In my last article I have share with you why I think Zanzibar is worth a visit. I have also explained that although Zanzibar is prised to have such a relaxed atmosphere, the population is very religious and mostly Muslims, so dressing appropriately is imperative and that’s why I want to show you what to wear for a week in Zanzibar.

If you think about it, it’s actually pretty easy to put together what you will wear for a week on a beach destination like Zanzibar. Most time you will be on the beach soaking up the sun or swimming in the sea with beautiful starfish, but, there will be other times where you will be out and about exploring the rest of the island.

So, I made a small list with my favourites that I have packed for my week in Zanzibar. I have also included some tips for ‘dressing appropriately’ that I hope will make your packing experience much easier.

My list on what to wear for a week in Zanzibar

General Tips

As general advice when you walk around the beach and hotels of the north of the island it’s fine wearing your bikini/shorts but when going for lunch/dinner, even in the beach restaurants, please put something on, even if it’s just a shirt. Outside this areas avoid walking with just your swim costumes. For women, topless in the beach is not allowed.

When out in the villages or Stone Town dress modestly. For women cover the knees and shoulders, you can use long skirts or even a scarf.

It will be hot and humid most time so choose materials that are lightweight and preferably cotton.  At night if it’s the hottest season (I have travelled in February) you don’t really need a jacket so I didn’t include that on my list.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Essentials



Beach Bag: I love the straw ones and they are also useful as hand luggage.




Beach Towel: I normally use a thin one like these Turkish bath towel because it doesn’t take much space when packing.

Sunscreen: not really to wear but to apply all the time. The sun is strong and the sunshine hours are long so, be careful!

Scarf: I have included this one as essential because in some areas of Stone Town you may have to use it to cover up and will warm you up in case you’re cold.


Flip Flops

Small heel sandals





Flat sandals


Bikinis/Swimsuit: always in the plural for me, can’t have enough of them! I am a self-confessed bikini lover – have a look on my favourites.


Beach tunic: I normally pack this one on my way to the beach and then wear it after for lunch and to come out of the beach. It’s a comfortable option when you have your skin full of sand and sunscreen.

Jumpsuit: you can use for day or night time






Short skirt




Long skirt: Women should cover shoulders and knees when out in Stone Town (dress modestly) so I opted for a light long skirt.

Maxi Dress

Hope you find this helpful for your trip to Zanzibar and let me know how can I help you in the comments below.

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Zanzibar, Tanzania

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Tags : Africapackingtravel easywhat to wearZanzibar


    1. Hi Kendel, I use it almost everywhere we never know what we may find along the way, so a scarf it’s always handy!

    1. Thanks Liz, I was not sure about that before but after my trip definitely keep something to cover up when exploring outside the beach areas, x Amalia

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