Safety Rules for Travelers to Zanzibar
If you’re wondering if Zanzibar, like some parts of Africa, is infested with disease, has high rates of crime or has high rates of poverty, we can confirm that the island is a gem for both locals and tourists.
While tourism remains the main source of revenue for the island, the government goes out of its way to ensure safety for all, and especially tourists. While traveling within the island is very safe, nevertheless it is a good idea to exercise caution while on the move. Local tour guides are also well trained in safety precautions and early warning systems and keep in regular touch with both the police and local citizens to ensure that you are safe at all times. Here are the safety rules for travellers to Zanzibar.
- Take care of your valuables
You’re advised to take care of your valuables at all times while on transit and if possible to leave them in a safe. Poverty rates remain quite high, and tourists are considered wealthy and easy targets by locals. So ensure stuff like cameras, mobile phones, jewellery and watches remain in a safe deposit box at your hotel.
- Avoid walking along deserted beaches at night.
This is a no-brainer. You risk getting mugged at best and getting hopelessly lost at worst.
- Respect local culture
Being a profoundly religious island, Zanzibaris are conservatives in their dressing. While you vacation on the island, try to dress decently, especially when venturing in the hinterlands. For ladies, ensure your body is well covered and leave miniskirts at your hotel. For men a shirt and trousers are sufficient.
- Respect the religion
Exercise caution when walking close to mosques. Steer away from densely crowded places especially in and around Stone Town on Fridays. Since the main religion in Zanzibar is Islam Friday prayers have enormous significance and as a tourist you should give the respect the religion deserves. Do not make fun of people, the religion or the culture and this goes for not just Zanzibar but for every country that you visit.
- Eat and drink in moderation
Keep off tap water for risk of catching typhoid and other stomach ailments. Lots of water comes from mainland Tanzania and is unsafe to drink. Also, ensure fruits, and other foods that are sold in the markets are clean. If your stomach is sensitive, then it’s a good idea to confine yourself to hotel food. Use only bottled mineral water. The local cuisine is very tasty but you need to ensure that you are eating in a neat place. Ideally places that are frequented by many people tend to be good.
- Local prostitution rings, drug dealers and crime syndicates
Avoid getting trapped into the local prostitution rings that target foreigners. Like all major cities in the world, Zanzibar has its share of sleazy districts with prostitutes and drug dealers. Pimps are always on the lookout for wayward foreigners looking for cheap tricks. They target their money and other valuables.