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Uber is not available in Zanzibar. This Tanzanian archipelago, known for its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage, offers various other local transportation options for getting around. Visitors can explore the islands using taxis, rental cars, or the traditional ‘dala-dala’ minibusses, each offering a unique way to experience Zanzibar’s scenic beauty and vibrant culture.

Travelers planning to visit this beautiful archipelago may wonder how they are going to get around and “Is there Uber in Zanzibar?” What they will inevitably discover however is that Zanzibar offers a different kind of travel experience, as Uber is not currently available.

Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, is renowned for its picturesque beaches, historic Stone Town, and rich cultural tapestry. Exploring Zanzibar requires a dive into local transport methods, which are integral to the island’s charm. From the bustling streets of Stone Town to the tranquil villages and stunning coastlines, understanding the local transportation landscape is key for visitors seeking to experience Zanzibar’s unique allure fully. This guide will delve into the various transport options available, ensuring travelers can navigate the islands with ease and confidence.

Is There Uber in Zanzibar?

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As previously mentioned, Uber does not operate in Zanzibar. This is primarily due to the region’s unique transportation landscape and regulatory environment.

Local regulations and the business environment in Zanzibar, a small island economy, doesn’t seem to fit Uber’s operational model.

Moreover, the island has a well-established local transportation system, including private taxis and ‘dala-dala’ minibusses, adequately serve the transportation needs of both locals and tourists.

Impact on Travelers

  • Alternative Services: Visitors must rely on traditional taxis, rental vehicles, or the local ‘dala-dala’ minibusses for their transportation needs.
  • Planning and Negotiation: Without Uber, travelers should be prepared to negotiate taxi fares in advance or understand the routes and fares of local minibusses.
  • Local Experience: Using traditional transport methods can offer a more authentic and engaging experience of Zanzibar’s culture and way of life.

Benefits of Uber’s Absence

  • Supporting Local Economy: By using local transportation services, visitors contribute directly to the local economy, supporting taxi drivers and operators of ‘dala-dala’.
  • Cultural Integration: Engaging with local transport systems allows visitors to immerse themselves more deeply in Zanzibar’s local culture and daily life.

While the absence of Uber might initially seem like an inconvenience to some travelers, it opens up opportunities to engage more closely with the local way of life and supports the local economy.

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Are There Other Ride-sharing Apps in Zanzibar?

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No international rideshare apps are currently operating in Zanzibar. However, the island has its own local transportation methods, some of which offer some of the functionality of popular ride-sharing and taxi-hailing apps widely used by both residents and tourists.

While Zanzibar does not have the typical ridesharing apps that many travelers may be accustomed to, it offers a range of local transportation options that provide an authentic and efficient way to explore the island.

Taxis in Zanzibar

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Taxis are a popular and convenient way to travel around Zanzibar, especially for tourists who prefer the comfort and direct service they offer. Howver taxis can be expensive and taxi drivers are known for quoting high fares for tourists.

Are Taxis Cheap in Zanzibar?

  • Relative Cost: Taxis in Zanzibar are generally more expensive than other local transportation options like dala-dalas but are still reasonably priced by international standards.
  • Price Variation: Costs can vary depending on the distance, the time of day, and the passenger’s negotiating skills.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in Zanzibar?

  • Fare Negotiation: Taxis in Zanzibar do not usually use meters, so it’s essential to negotiate and agree on the fare before starting the journey.
  • Example Fare: A typical taxi fare from Zanzibar Airport to Stone Town may range from $10 USD to $15 USD (about 25,000 – 40,000 TZS), but this can vary.

Do Taxis Accept Credit Cards in Zanzibar?

  • Cash Transactions: Most taxis in Zanzibar operate on a cash-only basis. Finding a taxi that accepts credit card payments is rare, so having local currency (Tanzanian Shillings) is advisable.
  • Pre-paying: Some taxi agencies will accept pre-payment by bank transfer with prior arrangement.

How Do I Catch a Taxi in Zanzibar?

