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Questions about Stone Town

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Questions about Stone Town

I will be traveling to Tanzania next month with two friends, all of us female. We are doing a safari and a short trek on Kilimanjaro, but have two days completely open before we fly back home out of Dar Es Salaam.

We have a few questions regarding where stay, transportation to the airport and safety concerns.

1) We are looking to stay somewhere safe where we will not have to leave the hotel after dark, but where there might still be things to do on the hotel grounds. Does anyone have any recommendations?

2) How simple is it to get from Stone Town to the airport, and how much time would you estimate is needed to make it to the Dar Es Salaam airport? (We have a late afternoon flight home)

3) What are the safety concerns for three women traveling in Zanzibar?

Thank you so much for any advice you can give! We have never made a trip like this before, and appreciate any information.

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1. Re: Questions about Stone Town

Stone Town itself is only 10-15/min to the ZNZ airport; flight from here to DAR is about 15/min. On arrival DAR you usually land at the Intl terminal, so only need board homebound flight unless you have a long layover.

Unless you wish to eat out (dinner) other than your hotel, there are a few choices - Africa House, Roof top Emerson & Green or Emerson Spice (others also) for which you should make reservations. And depending on where staying in Stone Town can arrange with that hotel for an escort (or for taxi) to eatery and once finished the restaurant will provide an escort (or taxi) back to your hotel.

During daytime hours, you can arrange a tour thru the town of this World Heritage Site w/guide; even farther afield if Jozani Forest; or spend a day at Safari Blue; Inquire at your hotel for details and book. All will handle the pick-up and returns.

As with any area anywhere, any country, you just have to always be aware of your surroundings.

Zanzibar Island...
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2. Re: Questions about Stone Town

From the airport to stone town it s not very far. It is 10- 15 Minutes ride to the airport or vise versa. You get get to stone using taxi and we do provide transport should you need that.

Thank you so much and welcome to Zanzibar

key west, florida
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3. Re: Questions about Stone Town

We have stayed at two hotels in Stone Town in the past year; the Maru Maru and the brand new Double Tree. Both are good places to stay with good restaurants. The Maru Maru roof top is great for views of Stone Town and it is right in the middle of the small shops. The new Double Tree is really nice with all you expect from Hilton with the Stone Town charm. They have a roof top restaurant with a balcony to view the sunset. Double Tree is also close to shopping and attractions. The one thing about the Double Tree that may make a difference for you is its proximity to a very very good restaurant (actually a Double Tree property as well) called the Beyt al Salaam. If you go you must have the coconut crab soup - trust me. This restaurant is one building from the Double Tree and I am certain you can get an escort if you want (after dark) from the hotel to the restaurant. Across the street from the Beyt al Salaam is the Serena Hotel with a great terrace to watch the sunset and have a drink. Again, it is a short walk back to the hotel and the entire small area is populated by security and hotel related staff. An escort back is likely possible. Either hotel is a good choice in my opinion. If you want the security and quality afforded by a familiar name, but without losing any of the charm that is Stone Town, go for the Double Tree.

Security is an issue in Tanzania. Be smart. Large lose bags are a temptation. Dar es Salaam, where we are currently posted, has a big problem with bag snatching. Common sense pays off. Also Zanzibar is predominately Muslim, so dress respectfully.

Ten words of Swahili will pay dividends.

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4. Re: Questions about Stone Town

Just to add to the above- I have travelled in Stone Town a lot as a woman on my own. I've never felt particularly unsafe, except when I was stupid enough, many years ago, to walk around the alleyways late at night. More fool me.

Dressing conservatively is a good idea- if you are seen to have respect for local cultural norms, I've found people tend to have more respect for you. It doesn't mean going OTT, but covering knees and shoulders (and the bits in between) and wearing loose clothing- frankly a godsend if it's hot anyway- can really help. As Dandeja mentioned a little Swahili (yes, no, hello and thank you) will also help. The hawkers can occasionally seem persistent and intimidating- smiling broadly, saying a firm no and keeping moving is the best way to deal with it.

Have a fantastic time- as with anywhere in the world, most people are tremendously friendly and kind- so don't be nervous and have fun!

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa

5. Re: Questions about Stone Town

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6. Re: Questions about Stone Town

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