"BEACH BOYS" Top 5 Page for this destination Zanzibar Town Local Custom Tip by DAO

Zanzibar Town Local Customs: 24 reviews and 46 photos

by DAO

Street Touts are often called
?Beach Boys? even when they are 40-50 years old. The local name for them is ?Papasi? the Swahili word for ticks. So what do they want? Most are friendly, definitely persistent and can be downright helpful sometimes. They will approach you just about anywhere. If you truly do not want any service of any kind, then be prepared. Here is what services they provide:

? Tour of Stone Town
? Other tours (Jozani Forrest, Spice Tour, Prison Island, etc.)
? Souvenir shops/crafts
? Taxi
? Hotel
? Help with bags
? Directions to a specific place (they walk you there)

Be polite. If you tell them ?I already have? and list several of the items above, they start to realise that you know how things work. I ?hired? one, or he hired me and I paid $7 for a 2 hour tour of Stone Town. I was shown everything and had a fascinating explanation of local life. They work on a commission. So if you go to ?my brother?s shop? and you buy something they get paid a small amount by the shop owner later. Always keep some small coins on hand. If you get lost or really need help you be able to give them a small reward for their assistance.

If you are here for a short period of time or just off a cruise ship, seize them up first. Persistent, but polite is ok.

On the other hand.

I did have an older one who kept talking to me in a bar. I am pretty sure he had a substance and/or mental health issue. The next day he saw me and was convinced that I had agreed to pay him for a tour of Stone Town. I had done this with another Beach Boy 2 days before. I even tried to hide in a shop who told me the obvious problem with our little friend. I ended up having to have a security guard running him away. Other than that episode I had good relations with these guys and they would always shout ?Jambo? at me when I was out and about

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 26, 2012
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