Getting Around, Zanzibar Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Zanzibar, Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)

For those who prefer to travel around Zanzibar independently, various transport options exist, including minibuses, taxis, boats and rental cars.

Some visitors, however, opt to take advantage of organised tours that take in some of the more popular tourist attractions on the archipelago. These tours have the distinct advantage that you avoid the hassle of making your own travel arrangements.

The main island of Zanzibar is fairly compact, so even the longest journey from north to south shouldn't take more than a few hours.

Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ)

Address: Nyerere Road, Kisauni, Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, TZ, Africa
Tel: +255 054 32001
Most visitors tend to arrive via Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and then take one of the daily air flights available to Zanzibar International Airport. This airport also serves several East African airports, including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kilimanjaro. Less frequent flights operate between Zanzibar and Johannesburg in South Africa. Domestic flights, mostly using light aircraft, operate from Stone Town to Pemba Island.

Car Rental

Hiring a car is a relatively simple matter in Zanzibar. Most roads are in a satisfactory condition, although it is worth noting that signposts aren't as frequent as you might like.

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Buses and Coaches

A few tourist minibuses operate out of Stone Town. These are mostly used for transporting holiday makers to the various coastal resorts and offer quite limited routes. Seats must be booked, and these minibuses take you from hotel door to day trip destination in the morning, returning in the afternoon.

The majority of locals tend to use 'dala dalas', which are minibuses that run on fairly set routes throughout the day. They are not known for being comfortable and en route stops are frequent, making it a slow way to get around the archipelago. However, if you are a backpacker looking to get close to real life in Zanzibar and you don't mind a few delays, this cheap and cheerful mode of transport makes for a great experience.


Some travellers choose to travel from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Zanzibar by ferry. A number of services are available.

Ferry transport also carries passengers from Stone Town to the island of Pemba, with boats departing a couple of days a week. Worth noting, the journey should take around three hours. Timetables change frequently, however, so it is best to check in advance of the latest schedule information.


By far the quickest way to travel round Zanzibar is to hire a private taxi. Most taxi cabs aren't fitted out with metres, so it is advisable to agree on a fare before you set out on your journey.