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How to get to Zanzibar

How to get to Zanzibar


How to Get to Zanzibar

Zanzibar International Airport is located approximately 6 kilometers south of Stone Town, the island capital.All the four Zanzibar Collection hotels can be reached in an hour’s drive on an excellent tarmac road to the south east coast of the Island.We can arrange a Meet and Greet Service and Transfers to/from the airport.

Zanzibar airport is connected on a daily basis with all the major East African cities such as Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi and Mombasa. Furthermore many international airlines land directly on the island making Europe, Asia and North America within relatively easy reach. There is a major expansion underway at the moment, with a new airport expected to be completed soon.

Below are all the flights arriving to Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi Airports:

Nairobi Airport:

  • #1. Emirates
  • #2. Qatar Airways
  • #3. Oman Air
  • #4. Gulf Air
  • #5. Etihad
  • #6. Egypt Air
  • #7. Turkish Airlines
  • #8. Air Arabia

Nairobi List 2:

  • #9. Kenya Airways
  • #10. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • #11. Swiss International Airlines
  • #12. Air France
  • #13. South African Airlines
  • #14. Ethiopian Airlines
  • #15. British Airways
  • #16. Royal Air Maroc

Zanzibar Airport:

  • #1. Lufthansa.
  • #2. Emirates/Fly Dubai
  • #3. Turkish Airlines
  • #4. Ethiopian Airlines
  • #5. Kenya Airways
  • #6. Condor
  • #7. Oman Air
  • #8. Egypt Air

Enjoy Safari and Beach time

Trade the deep earth tones of your safari clothing for your bathing suit. Safari grasslands, rusty earth, and animals uncannily blending into their environment are swapped for turquoise waters—so striking against white sand beaches, and aromatic smells of the spices of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper, and lemongrass that stimulate the senses. For the absolute best of everything Africa has to offer, choose the Safari and Zanzibar extension. Climb the giant, spot the Big Five, and get your perfect beach vacation to top it all off. This extension is truly the experience of a lifetime.

Mwanza Safari Overview

Getting to Zanzibar from Dar-es-salaam

You have 2 Options:

1. Ferry from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

To get to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam by ferry, it’s best to purchase your ferry ticket a day ahead of time, especially in the peak travel season. The Dar ferry station is located on the waterfront in downtown, right off Sokoine Dr.

There are two main ferry companies offering fast ferry services from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar: Azam Marine Coastal Ferries and Fast Ferries. These two companies sort of blend together and it sort of works best to just take whatever ferry at your preferred time, not worrying about the company.

There are a number of boat choices to choose, including the Sea Star, Sea Bus, Sea Express, and the Kilimanjaro, depending on the time you wish to depart.  All of the ferries are fine options, however, if you get a chance, take the brand new Kilimanjaro boat by Azam Marine. The top deck is shaded, the chairs are comfortable, and there are even beanbags to lounge on!

Check out their official sites for timetables and latest ticket prices.

Ferry Time: 2- 3 Hours

Cost: about 35 USD – 50 USD for non-residents

Note: The water can be rough, usually worse returning from Zanzibar to Dar. If you are prone to sea sickness, you might want to consider taking a flight.

Dar Es Salaam Boat to Zanzibar

2. Flights from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

A flight from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar might only cost a small amount more than the ferry, but it will get you there very fast without having to deal with rough seas.

Here are the main airlines to research and find the best prices:

Flight Time: 15 Minutes

Cost: around 40 – 60 USD

Note: Sometimes visiting the airline office in Dar Es Salaam is beneficial in getting the best price.

Arriving at the Zanzibar International Airport

The Zanzibar International Airport is a small friendly airport located a few kilometers from the main city center of Stone Town. The easiest way to get to Stone Town is to take an official taxi which charges a standard rate of 10 USD (14,000 TSH).

Have a great time in Zanzibar and don’t forget to drink some coffee at Jaws Corner Zanzibar and eat some wonderful Zanzibari Pilau.

6 Days flying Safari Southern Tanzania

Getting to Zanzibar From Arusha

From Arusha it is possible to travel to Dar es Salaam by bus and transfer to Unguja or Pemba by ferry to Zanzibar. However it is advisable to fly. The bus journey is over 650 km can take more than ten hours. Add to this the bizarre driving habits of local bus operators and one is in for a very rough ride indeed.

Internal flights are a far more comfortable and less time consuming option. Flights can be arranged through Online Platforms or airlines websitesFlights can be arranged from Arusha for around GBP 100 / USD 150 / EUR 120 one way. The flight is approximately one hour fifteen minutes.

Zanzibar Airport, though convenient, can be a nightmare for Western travellers. The airport has a chaotic and makeshift feel and security measures, when it comes to baggage reclaim especially, are practically non-existent.

Getting to Zanzibar from Nairobi:

Some travellers may choose to book their return international flights to Nairobi as these are often cheaper. At the time of writing it is possible to find return flights to NBO from the UK for under GBP 300 / USD 450.

Bwejuu Beach Zanzibar

A rough guide to flights to Zanzibar

Getting to Zanzibar from South Africa

Direct flights to Zanzibar take off weekly from Johannesburg, operated by 1Time. The flight lasts approximately three and a half hours and costs roughly ZAR 4,500 return.

South African Airlines also flies daily to Dar es Salaam from Johannesburg (approx. ZAR 5,000) or Cape Town (approx. ZAR 7,500). However these flights sometimes arrive late and may necessitate an overnight stay in Dar before making the transfer to Zanzibar.

Getting to Zanzibar from the UK and Ireland

Only Kenya Airways offer through fares from the UK with a stop in Nairobi. The flight costs from GBP 625. The other option is to book a separate onward flight from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam or Mombassa. Precision Air offer flights to Zanzibar from all of the above. 

To Dar es Salaam Emirates are normally cheapest but fly via Dubai, British Airways fly direct from Heathrow, and KLM fly overnight (usually with a stop in Amsterdam). Flights cost upward of GBP 540.

Flights to Nairobi are available through Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Qatar with Virgin offering a direct service. The flight costs upward of GBP 400 return (off peak). Indirect flights to Mombassa are available through Kenya Airways, Air France, Ethiopia Airlines and KLM and cost upward of GBP 500 return (off peak).

Getting to Zanzibar from the USA and Canada

There are no direct flights from North America to Tanzania (at time of writing). The best idea is to search for the cheapest indirect flight to either Dar es Salaam or Nairobi and book a separate flight or ferry from there. Emirates, KLM and British Airways all offer indirect, one-stop services from JFK to Dar. Fares are upwards of USD 1,900 return in high season. From Canada you can fly Swiss Airlines via Zurich to Nairobi or Dar. Flights take around twenty-one hours and cost upwards of CAD 2,000 in high season.

Getting to Zanzibar from Australia and New Zealand

From Australia the journey is long and costly requiring at least one stop to reach Tanzania, sometimes two or three, and up to 35 hours. Check Qatar Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Singapore Airlines for deals; flights cost upward of AUD 2,200 from Australia to Dar es Salaam and NZD 4,000 from New Zealand (based on cheapest return flights during peak season).