  • Airport and Hotels: Taxis can be easily found at the airport, outside hotels, and in popular tourist areas. Beware, taxis found in tourist destinations will mark you for a tourist and quote higher rates.
  • Taxi Stands: In areas like Stone Town, taxis often have designated stands where they wait for passengers.
  • Booking Through Hotel: Some hotels and guesthouses can arrange taxi services for their guests. This is recommended as hotel will often know of a local cheap taxi HOWEVER be aware that some hotels may connect with an expensive tourist taxi in return for a kickback from the driver. It never hurts to get a couple of quote.
  • Pre-Booking Yourself: Order a taxi from a reliable company or individual driver.

What are Some Reputable and Reliable Taxi Companies in Zanzibar?

Are Taxis Safe in Zanzibar?

  • Generally Safe: Taxis are considered safe in Zanzibar, especially when booked through reliable sources like your hotel or through one of the companies above.
  • Choose Wisely: Opt for well-maintained taxis with friendly, professional drivers.

Common Taxi Scams in Zanzibar?

  • Overcharging: The most common issue is drivers charging tourists inflated prices. This can be mitigated by knowing what a reasonable fare is and agreeing on the fare beforehand.
  • Unofficial Taxis: Always use official taxis, preferably those recommended by your accommodation, to avoid scams.
  • Collusion with Hotels or Shops: Drivers may take you to specific hotels or shops where they receive a commission, even if it’s not your chosen destination.
  • High Night Fares: Charging exorbitantly higher rates at night claiming limited availability or increased night tariffs.

Do I Need to Tip Taxi Drivers in Zanzibar?

Not Mandatory: Tipping taxi drivers is not a common practice in Zanzibar, but small tips for excellent service are appreciated.

Other Ways to Get Around Zanzibar

Yellow speed boat with a woman sitting on the deck

Apart from taxis, Zanzibar offers several other transportation methods that visitors can use to explore the islands.

Dala-Dala (Minibuses)

  • Most Common Local Transport: Dala-dalas are the primary mode of transport for locals. These minibuses run on set routes and
  • Affordability: Dala-dala is an unbeatable value, with rides for between a few cents and $1 depending on where on the island you’re heading.
  • Experience: Traveling by dala-dala offers an authentic glimpse into local life. However, vehicles are generally old and run down, and trips can be very crowded, not just with people but with cargo and even live animals. The journey will also take longer than taking a private taxi directly.
  • Routes: They connect most parts of the island, including popular tourist destinations. Stone Town is the beginning and end of most routes so you can transfer here to get between most places on the island.
  • Catching the Dala: While it is possible to flag a Dala-Dala down, it’s easiest to take the Dala-Dala from the local bus stop. Dala-Dalas, wait until they are full…like very full before leaving. Once the bus is ready to leave, an attendant comes through and collects the fare.
  • Getting off: Dala-Dalas don’t have fixed stops. You will need to know where you are getting off, either by asking your new bus mates or by tracking your trip with GPS. When its time to get off yell “Shusha” and the bus will stop to let you off.

Boda Boda – Motorcycle taxi

  • Short Distance Local Transport: In addition to Dala-Dalas, Boda Bodas are a popular mode of transport in Zanzibar, especially for short distances or in areas where Dala-Dalas are less frequent. They are motorbikes that can navigate through narrow streets and rural areas.
  • Affordability: Boda Bodas are generally more expensive than Dala-Dalas but cheaper than private taxis. The cost varies depending on the distance, but expect to pay between $1 to $5. Always negotiate and agree on the fare before the ride.
  • Experience: Riding a Boda Boda offers a more intimate and flexible experience of Zanzibar. However, they can be riskier than other forms of transport due to exposure to traffic and lack of safety gear. It’s an adventurous way to get around, offering a direct and often faster route compared to Dala-Dalas.
  • Routes: Boda Bodas are available throughout the island, including rural and remote areas not serviced by Dala-Dalas. They are particularly useful for direct trips to specific destinations or when you’re in a hurry.
  • Hiring a Boda Boda: You can easily flag down a Boda Boda in most parts of Zanzibar, especially in urban areas and near tourist spots. You can also ask your hotel or a local to call one for you. Some Boda Boda drivers hang around popular tourist areas, waiting for customers.
  • Safety Tips: Always wear a helmet, which the driver should provide. Keep your belongings secure and be cautious of your surroundings, especially in busy areas. It’s advisable to use Boda Bodas during the day and opt for safer transport options at night.
  • Cultural Considerations: While Boda Bodas are a fun and efficient way to travel, it’s important to respect local customs and dress modestly, especially in rural or conservative areas.

