Travelling around Zanzibar Town
Most visitors and locals get around the town on foot, and in Stone Town this is the best and often only way, but there are other means of transport available.
Private taxis for hire wait at taxi ranks around town; they do not usually cruise for business, although if you see a taxi in the street it is always possible to flag it down. The main taxi ranks are near the BP petrol station on Creek Road, outside the ZanAir office just east of the Port Gates, beside the House of Wonders, in front of the Serena Inn, and at the northern end of Kenyatta Road.
There are no meters. Wherever you go, you should check the fare with the driver before
starting your journey. A short ride through town costs US$1.50 to US$2. All the way across town costs US$2 to US$3. A longer ride, from town out to Mtoni Marine Centre or Mbweni Ruins Hotel will be about US$3–5. From town to the airport is around US$10, and it should be the same the other way, but from the airport into town, taxi drivers may quote fares of US$20 or higher. One last thing to remember: if there is a petrol shortage, taxi fares go up.
Converted small lorries with two rows of wooden seats at the back, called dala-dalas
(or dalas for short) carry passengers on local runs around town and to outlying suburbs. There are several routes, all starting at the Darajani Bus Station on Creek Road. The most useful routes for visitors are:Route A
, to Amaani Stadium and the eastern part of the New Town, via the Main Post Office; Route B
, along the coast road north of Zanzibar Town, to Bububu, near Fuji Beach; Route U
, along the main road south of Zanzibar Town, to the airport (Uwanje ya Ndege). If you go the whole way, dala-dala fares are about US$0.20 on Route A, and about US$0.25 on Routes B and U. If you travel only part of the route, the fare is slightly cheaper.
For getting around Zanzibar town and the surrounding area, a bike is very handy. Bikes can be hired from several of the tour companies listed in this chapter. They are either sturdy steel Chinese-made models, or more modern looking (though almost as heavy) mountain bikes. Prices for Chinese bikes are about us$10 per day. Mountain bikes are us$15 per day. A deposit of around us$50 may be required.
Car and motorbike
A car or motorbike is not really necessary or practical for getting around Zanzibar town as distances are short and parking is often difficult. However, both can be hired from various tour companies listed in chapter 5. Prices vary, but are generally around us$25 to us$30 per day for a scooter, us$35 to us$40 per day for a motorbike, between us$50 and us$60 per day for a small car (eg: a suzuki 'jeep') and around us$100 per day for a larger car (eg: a toyota land cruiser). Petrol costs about us$1 per litre, and diesel is only slightly cheaper.