Getting to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam:
We all know how cool the word Zanzibar feels as it rolls off the tongue, but does the place actually deliver? Absolutely. The Spice Islands are only 28 miles off the coast of Tanzania, and yet the archipelago lives up to its hype in every way possible. Powdered sugar beaches, blood-orange sunsets, world-class diving, and culinary arts rivaling most anywhere. A bucket list destination, to be sure.
So how best do you get to this paradise? Two available options available options: ferry or flight. Both offer exceptional experiences, and both have their benefits. To remove any confusion, we’ve made a quick-and-clear comparison for you to make up your mind. At the end of this post, we disclose our personal recommendation. So buckle up — let’s go for a ride.
Why Take a Ferry to Zanzibar…
Oftentimes, staying close to the ground—or water—adds more adventure to any experience. Ferry travel can be exhilarating, and, in Tanzania, it will put you in direct contact with seafaring locals. Most high-speed ferries depart to Zanzibar multiple times a day from Dar es Salaam. Here are some numbers:
$35/$40/$50/$60 (USD as of November 2018)
Economy / Business / VIP / Royal
- Book in Advance?
The journey is scenic, and it places you in direct contact with the elements that define this island world. It’s a truly unique experience to gain this vantage point when arriving, a well-earned crossing. Overall, the ferry system in Tanzania is safe and secure, though we only advise travelers to take the high-speed, well-maintained ferry operators. We recommend a ferry to clients whose travels home route them through Dar es Salaam. The port is easily accessible from downtown hotels, and this option avoids the 1.5-hour drive to the airport.
Why Take a Flight to Zanzibar…
A popular option is to book your safari for Northern Tanzania and/or a Kilimanjaro trek, then fly directly to Zanzibar from either Arusha, Kilimanjaro International Airport, or the Serengeti bush. Flights from Arusha are 1.5 hours; they are frequent and reasonably priced. If you fly from the Serengeti, be aware that this might require a few stops. This combination offers a convenient beach getaway after days in the bush. Your Easy Travel team can organize all the transfers to and from airport to hotel, to paradise, and back. Hassle-free. Here are some flight specifics:
Arusha to Zanzibar: $230 to $250 per person / one way
Northern Serengeti Kogatende Airstrip to Zanzibar: $470 to $500 per person / one way
Grumeti to Zanzibar: $470 to $500 per person / one way
Seronera (Central Serengeti to Zanzibar) $400 to $430 per person / one way
Our Recommendation? Fly.
Though we love the rush and close-to-earth feel of a high-speed ferry travel, flying to Zanzibar proves to be the best use of your limited time in Tanzania. We book you a plane that takes you directly there. To fly is to avoid seasickness, overcrowded boats, and potentially long, overland travel to get to and from the ports. Note that all ferries depart from Dar es Salaam, so if you wish travel by ferry post-safari, you’ll need to get to Dar first, which we can help arrange. A second place recommendation might be to take a one-way ferry to Zanzibar, then fly back to your destination.