Tuk Tuks – Three-Wheeled Auto Rickshaws

  • Group Rides: Tuktuks, also known as auto-rickshaws, are a popular and convenient mode of transportation in Zanzibar. They have many of the benefits of the boda boda but can take more people (usually 3 or 4).
  • Affordability: Tuktuks are generally more affordable than private taxis but slightly more expensive than Boda Bodas or Dala-Dalas. The fare depends on the distance and your negotiation skills. Expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $10, and always agree on the fare before starting the trip.
  • Experience: Riding a Tuktuk is a unique and enjoyable way to experience the local vibe of Zanzibar. They are less exposed than Boda Bodas but offer an open-air experience. Tuktuks can be less crowded and more comfortable than Dala-Dalas, and they provide a good balance between cost, comfort, and local transportation experience.
  • Routes: Tuktuks primarily operate in urban areas and are excellent for short hops around towns like Stone Town or for journeys where Dala-Dalas aren’t practical. They are not typically used for long distances or in very rural areas.
  • Hiring a Tuktuk: You can easily find Tuktuks in busy areas, near markets, and tourist spots. It’s also common to flag them down on the street. Many hotels and restaurants can arrange Tuktuk rides for their guests.
  • Safety and Comfort: While Tuktuks are safer than Boda Bodas, it’s still important to be cautious, especially in traffic. Tuktuks are more stable but can be cramped for larger groups or those with lots of luggage. Ensure your belongings are secure during the ride.
  • Cultural Insights: Tuktuks offer a closer look at the daily life of locals. Drivers often double as informal guides, offering insights into local culture and recommendations for places to visit.

Rental Cars and Scooters

If your not interested in bartering everyday with taxi drivers to navigate the island, and your not sold on the local transport options you may want to consider renting a car or scooter. Be ware driving here is not for the faint of heart!

Temporary Driving Permit: To Drive in Zanzibar you will need your license AND a local driving permit. You can apply in advance for this permit. You will need to submit copies of you license, passport photos and a fee of $10 USD. Find More information here.

Car Rental

  • Overview: Renting a car in Zanzibar offers the most freedom and flexibility to explore the island at your own pace. It’s ideal for those planning to visit multiple destinations, especially in less accessible areas.
  • Process: Car rental agencies are available at the airport, in Stone Town, and at some hotels. International visitors typically need a valid driver’s license from their home country and a Temporary Driving Permit. Some agencies may also require a credit card for a security deposit.
  • Cost: The cost varies depending on the type of car and rental duration. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $70 per day. This usually includes insurance, but it’s essential to confirm the coverage details.
  • Driving in Zanzibar: Roads in Zanzibar can be challenging, with rural areas having unpaved and poorly lit roads. Traffic in urban areas, especially Stone Town, can be congested. Driving is on the left-hand side. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and conditions.
  • Parking and Fuel: Parking is generally available at hotels and tourist spots. Fuel stations are scattered across the island, more so in urban areas.
  • Safety Tips: Always lock the car when unattended and avoid leaving valuables inside. Be cautious when driving at night due to limited street lighting and sometimes wandering animals.

