Concerns about safety in Zanzibar have surfaced once again following three separate explosions in Stone Town, Zanzibar, on Monday.
Two blasts took place in the Mkunazini market area near the Anglican cathedral in the heart of Stone Town. The other blast occurred at the seafront Mercury's restaurant and bar, a favourite spot for tourists. According to local police nobody was injured in the explosions.
The Commissioner of Police for Zanzibar, Hamdani Omari Makame, said: "Security patrols are on maximum strength and a joint effort by all Tanzanian law enforcement agencies is underway to ensure that there are no recurrences - and the culprits are apprehended."
Tour operators packaging Zanzibar have assured travellers that although the explosions were unfortunate, there is currently no real threat to the safety of tourists on the island. A spokesperson for Wild Frontiers explained the operator’s ground handler is monitoring the situation closely but felt that this was an isolated incident.
Lance Zackey, spokesperson for Rove Africa, agreed and said Rove Africa is also monitoring the situation closely and will advise current guests in Zanzibar if they feel there are any serious safety concerns. The operator is also advising travellers rather not to overnight in Stonetown for the next week or two until they have clarity on the situation. He added however that Rove Africa’s DMC has assured them that there are currently no safety concerns for tourists and that the beach resorts are perfectly safe.
The FCO reported that the British High Commission stands ready to provide consular assistance as necessary following the bomb blasts in Stone Town. The organisation mentions that although most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, violent and armed crime is increasing, and travellers should take sensible precautions to protect themselves.