Here's everything you need to know for planning your visit:
Tickets or passes are needed for admission to the main venue. There is NO allocated seating. The Old Fort main festival venue has limited capacity. For peace of mind we recommend you book tickets early, the online tickets booking will be available later. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the Old Fort reception from the beginning of February 2014.
Zanzibar has international scheduled flights served by Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis), Oman Air (via Muscat) and Kenya Airways (via Nairobi). Also regional flights served by Precision Air.
Alternatively, Dar es Salaam is served by Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Swiss Air, South African Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates. From Dar you can get a local-hop connection with ZanAir, Coastal Aviation or Precision Air for less than US$ 100.
Zanzibar is served by a number of ferry companies to/from Dar es Salaam. There are several fast (2hr) hydrofoil crossings daily plus several slower (4hr) vessels. Non Residents should expect to pay up to US$50 incl port tax one-way.
We recommend that visitors to the festival stay in or near Stone Town on the nights of 13 - 16 February 2014 (Thur – Sun). Please make arrangements as soon as possible, as most hotels are booked well in advance.
Taxis from the airport can cost up to US$15. Taxis anywhere within town up to US$5. Local people travel around in shared minibuses - called "dala dalas". They tend to leave once they are full and stop often to drop and pick passengers - so not the quickest, but affordable and fun.
The main festival venue is at the Old Fort, on the waterfront of historic Stone Town. (See Google view.) This world heritage site is part of Zanzibar Town. Most places are within easy walking distance, although it can get very warm in the middle of the day and it's easy to lose yourself in the endless narrow alleyways - so you might consider taxis at times.
The requirements and rules regarding visas vary according to your nationality and country of residence. Please check well in advance.
YELLOW FEVER certificates - for clarification
There has been some confusion arising from a recent announcement from the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar, also repeated on some travel advisory web sites, regarding the requirements for a yellow fever certificate. Clarification from the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI) states:
Zanzibar in February can be hot and sunny. Think about sun protection (sunglasses, sun cream and loose baggy clothes). Also, in the streets of Stone Town, please respect that showing too much flesh may offend local (Muslim) standards.
Bring your camera - and any special batteries. Town power is 240v and mostly square pin sockets (like UK). Internet and CD burning is widely available.
Some restaurants and hotels have WiFi - so you might consider bringing that laptop or PDA.
Obviously, there will be opportunities for beaches and swimming. Plastic shoes of sandals are recommended for shoreline walks at low tide.
Zanzibar is a peaceful location inhabited by peaceful people. However, it is in the best interest of all visitors to "wise-up" on a few simple "dos and don'ts".
Please avoid walking around with more valuables than you need, especially late at night, or on the beaches.
Please consider the consequences of provocative behaviour and dress in public places. What maybe quite "normal" in some cultures may invite attention or cause offence in others.
While visiting Zanzibar you may also be interested in some of the following: