ivory, tortoise shell, natural sponges of animal origin|
|Some dangerous snails hidden in a beautiful shells||Please do not pick up Cone snails or Cone shells. The snails are venomous and capable of stinging humans with the effect of paralyzing the area around the sting. The sting of small cones is similar to a bee sting, but the sting of a few of the larger species of tropical cone snails (found at the reef) can be serious.|
|More of an unwanted sea “stuff”||Venomous fish and sea urchins exist in every tropical sea and can easily be avoided. Sea urchins can be painful when stood on, but are not poisonous.Wearing a pair of dive shoes can protect your feet from them. Sometimes you can spot a jellyfish but this is quite infrequent.|
|Coral reef – the treasure of the island||If you go snorkeling to the coral reefs please do not touch or step on any corals.|
|Dolphins ain’t like Flipper||Thankfully Dolphin tour provides better source of income than dolphin hunting (used to be very popular for local fishermen) If you go out to watch dolphins please ensure that your chosen guide that doesn’t chase them. Please do not touch them|
|“Beachi Boys”, oh we like them but…||The self-styled ‘beachi boys’ are friendly but will definitely pester you with their pushy sales technique, offering services such as tours, souvenirs and any kind of help. Be polite with them, when you don’t require their services, just say I already ‘hired’ one.Very nice guys but some of them don’t have good intentions. Just be smart and safe. Do not pay a beachi boy upfront for any tour, snorkeling etc, and if you chose to go with them on an adventure keep an eye on your personal belongings. If you wonder why they offer such a low price for their services keep in mind that they don’t pay taxes, permits, license and so on. “Free birds”.|
|The youngest sweethearts||They are super nice. Always eager to play and very curious. You will hear “jambo” many times which means “hello”. You can say “jambo” in return. It is not a good idea to give them sweets or money. It only teach them to beg. If you are planning to bring some gifts for them it is better to hand it to the a school principal, or leave it at the hotel you are staying at.|
|Planning on bringing gifts?||A gift is a gift, it can be anything, but sharing sweets is not a good idea. You can bring school supplies, pencils (wooden), books in English, math workbooks. Anything that will help them to learn new skills. Footballs are always well received and a good gift Please hand any gifts to the headteacher or hotel management.|
|Time to pack clothes ?||No one is here for a fashion show so bring your most comfortable and light clothes. You will be surprised that you don’t need as much as you think. You can purchase a Kanga (a colorful local piece of cloth) and use as a cover for the beach, as a dress, scarf, beach towel, you name it. We recommend long sleeve light cotton shirts for mosquito and sun protection.|
|Pictures that:||A number of cultures do not wan’t their spirits captured by a camera. Kids will love it but older people might not. Please ask for permission before taking pictures. Do not take pictures in the Mosque, those buildings are sacred.|
|Should I bargain?||There’s no perfect price- just the perfect one for two people in that moment. You might pay more or less than others, but you’ll always have a memory of striking a fun deal with a proper Zanzibari merchant. Bargaining is supposed to be fun.|
|Plastic||There is an ongoing battle with plastic garbage as the island doesn’t have proper recycling facilities. We appreciate the eco-friendly tourists who dispose of their rubbish properly. At Mama Root we separate food waste, plastic, paper and metal.|
|Tipping||In Zanzibar tip will be more than welcome. It is customary to provide guides, waiters and other service personnel a tip.|