Look for island specialties like octopus curry and urojo, a turmeric and coconut-based soup with crispy fritters and spiced potatoes that seems to have the island’s entire history contained within its broth.If you want to try these recipes at home, head to Darajani market, the main Bazaar, where locals shop for groceries – but get there early, before the heat rolls in. Across Zanzibar, and many parts of mainland Tanzania, breakfast options are egg white or egg white—even when the yolk is included.Mainland Tanzania is a mix of Christian, Muslim, and indigenous groups, but Zanzibar, which the Sultanate of Oman ruled for centuries, is almost entirely Muslim.
The short rains generally take place between November and December, but aren’t nearly as intense—they tend to show up in short and torrential bursts, then quickly fade back to blue skies. Zanzibar has had many rulers over the centuries, and its long, tragic history has created one of Africa’s most interesting cuisines.This is the original fusion food, a delicious mash-up of Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese and African cooking traditions, all driven by the constant presence of spice (these are known as the Spice Islands, after all, where cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg come straight from the source.) Try African , Indian chapatti, Swahili curries, and eat as much fresh seafood as humanly possible.If you’re looking for a beach escape with other Westerners, head north to Nungwi and Kendwa, where you’ll find the same all-inclusive packages and beach discos you’ll find in most other warm parts of the world.For a slightly more Zanzibari experience, try quieter towns like Bwejuu or Jambiani where your slice of island paradise is mixed with the rhythms of village life. Every year, there are the long rains and the short rains.Western time is one o’clock in the morning Swahili time, and 7 p.m. (This works because sunset and sunrise times are relatively constant year-round, since Zanzibar is so close to the equator.) A trick to decipher this code is to imagine drawing a line directly across a clock face: three becomes nine, four becomes ten.
When arranging meeting times, it’s best to specify the time of day you’d like to meet—morning, afternoon, evening, night—that way, even if your numbers are off, chances are you’ll still connect. Transit to Zanzibar happens by plane or boat, most likely departing from Dar Es Salaam.Locals are helpful, so you can ask for directions as many times as you want, but sometimes it’s best to let yourself get lost. Things in Zanzibar don’t always make sense, don’t always work, or can take a while.It’s important to enjoy the calm chaos and take a cue from the unhurried pace.On the heels of the blazing and seriously sweaty East African summer, Zanzibar’s long rainy season lasts roughly from March until May.Booking a trip during this period if you’re set on a beach holiday is not a good idea; the islands get hit with some pretty epic monsoons that will quite literally dump on your beach time.There are street names, sort of, but no one really uses them.