Scooter Rentals

  • Overview: Renting a scooter is a popular choice for individuals or couples looking to explore Zanzibar with more agility and ease, especially in congested areas.
  • Process: Scooter rentals are available in many tourist areas. Requirements usually include a valid driver’s license and sometimes a separate motorcycle license. Age restrictions may apply.
  • Cost: Scooter rental prices are lower than car rentals, typically ranging from $15 to $30 per day. This often includes a helmet and a lock.
  • Riding in Zanzibar: Scooters are great for navigating through traffic and narrow streets. However, riders should be experienced as road conditions can vary, and traffic can be unpredictable.
  • Safety Tips: Always wear a helmet and appropriate clothing. Secure the scooter when unattended. Be cautious of sandy patches on roads, especially in rural areas.

General Tips for Renting Cars or Scooters:

  • Check the vehicle’s condition before renting.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local road signs and speed limits.
  • Consider the size of the vehicle in relation to the roads you plan to travel (narrow rural roads vs. urban streets).
  • Always carry your driving documents with you.

Renting a car or scooter in Zanzibar can greatly enhance your travel experience, giving you the liberty to discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations at your leisure. Always prioritize safety and adhere to local laws for an enjoyable, hassle-free adventure.

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Man on bike tracking route on screen of smartphone
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  • Overview: Renting a bicycle is an eco-friendly and leisurely way to explore Zanzibar, particularly suited for short distances and less congested areas. It’s a great option for those who want to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace and engage more closely with the local environment.
  • Where to Rent: Bicycles can be rented from several outlets in tourist areas, especially around Stone Town, beach resorts, and some hotels. Local shops and guesthouses in smaller villages may also offer bicycle rentals.
  • Cost: Bicycle rental is very affordable, typically ranging from $5 to $15 per day. The cost may vary based on the bicycle’s quality and rental duration.
  • Suitable Areas for Cycling: Bicycles are ideal for exploring the narrow streets of Stone Town, beachfront paths, and rural areas with less traffic. They are less suitable for long-distance travel across the island or on busy main roads.
  • Safety and Comfort: Always check the condition of the bicycle, especially brakes and tires, before renting. It’s advisable to wear comfortable clothing and bring water, especially in hot weather. While helmets may not always be provided, it’s recommended to use one for safety.

Boat and Ferries in Zanzibar

  • Overview: Ferries are an essential mode of transportation in Zanzibar, particularly for traveling between the main island of Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar), Pemba Island, and the Tanzanian mainland. They are a practical and scenic way to travel across the Zanzibar Archipelago and to and from the mainland.
  • Main Routes:
    • Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam: This is the most popular ferry route, connecting Zanzibar with Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. It’s frequently used by both locals and tourists.
    • Zanzibar to Pemba: Ferries to Pemba Island are less frequent but provide a vital link to this less-visited island, known for its diving spots and natural beauty.
  • Types of Ferries:
    • Fast Ferries: These are modern and faster, taking about 2 hours to reach Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar. They offer various classes of service, from economy to VIP.
    • Traditional Ferries: Slower and typically less expensive, these ferries offer a more local experience but take longer to reach their destination.
  • Schedules and Tickets: Schedules can vary, with multiple departures daily for the Zanzibar-Dar es Salaam route. Fewer options are available for the Zanzibar-Pemba route. Tickets can be purchased at the ferry terminal, but buying them in advance is advisable, especially during peak travel seasons or for fast ferries. Online booking is also available with some ferry services.
  • Travel Experience: Ferries offer a chance to enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the islands. Facilities on fast ferries typically include air conditioning, seating areas, and refreshments. Traditional ferries offer more basic amenities.
  • Safety and Comfort: Safety standards can vary, so it’s advisable to use reputable ferry companies.
  • Cost: The cost varies based on the type of ferry and class of service chosen. Fast ferries are more expensive but offer a quicker and more comfortable journey. One-way tickets on the fast ferry between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam currently cost around $40 USD per person

Private Tour and Transfer

If you plan to see several sites on the island, particularly if you are part of a group, pre-booking a private tour can be an economical way to travel the island as well as get local insights.

Private tours can be arranged based on your interest and schedule. The cost will vary based on yourt itinerary.

Friendly Taxis and Tours can help arrange private tours.


Within cities and towns, walking is one of the best ways to experience Zanzibar.

