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Zanzibar Island Transportation – Taxi, Train, Bus & Airport Tips

Zanzibar Island Transportation

Known as the Spice Islands, Zanzibar is a group of islands off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean and part of the country of Tanzania. The capital, Zanzibar City, is on the largest island, Unguja, and offers many transportation options to see this exotic destination.

Getting to Zanzibar

The international airport located is large and has daily flights connecting it to the mainland by Kenya Air, Auric Air, Qatar Airways, Turkish Air, Fly Dubai and Costal Aviation. The airport serves about 1.5 million passengers per year.

Ferries operate from Dar es Salaam several times per day and service the main port in the Stone Town section of Zanzibar City.


The easiest way to get around the island is via a taxi cab. They can be found at the airport and all major hotels. If you are staying in a guest house, most provide a list of telephone numbers. Taxis are not metered and the price is agreed to before the journey. Renting a driver for a full day runs about $100 USD.

Bike & Scooters

If you are looking for an easy way to maneuver the roads around the island, try renting a bicycle or a scooter.  The roads are flat and follow the coastline so it’s an easy ride via bike. It also is much easier to navigate the busy streets and you don’t have to have a special license to ride one.  For vespa, scooter, or motorcycle rentals, you must have an endorsement if you don’t have an international driver’s license.

Public Transport

There is no official public transportation in Zanzibar but there are many ways to get around easily and cheaply.  Locals use a Dala-Dala, an open air truck with seats that’s very crowded but cheap. Mini-buses are available; you can get timetables at the hotels or if you are a larger group book one for a private tour. Dhows are small fishing boats that can be hired to take people to deserted beaches, however they’re not regulated for safety.

Car Rental

Renting a car is fairly easy and they deliver, for a price, to your hotel. You must have an international driver’s license or get an endorsement before driving. Police have checkpoints around the island so make sure everyone driving has documentation. If you only want a day tour, consider renting a taxi or minibus to drive you around.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation in Zanzibar.

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