Take your conference to the island of bliss

Source: Kate Nathan

Tired of conferencing in Mauritius? Want a more affordable tropical island with a sapphire sea, white sand and coconut palms waving gently in the breeze? Does a short 3,5 hour flight sound attractive?

Having been exposed to European markets for some time, Zanzibar has a well-developed conferencing offering – an understanding of the expectations of international guests, great culinary offerings, comfortable and sophisticated hotel rooms and the standard technologies required for conferences. Free Wifi is available 24/7 at virtually every hotel (reflecting the expectations of the German, Italian and French tourists who discovered the charm of the island long ago).

The current scheduling of the only direct flights from South Africa, on SAA-owned low-cost carrier, Mango, has some appeal for Gautengers, but until the airline (or perhaps a competitor), brings on more flights, delegates from CPT and DUR will have to spend a night in Johannesburg prior to flying. Currently, flights leave OR Tambo at 07h00 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, arriving on the island three and a half hours later. The flights return on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 13h00, which means a three-night stay is possible.

Money matters

Warn delegates that they should take some US dollars in cash, in small denominations. Cards are not always accepted, and while South African rands might be accepted by some traders, others will take only dollars or Tanzanian shillings. Even the official money change bureau at the airport refused to take a card.

There are several ATMs in Zanzibar Town, but they appeared often to be bedevilled by malfunction.

Hotels collect a one dollar tourism fee per night on behalf of the government.  

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