Population: app 160,000 (not calculated since 1988?)
Main city: Zanzibar Stonetown
Airport: Amani Karume Int Airport (ZNZ) no luggage carousel, fyi
Main tourist draws: beaches, Historic Stonetown, and in my opinion, Chocolate Mama’s!
Exchange rate: 1 USD = 2245 TZS (shillings) (Jan 2018) USD are widely accepted and preferred, but you’ll spend less if you pay in shillings. ATM machines distribute shillings only, as I learned the hard way. I strongly suggest using shillings while you’re here. You’ll spend far less. Locals will always use payment in dollars to their advantage anywhere in Tanzania.
Best time to visit: There really isn’t a bad time to visit Zanzibar. The weather there is pretty consistently warm or hot, there is no cruise ship season, and it is a far-away enough destination that it doesn’t get really crowded. I was there in January, which is high season for Kilimanjaro and often times after climbing, people go to Zanzibar for some R & R. It wasn’t crowded in the least when I was there.
Local cuisine: No idea. Restaurants try to appeal to tourists. Very difficult to find traditional food, but no shortage of good Indian food if you’re like me and love spice. We had excellent food at the beach resort, but I wasn’t impressed with food in Stonetown except for the Indian food.
Beer: Kilimanjaro, Safari (my fave), Serengeti, Ndovu (didn’t know about this one when I visited)