Unlike most western countries where people just go by minding their own business, when in Zanzibar greetings are a great part of the local culture.
- Greetings depend on age and time of the day. Morning greetings are different from evening greetings, moreover, the way young people say hi to each other is different from the way adults do it.
- Unless you want to scream "tourist here" learn a few Swahili greetings as the locals greet each other in Swahili. These are the common greetings and their meanings in English.
- Mambo/jambo/ Habari-hello
- Habari za asubuhi- good morning
- Habari za jioni-good evening
- Shikamoo- how young people greet adults.
- In case you opt to shake hands, always use your right hand.
- Never greet one person and ignore the rest, you can just say "Habari" when you go into a room to make everyone feel appreciated.
- Don't hug or kiss anyone on the cheek when saying hi unless you guys are both ok with it. Most people consider such greetings disrespectful.