Getting to Zanzibar by Air
Direct flights to Zanzibar: Condor, Jetfly, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, Arkia Israeli Airlines, KLM, FlyDubai, Meridian, Fastjet and Mango. There is talk that other international airlines (like Emirates, Turkish Airlines) might get permission to land in Zanzibar in the near future. Other airlines fly to Dar es Salaam.
Great news for travellers from South Africa: Fastjet (based in Dar es Salaam) now flies the route from Johannesburg to Zanzibar (with just a short stopover in Dar es Salaam). Fastjet offers much lower prices than Mango, and more so, their flights from Johannesburg to Zanzibar depart in the afternoon. For best prices, book as much in advance as possible: www.fastjet.com
ZANZIBAR is served by many international direct flights that are ever expanding. Zanzibar is served by several airlines offering convenient flights from the United States and Europe. Ethiopian Airlines offers the most comprehensive flight schedules and most convenient service from the U.S. mainland Africa, Asia and Europe via Addis Ababa to Zanzibar: it regularly operates approximately 21-hour, one-stop flights from Washington D.C with a short stop in Addis Ababa. The airline also offers alternative convenient routes at a low cost with stops in other US or European cities for passengers traveling from smaller airports. Cheap and convenient flights to Zanzibar are available on many other airlines operating flights to Zanzibar. Airline choice is great and ever expanding, including major US and international carriers like KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, American Airlines in cooperation with Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways and Fly Dubai in partnership with Emirates. These major carriers offer multiple flights and schedules which can be customized to your needs.
Things to do on Zanzibar
There is a lot to see and to do on Zanzibar island. First and foremost, do enjoy the amazing white sand beaches especially at the north, east and south coast. The sand has the consistency of castor sugar! The best beaches are Nungwi/Kendwa, Matemwe/Kiwengwa and Paje/Jambiani, each offering different appeal.
Zanzibar Island, a.k.a., The Spice Island, was an important stop in the Spice Trade centuries ago. Today, it is one of the few places in the world where saffron is produced, and many other Middle Eastern/Asian spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.) are grown here. Visit one of the spice farms where you can see how anise, pepper, cloves etc. grow; you can sample some of the exotic fruit grown on the island. And do check out the "lipstick tree".
There are a number of historically important (and frankly, just plain beautiful) buildings in Stone Town, like The House of Wonders and The Arab Fort. It is easy to arrange a simple walking tour with a local guide who can teach you some history. The market in Stone Town is one of the largest, most vibrant open-air markets anywhere. Here, you can find several varieties of bananas, "elephant garlic" unique to the island, the largest avocados you'll probably ever see, and more. Prices are extremely reasonable. Even if you have no intentions of purchasing food, the spectacle alone is worth a visit. If seeing raw meat and fish covered in flies makes you squeamish, avoid that part of the market. Overall, pretty much all food that is not packaged in plastic is covered in flies.