Currently, no mandatory vaccinations apply to travellers going to Tanzania (including Zanzibar). However, it is recommended to vaccinate yourself against tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria and hepatitis. Yellow fever vaccinations are required of people traveling in from other African countries. Before you leave, make sure that your insurance company does not make coverage conditional upon obtaining certain vaccines.
Malaria is extremely rare in Zanzibar. A few years ago, the government ran a comprehensive project to chemically destroy mosquito colonies. Still, most doctors will recommend preventive medicine such as Malarone (available on prescription), particularly if you are headed for mainland Tanzania. Some doctors claim that anti-malaria drugs should only be taken in the event of an infection. It is recommended to consult a tropical diseases specialist before departure.
In Zanzibar, a variety of anti-malaria drugs are available as OTC; a malaria test can also be conducted without issues. The best selection is offered by Shamshu Pharmacy in Stone Town.
Both during your mainland and island stay, it is advisable to use bednets, mosquito repellents, wear bright (but not glowing) colours after sundown and avoid perfume and cosmetics with flowery scents.
Zanzibar lies close to the Equator; at these latitudes the sun is very powerful and tans even in the shade; moreover, the sea breeze reduces one’s sensitivity to solar rays. Sunburn is a risk not only during walks or while lying on the beach, but also in the water. High-SPF waterproof creams or UV-protective shirts are advised. Straw hats or baseball caps are always a good idea. The highest risk areas are your feet, hands, calves, lower thighs and neck. High-quality sunglasses with a UV filter are a must. Children and light-skinned persons carry the greatest risk of sunburn and heat exhaustion.
In a hot and humid climate, dehydration is a very real risk. This is accelerated by alcohol consumption, physical effort, diarrhoea, but also diving. Always remember to drink plenty of water; it is also advised to buy hydration powders that are dissolved in water and allow to quickly replenish the lacking fluids and minerals.
Moving to a country far away, where you don’t know medical standards nor facilities, can create a certain mistrust of the destination itself, especially for those who travel with children. For this reason we want to reassure you about medical supplies and safety in Zanzibar.
Just a few minutes driving from hotel, in the center of Kiwengwa a new medical center has been opened in July 2016, with services and clinical pharmacy (European medications available, too), which provides professional staff, coming from Europe.
Furthermore, the Tasakhtaa Hospital, opened in March 2015, located at Vuga Road, Stone Town, 1 hour drive from Marafiki, provides world-class, affordable multi-specialty tertiary healthcare. The Hospital has best consultant clinicians, nursing staff and technicians to provide quality health care. The facility has advanced laboratory facilities and high-end imaging modalities. Another new clinic assuring 24 hours emergency service is located in Nungwi North Valley Hospital.
Both institutions cooperate with international insurance companies and prepare the documents required by the insurer.