Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam
We took a taxi from Protea Hotel to the ferry port and bought the same-day ticket in the morning The ferry departed from Dar es Salaam at 9:37am and arrived at Zanzibar at 11:20am.
After we passed the custom and luggage check point, the first thing was to purchase the return tickets. With the help from the officers at the departure gate in the ferry terminal, we found the ticket office quickly (not in the terminal) and purchased the return tickets.
The downtown area was in the opposite direction from the ticket office. Thus after getting the return tickets, we walked back, passed the ferry terminal and kept walking along the shore. Stone Town was beautiful and well developed for sightseeing. Since we planned to go to Nungwi this afternoon, our goal in Stone Town for the day was the Coins Shop only.
We had the store location but since Stone Town was built up with countless narrow streets and lanes, we still asked some local people as we got closer and found the shop shortly. When we arrived, there was only a guy in the store sitting at the counter and making a piece of jewelry. It was quite hot in the shop but the handcrafted arts were so interesting and delicate that we spent more than an hour there. The guy was also very friendly and demonstrated the tools used to make the coin jewelry.
The Coins Shop
Location: Google Maps
It was a handcrafted jewelry shop using the coins from all over the world as the based materials. There were various series and forms of jewelry, and customized orders were also available. Refer to website link above for further details.
Most items were between $15 and $20 USD. We bought two pre-made items for $55 USD in total. Then the staff provided us with the weaving threads in many different colors to choose from (free for necklaces, additional $2 USD for bracelets). Each product was put into a small bag with a small card from the shop.
We paid on a VISA credit card. We tried to swipe the card a few times and it took a while to process but eventually went through without issues. However, since the signal of the credit card reader was not stable, we recommend bringing some cash if you are highly interested in the handcrafted jewelry.
Ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar
Price: 92,000 TZS / person
Trip time: about 2 hours
Ferry Port (Dar es Salaam): Google Maps
Ferry Port (Zanzibar): Google Maps
The counters in the ticket office were separated by residents and non-residents. Passports were required for ticket purchase. A time and price table was attached to the ticket counter window. When facing the ticket office entrance, the boarding entrance was on the left, which was usually surrounded by lots of people waiting for family or friends or taxi drivers trying to get customers.
We were told that the cheapest tickets (US$ 35 / person) were all sold out but the staff then told us that the second cheapest tickets (about US$42 / person) were still available. Later on we checked the price table but did not see the $42 ticket. Possibly the price table did not list out all kinds of seats so always good to double check with the staff for available tickets based on time and budget.
All the bags were required to be scanned before boarding. Large bags and suitcases would be placed separately based on staff instructions, and they could be picked up at the arrival ferry port. Smaller bags could be brought into the cabins as carry-on, and there were some luggage space in the back of the cabins.
While boarding, staff would check the tickets for passengers and directed them to the assigned cabins. Seats were first-come-first-served.
In our cabin, there were A/C and a small snack bar. A Hollywood movie was played during the ride. Overall the ride was smooth and comfortable. However seasick tablets were suggested for those who could get motion sickness easily.
Upon arrival, all the passengers were required to fill out a yellow custom form and hand it to the custom along with passport for inspection. Then all the bags were subject to inspection by custom staff.
Ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
Price: 80,000 TZS / person
Ride time: 1 hour 45 minutes
The ticket office was about 5-minute walk from the ferry terminal. After getting out of the ferry arrival gate, just make a left and go straight. The ticket office was located in a small building on the first floor.
Refer to post Stone Town, Zanzibar for further details about the ferry ride.
Food / Restaurant
Bakery in Stone Town
Price: 1,700 TZS
This was from a small bakery close to the Coins Shop, mainly made of fried flour and eggs. It was cheap but not much flavor.