  • Overview: Walking is an excellent way to explore Zanzibar, particularly suitable for the historic Stone Town and scenic beachfronts. It offers a slow-paced, immersive experience of the local culture and environment.
  • Stone Town: Ideal for exploring on foot due to narrow, vehicle-inaccessible alleys. Rich in historical and cultural sites, markets, and local eateries. It can be easy to get lost so be aware of your surrounding or use GPS!
  • Beach Walks: Perfect for exploring beaches like Nungwi and Paje, especially during cooler early mornings or sunsets.
  • Village Walks: Walking through rural areas offers insights into traditional village life and natural landscapes.
  • Safety and Navigation: Generally walking in Zanzibar is safe but caution is advised, especially at night.
  • Cultural Etiquette: Engage with locals respectfully and seek permission before taking photos.

How to Get from Zanzibar International Airport to the City Center

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Zanzibar International Airport, also known as Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, is located near Zanzibar City. There are several convenient ways to reach the city center or other destinations on the island from the airport.


  • Most Common Method: Taxis are readily available at the airport. They are the most convenient way to get to your destination from the airport. HOWEVER Taxis waiting outside the airport are notorious for charging. Where possible pre-book a taxi with one of the cab companies listed above
  • Cost: The fare from the airport to Stone Town is typically around $10 to $15.

Pre-Arranged Hotel Transfers

  • Convenience: Many hotels and resorts offer airport pickup services. This can be arranged directly with your accommodation prior to your arrival.
  • Reliability: This is often the most reliable and stress-free way to get to your hotel, especially if you are arriving late at night.

Rental Cars

  • Availability: Car rental services are available at the airport for those who prefer to drive themselves.
  • Pros and Cons: Rental cars can be a flexible and economical way to travel the island in comfort; however, driving in Zanzibar is not without its challenges.
  • Advance Booking: It’s often better to book your car in advance, especially during the tourist season.
  • Driving Permit: Drivers will need a local temporary driving permit. Car rental agencies should be able to help you arrange this.

🚗 Considering renting a car? Check out DiscoverCars to search, compare, and save up to 70% on car rentals!

Dala-Dala (Minibus)

  • Budget Option: For the more adventurous traveler, dala-dalas run from the airport to various parts of the island, including Stone Town.
  • Note: Dala-dalas can be crowded and may not be comfortable with a lot of luggage.

Is There Uber Eats in Zanzibar?

Cartoon image of a man and his phone showing food delivery options

Uber Eats, as a specific service, is not available in Zanzibar. Some local apps do exist but they are not always reliable ot widely available throughout the island.

Night Markets and Street Food vendors continue to provide local and tourists wiht conveinient fast food solutions, however if you need delivery, it is worth asking restaurants directly if they offer delivery as many will.

Final Thoughts on Transportation in Zanzibar

Navigating Zanzibar without Uber offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local way of life and explore the island’s rich cultural and natural landscapes. While the absence of international ridesharing services like Uber might initially seem inconvenient to some travelers, the available local transportation options provide a more authentic and potentially enriching experience.

Taxis, while more expensive than other local options, offer convenience and comfort, especially for those unfamiliar with the area. The dala-dala minibuses, although not as comfortable, are an affordable way to travel and offer a glimpse into the everyday life of Zanzibarians. For those seeking independence, renting a car or scooter can be an excellent way to explore the island at your own pace.

Moreover, the lack of Uber and similar services encourages travelers to engage more directly with the local economy, supporting taxi drivers, boat operators, and street food vendors, thereby contributing to the community.

Despite the absence of Uber Eats, the culinary scene in Zanzibar is vibrant and accessible through local delivery services, night markets, and street food vendors, offering a taste of the island’s rich gastronomic heritage.

In summary, transportation in Zanzibar may require a bit more planning and flexibility compared to cities with services like Uber, but it provides a richer, more varied experience that is closely intertwined with the island’s culture and natural beauty.

This wraps up our comprehensive look at transportation options in Zanzibar. If there’s anything else you’d like to know or if you need further elaboration on any point, feel free to ask!

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