Zanzibar Property Investment

During my time woring at, I have often been asjked about buying a property in the countryWhen investing in property in Zanzibar there are certain things you should do and others that you definitely should try to avoid. This article is a quick guide to the do’s and don’ts of buying property in Zanzibar.

Do’s: Zanzibar Property

Things you should do when looking for property in Zanzibar

Find a local company to work with: Networking and contacts is the key to doing effective business in Zanzibar. Companies who know the industry will have all the contacts in place to speed along a sale of Zanzibar Property and ensure that everything is done by the book in a legal sense.

Be prepared to wait: Real estate deals in Zanzibar can take months to complete – if you want to go quickly you will end up paying a premium, both on the land itself and for getting approval from the government for investment.

Visit the island: Companies such as OPEN East Africa are happy to do site visits for a remote client, but they always recommend that potential investors come to visit the island and land before purchasing it.

Make sure you are dealing with the owner: Families in Zanzibar are large with people having dozens of cousins, brothers, aunts and uncles. The person you visit on a piece of land might be trying to sell it without their family member’s knowledge. Make sure you have all the documentation and are speaking to the actual seller.

DON’TS: Zanzibar Property

The things you shouldn’t do when looking for Zanizbar Property

Try and do it yourself: Unless you know Zanzibar very well and have the right contacts in the right places you will find purchasing a property in Zanzibar very difficult. There are specific steps that need to be taken to ensure that you are covered legally and just finding out what those are could take you months. Go with a local real estate company who already has the knowledge and contacts to speed along a sale.

Be too eager: The sellers will quickly catch on that you’re in a hurry to buy something and will nudge the price up. They will happily double the price as soon as they notice the slightest bit of eagerness! It is often better to get a Zanzibari representative to go to the plot initially to discuss the prices and then you as an investor go visit the plot at a later date once the price is set in stone.

Forget local traditions: Zanzibar has many small villages with a lot of local traditions. If you are buying land from the local villagers make sure you adhere to their traditions and unofficial laws. A simple introduction to a village chief will make your life a lot easier when it comes to building your project as you will have the support of the village and they will look out for any potential trouble makers.

What Next?
We have only touched the tip of the iceberg with the do’s and don’ts for buying property in Zanzibar and the list goes on and on. I would strongly advise that if you are going to be buying Zanzibar Property, that you connect with a local company who is experienced with dealing with it, such as OPEN East Africa.

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