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  • Writer's pictureAfrica Luxury Properties

Can Zanzibar Real Estate Be Bought?

Updated: May 31, 2023

Beach front with boat

The Tanzanian island of Zanzibar is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in East Africa, enjoying pristine white sandy beaches, lush forested regions and thriving coral reefs. With an ever growing real estate market, the most popular island listings are Zanzibar hotels for sale, Zanzibar land for sale and Zanzibar houses for sale.

There are typically three ways of acquiring land in Zanzibar, which are through

1. Allocation / Expansion

2. Sale / Purchase

3. Inheritance / Wakf

Allocation / Expansion of Zanzibar Real Estate

Land allocation is done through the Zanzibar Ministry of Land or other relevant government authorities. Land allocation/expansion is the process by which a plot owner, requests from the Ministry of Land, a neighboring parcel of land which is not owned by a private individual/entity, but is under the stewardship of the government.

In this case, a plot owner can request that the government allocate this "unclaimed" piece of land to them, to be used for development purposes. In most cases such allocation is directed by some regulations and restrictions.

Sale / Purchase of Zanzibar Real Estate

By far, the easiest and most common form of acquiring Zanzibar Real Estate is through an outright sale/purchase transaction. This process involves the exchange of currency for the land rights of the specified property.

This process is overseen by two major government agencies, The Zanzibar Ministry of Land and the Zanzibar Land Transfer Department. The role each agency plays in the transaction are heavily dependent on certain factors,

1. Seller/Owner's Official Documentation

2. Plot Location

3. Nature Of Investment / Project

Inheritance / Wakf of Zanzibar Real Estate

This process of land acquisition is normally done between Zanzibar locals/citizens. Through the death of the family patriarch or matriarch, the property ownership rights are transferred to the remaining kin.

The Zanzibar Wakf Fund is responsible for receiving and fairly distributing the wealth and assets to the remaining kin. Land inherited and later sold, is all done through the Zanzibar Wakf Fund to ensure all necessary parties receive a share.

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