Zanzibar – Entry & Exit Formalities
Unguja, the main island in the Zanzibar archipelago, is commonly referred to as Zanzibar. There are many islands in the archipelago but Unguja being the biggest and with the many white sandy beaches is the most popular. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania but the entry and exit formalities are the same for both Tanzania and Zanzibar.
If you are tourist who wished to visit Zanzibar, you can enter the country by getting a visa upon arrival. The visa upon arrival is given at three international airports in Tanzania, namely, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. The cost of a visa is USD 50. If you are an US citizen, then the cost of a visa is USD 100. Though you can get visas on arrival, officially it is recommended that a tourist obtain a visa prior to departure.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months at least and your passport should have at least one empty page, if not your visa application will be rejected. If you enter Zanzibar with a valid visa or you get a visa on arrival, you will find that it is not a hassle at all. However, if you enter Zanzibar after getting a visa on arrival at Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro you need to show the visa documents when you enter Zanzibar, though you need not stand in the long queues.
Tourist visas are generally valid for 3 months. Visas for staying in Zanzibar longer than three months you will usually find it hard to get it. It would be a better idea to go to any neighbouring country for a few days and come back and get a new visa on arrival.
An important point to note is that you need to be vaccinated for yellow fever if you are traveling to Tanzania. If you are traveling from a zone which is an endemic yellow fever zone you need to show your yellow fever vaccination certificate. If you are arriving from a non-endemic yellow fever zone you need not show the yellow fever vaccination certificate. If you are traveling from the Tanzanian mainland to Zanzibar you need not show the yellow fever vaccination certificate. If you have not had the necessary vaccinations for yellow fever you will not be provided with a visa to enter Zanzibar.
Another important point to note is that Tanzania is not a part of the East Africa Tourist Visa or EATV as it is known. Hence, if you hold an EATV you should know that it is not applicable in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You should make the necessary arrangements to get a visa even if you have EATV.