11th Mar, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Zanzibar Island Vacation


As the old saying goes, you plan to fail if you fail to plan. This saying is true for most things in your life. Planning increases your likelihood of success, whether it’s an exam, a date, a job interview, or your dream vacation to Zanzibar. 

This article provides tips on what to pack to make the most of your Zanzibar Island vacation.

First, let's begin with some information about Zanzibar. 

Where is Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania. It is known for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and wildlife diversity.

The Island is also known for its rich history. It was a significant trading hub for spices, enslaved people, and ivory. In this generating, its capital, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the Swahili architecture and heritage of Zanzibar.

Your Check List

Two things must influence your bag pack: Zanzibar’s climate and the activities you plan to participate in on your adventure. Based on our itinerary and experience with travellers who travelled o, here are  items you should include in your packing list:


Zanzibar Island has a tropical climate, with hot and humid weather throughout the year. The average temperature is around 27°C (81°F), but it can get hotter during the dry season from June to October. 

You should pack clothes made of natural fabrics, such as cotton or linen, which can keep you cool and comfortable. Try to avoid synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, which can trap heat and sweat.


The Island is known for its stunning beaches, where you can swim, snorkel, or sunbathe. You should pack at least one swimsuit or bikini that fits you well and suits your style. You can also bring a rash guard or a wetsuit for water sports or diving into the ocean.


The common religion on the Island is Islam. Hence, you should respect the local culture and dress code when not on the beach. You should cover your shoulders, chest, and knees in public places like markets, mosques, or villages. 

When you are not in your swimwear, you can wrap a cover-up, sarong, or shawl around your body. You can also use them as a blanket, towel, or pillow on the beach or in a boat.

Comfortable shoes:

 You should pack comfortable shoes, such as sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops, to protect your feet from dirt, dust, and rocks. If you plan to walk on the beach or in the water, you should also bring a pair of water shoes or reef shoes, as there might be sharp corals, shells, or sea urchins that can hurt your feet.


 Zanzibar Island is close to the equator, and the sun can be powerful and harsh. You should pack sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) and apply it generously and frequently to your exposed skin. You should also reapply it after swimming or sweating. Sunscreen can protect you from sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer.

Insect repellent: 

One thing every African country has in common is mosquitoes.  You should pack an insect repellent that contains and spray it on your skin. It is also better to wear long sleeves and pants, especially at night, when the insects are more active.

Hat and sunglasses:  

Because it is usually bright and sunny, you should protect your eyes and head from the sun's rays. You should pack a hat with a wide brim that covers your ears and neck. You should also pack a pair of sunglasses with UV protection and polarized lenses. Hats and sunglasses can shield you from glare, heat, and headaches.


Portable charger: 

You must pack a portable charger that can store enough power to charge your devices when you are on the go. You should also charge your devices whenever you can and turn off any unnecessary features to save battery life. 

Zanzibar Island is a beautiful destination that offers many opportunities and experiences for travellers. However, you must also be prepared and responsible for your trip and follow these tips to make your experience memorable. 

Karibu Zanzibar! (Welcome to Zanzibar!)


About Author

Written by Daniel Williams Onikola

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