Vaccines for Zanzibar | Recommendations & FAQs

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Zanzibar is a stunning semi-autonomous region and island of Tanzania, separated from the mainland by 47 miles of Indian Ocean waters and popular with newlyweds going on their honeymoon safari.

Knowing which Zanzibar vaccines are required, latest health guidelines and what precautions should be taken is an important step in preparation prior to getting to Zanzibar. ZNZ airport is located three miles south of Stone Town, the main city and a Zanzibar visa may be required in addition to certain vaccines.

Any compulsory vaccines in Zanzibar?

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entering Zanzibar or Tanzania. This can change over time depending on government medical updates.

Some travelers may need protection against MMR and malaria protection tablets are recommended for travel for some parts of the country.

Recommended vaccines for Zanzibar/Tanzania

Some vaccines are recommend for Tanzania, the CDC and WHO note the following:

CovidRecommended for everyone 5 years of age and older to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.
MalariaTravelers going to certain areas of Tanzania should take prescription medicine to prevent malaria many days before their trip, as well as during and after their trip.
Chickenpox (Varicella)2 doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-PertussisCDC recommends diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccinations for everyone.
FluCDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination.
MMRTwo doses of MMR vaccine to prevent measles and protect against Mumps and Rubella.
PolioCDC recommends that children get 4 doses of polio vaccine. Most adults do not need polio vaccine if already vaccinated as children.
ShinglesAdults 50 years and old should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine), separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles
RabiesRabid dogs are commonly found in Tanzania. Visitors should consider a rabies vaccination before their trip.
TyphoidRecommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
Yellow FeverRequired if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.
Hepatitis ARecommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Tanzania.
Hepatitis BRecommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages to Tanzania.
Meningococcal meningitisVisitors should consult with their local doctor on meningitis requirements and vaccines prior to their trip.

Malaria risk

There is a high risk of malaria in all areas of Zanzibar below 1,800m (anti-malarial vaccines for Zanzibar are also recommended): atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine are recommended. There is no risk of malaria above 1,800m.

Bite avoidance and counter measures are recommended. Visitors can check with a travel vaccinations medicine specialist to see if antimalarials should be considered and understanding the best time to visit Zanzibar is useful to help prevent malaria contraction.

If travelling to a remote area remote away from medical facilities, it is recommended to carry standby emergency treatment. Malaria is present in the safari areas of the Serengeti and other areas of Tanzania that visitors may pass through en route to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Zanzibar health recommendations

Recommended visitor precautions

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should ensure to:

  • Apply mosquito repellents on clothes to avoid mosquito bites
  • Wear covered light clothing
  • Use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation and in vehicles, use the air conditioning

Depending on the areas visited, preventive antimalarial treatment should be considered.

Food and water precautions that should be observed:

  • Eat cooked food
  • Wash and peel fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid fresh fruit juices, ice creams, ice cubes, raw vegetables, reheated dishes
  • Consume pasteurized or boiled milk
  • Drink bottled or boiled water

Hygiene rules that should be followed:

  • Wash hands regularly, before and after each meal and after using the toilet
  • Don’t touch wild and stray animals to avoid animal bites and infection
  • Don’t swim in lakes and non-running water
  • Avoid any potentially contaminated food

There are many great beaches in Zanzibar and its nearby islands of Pamunda, Pemba island, Chumbe and Unguja Island.  Visitors with medical conditions should make tour guides and food catering aware of this in advance.

Zanzibar vaccines

A Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended for guests visiting the island of Zanzibar. The vaccination should be acquired a minimum of 10 days before travel.

Tanzania has no recorded case of Yellow Fever and efforts to ensure this superb record mean that all visitors from countries that have a risk of Yellow Fever may have to present vaccination certificates upon entry.

Zanzibar Covid 19 information

All travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival. The test must be a RT-PCR test or NAAT collected at a nationally accredited/approved laboratory, with the sample collected within 96 hours of arrival in Zanzibar.

Travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 can submit proof of recovery from authorized medical personnel for entry to Zanzibar/Tanzania. The Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children has details on these requirements here.

All international passengers to Zanzibar/Tanzania must complete an online Health Survey within 24 hours of arrival.

A separate Health Survey is required for Zanzibar, with details on this Health Survey here.

Travelers will then receive a Unique Health Code (UHC), which they will present to health officials upon arrival.

All passengers entering Zanzibar will be subjected to enhanced screening for COVID-19 including a mandatory rapid test. Covid-19 vaccinations are highly recommended.

The cost for rapid testing is 25 USD for arrivals into Zanzibar and 10 USD per traveller for arrivals into mainland Tanzania. The fee can be paid for through the online Traveller Surveillance Form or in cash on arrival.

Carrying a small amount of Zanzibar currency, the Tanzania Shilling (TZS) is recommended as back-up when paying for items where credit card facilities are unavailable.

US citizens Covid-19 information

U.S. travelers are required to have a negative Covid-19 test not older than 96 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin.

For Zanzibar visitors, travelers are required to complete this Health Surveillance Form.

For Tanzania visitors, travelers are required to complete an online Health Surveillance Form for entry to the Tanzania mainland.

UK/EU/Other citizens Covid-19 information

U.K, EU and other travelers are required to have a negative Covid-19 test not older than 96 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin.

All passengers travelling to Zanzibar/Tanzania must complete an online Traveller’s Surveillance Form. This form must be submitted no more than 24 hours before arrival.

Useful links


What are the compulsory vaccines for Zanzibar?

No vaccine is compulsory for Zanzibar. However, guidelines can change & it is recommended to be up to date with the various Covid-19, Yellow Fever and malaria vaccines and consider antimalarial prophylaxis.

What health precautions should I take to travel to Zanzibar?

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should apply insect repellents on clothing, wear covered light clothing and use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation. Travellers should also consult with their doctor prior to flying.