FAQs Zanzibar

What is the main religion on Zanzibar? 

Zanzibar is overwhelmingly Muslim. Although this should little impact your activities while on the island, we advise a certain amount of awareness and cultural sensitivity. Tourists are warmly welcomed, so you will feel perfectly safe and unthreatened. Alcohol is available in most (but not all) tourist hotels and restaurants; inquire first if that is important to you.  Dress modestly when in public.

Please do not enter a mosque if you are not Muslim.

Ramadan is an important Muslim religious observance during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.  It is a time of extra prayer as adherents seek forgiveness from God and try to purify themselves through self-restraint.  The most noticeable aspect of the latter is fasting (no food or drink – including water) from sunrise until sunset.  Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, each month begins with the crescent moon and the year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year.  So the dates of Ramadan are earlier every year (in 2020 it is expected to be from 24th April to 23rd May).  During this holy month the normally vibrant island can feel a bit quiet during the day.  Still, all tourist facilities will be operating as normal and tourists are not expected to fast, though out of respect we suggest you not eat or drink in the streets during the day.  Ramadan ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which is very joyous and an exciting time to be on Zanzibar.