Zanzibar: When to Book

Powdery white sands and crystal clear waters

Zanzibar When to Book

Whether it is a Bed and Breakfast, chalet, short-stay apartment or villa, or a hotel, if you want to go to Zanzibar Island during the peak holiday periods July and October, or the semi-peak period between November and March, you need to think about booking your accommodation at least 3 to 4 months in advance. Remember many families, couples and even singles want to escape their normal surroundings for something different during these peak seasons. So do book early to avoid disappointment.

You may consider booking a holiday to coincide with local events. In Zanzibar the majority of local events part of Islam. Although Muslim holidays make for heady celebrations in the Zanzibar Archipelago, you may feel like you're fasting even when it's not Ramadan - many restaurants close down during these times. Coinciding with the end of the hajj in February, Eid al-Kebir commemorates God's change of heart: Abraham was about to sacrifice his son as per God's command when the almighty decided, at the last moment, that a ram would do instead. Ramadan, the annual 30-day fast when adherents do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, and Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan, are also celebrated in style.

The precise dates of events, according to the Islamic calendar, are known only shortly before they fall, and depend upon the sighting of the moon. July is the fashionable month for non-Muslim festivals. Consider lobbing in for the Zanzibar Cultural Festival, held annually around mid-July, the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also held in July, and Mwaka Kogwa (marking the Shirazi New Year or Nairuzim), held in late July.