Budget Travel Hacks for Your Zanzibar Adventure


2min read

Published 19 February 2024


If your wanderlust is yearning for the pristine beaches and rich culture of Zanzibar but your budget is raising an eyebrow, don’t worry – we’ve got just the solution to an affordable and memorable Zanzibar adventure.

We are passionate about creating the perfect tropical  escape and have come up with a list of the ultimate budget travel hacks for the Spice Islands.

In this blog

1. Can You do Zanzibar on a Budget?

Absolutely! Zanzibar's allure isn't limited to luxury travellers. Venture beyond the tourist hotspots, and you'll find a world of budget-friendly gems. Opt for guesthouses in local neighbourhoods or cosy hostels that not only save you money but also immerse you in the vibrant local culture.

2. How Much does it Cost to go to Zanzibar?

Budgeting is the backbone of any successful trip. On average, plan for a daily expenditure of R 2500 - R 3000 per person, covering accommodation, food, drinks, airport to hotel transfers, and return flights. Indulge in the local cuisine at affordable eateries and consider a mix of self-catering and dining out to keep your wallet happy and your taste buds satisfied.

3. What is the Cheapest Month to go to Zanzibar?

Timing is your secret weapon. If you're looking to stretch your budget, aim for the low season, spanning mid-April to mid-June and mid-October to mid-December. During these periods, not only will you escape the tourist crowds, but you'll also enjoy discounted accommodations and activities.


4. How do You get Around Zanzibar Cheaply?

Navigating this tropical paradise without draining your funds is easier than you think. Embrace local transportation options like dala dalas, and shared minibuses connecting different parts of the island. Take leisurely strolls through compact areas to soak in the local atmosphere, or kick things up a notch by renting a scooter or bike. Bargain-savvy travellers can also negotiate taxi fares or turn to ride-sharing apps for a more economical ride.

5. Explore Local Markets and Street Food

One of the joys of travelling on a budget is indulging in local flavours without the hefty price tag. Zanzibar's markets are a treasure trove of spices, fresh produce, and handmade crafts. Dive into the vibrant chaos of Stone Town's Darajani Market, where you can haggle for spices to take a piece of Zanzibar home with you. Street food vendors offer budget-friendly bites—try Zanzibar pizza or a serving of mishkaki (grilled meat skewers).

6. Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

While Zanzibar boasts luxurious resorts, there's a plethora of budget-friendly accommodation options that don't compromise on comfort or charm. Explore local guesthouses, hostels, or budget hotels in areas like Paje, Nungwi, or Jambiani for a more authentic experience. Not only will you save money, but you'll also have the chance to connect with locals and fellow budget-conscious travellers.

7. Discover Free and Low-Cost Activities

Zanzibar's beauty extends beyond its beaches. Explore Stone Town's narrow alleys, adorned with historic architecture and intriguing tales. Visit Forodhani Gardens for a taste of local life, especially during the nightly street food market. For a budget-friendly day out, head to Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park to spot endemic red colobus monkeys and immerse yourself in the island's lush nature.


8. Embrace Water Activities on a Budget

Zanzibar's aquamarine waters beckon, and you don't need a full wallet to enjoy them. Snorkelling at Mnemba Atoll or Prison Island is a must, and many budget-friendly accommodations can help arrange affordable boat trips. If you're a water sports enthusiast, consider bargain-hunting for diving or kite-surfing deals, especially during the low season.

9. Scuba Diving Delights and Islands Beyond

For those seeking underwater adventures, Zanzibar offers fantastic scuba diving opportunities, with coral reefs teeming with marine life. Consider extending your exploration to nearby islands like Mafia Island and Pemba Island for a more secluded and budget-friendly escape.

10. Local Food Delights and Spice Tours

Indulge your taste buds in Zanzibar's culinary wonders on a shoestring. Sink your teeth into local dishes, explore spice markets and embark on a spice tour to discover the secrets behind Zanzibar's nickname as the "Spice Island."

11. Travel Smart: Tips for a Thrifty Adventure

Stretch your rand further with travel tips tailored for the budget-conscious explorer. From finding cheap flights to navigating local markets, these nuggets of wisdom will keep your expenses in check while maximising your Zanzibar experience.

12. Island Hopping and Boat Trips

Explore the gems scattered around Zanzibar with affordable day trips to Mnemba Island, Prison Island or even a venture to the serene Pemba Island. Embrace the beauty of the Indian Ocean without breaking the bank.


13. Solo Traveller's Paradise

Zanzibar warmly welcomes solo travellers. From budget-friendly dorm rooms to private tours tailored for the independent explorer, navigating this island solo is an enriching and cost-effective experience.

14. Super Tight Budget Survival Guide

For those on an exceptionally tight budget, fear not! Discover the secrets of making every cent count, from finding the cheapest accommodation to embracing local ways to save money without compromising on the Zanzibar experience.

15. Beyond Zanzibar: Exploring East Africa

Extend your adventure beyond Zanzibar by exploring the wonders of East Africa. From visiting Dar es Salaam to experiencing the rich culture of local villages, this region offers a myriad of budget-friendly opportunities.

16. Health and Safety: Travel Clinic and Insurance

Ensure a worry-free journey by considering travel insurance and visiting a travel clinic for any necessary vaccinations.

17. Zanzibar's Diverse Beaches: From Nungwi to the East Coast

Explore the diverse beaches of Zanzibar, from the bustling Nungwi Beach to the serene East Coast. Each stretch of white sand offers a unique experience for beach lovers on a budget.

18. Saving Money on Accommodation: Cheap Stays and Dorm Rooms

Discover the art of securing cheap accommodation without sacrificing comfort. From dorm rooms to budget-friendly guesthouses, find the perfect place to rest your head without emptying your wallet.

19. Zanzibar's Hidden Gems: Jozani Forest and Local Villages

Delve into the heart of Zanzibar by exploring hidden gems like Jozani Forest and local villages. Discover the rich biodiversity and cultural tapestry that makes Zanzibar a unique and budget-friendly destination.

20. Zanzibar's Culinary Scene: Cooking Classes and Local Restaurants

Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Zanzibar by taking cooking classes and indulging in local restaurants. Experience the authentic flavours of the island on a without a high price tag.

21. Must-Do Activities on a Budget: Dolphin Tours and Spice Plantations

Embark on unforgettable budget-friendly activities, from dolphin tours to exploring spice plantations. Dive into the vibrant culture and natural wonders that make Zanzibar a must-visit destination.

22. From Stone Town to the Northern Beaches: A Budget Explorer's Guide

Traverse the enchanting streets of Stone Town and venture to the northern beaches, all while keeping your budget intact. Uncover the cultural riches and stunning landscapes of Zanzibar.


23. Safety Tips for Solo Female Travellers

For solo female travellers, Zanzibar is a welcoming destination. Navigate the island safely with insights tailored for solo female explorers, ensuring a secure and enriching experience.

24. Unique Experiences: The Rock Restaurant and Private Tours

Indulge in unique experiences like dining at The Rock Restaurant and embarking on private tours. Elevate your Zanzibar adventure with memorable moments that fit seamlessly into your budget.

25. Connectivity on a Budget: Local SIM Cards and International Flights

Stay connected without breaking the bank by acquiring a local SIM card. Ensure smooth international travel with flight deals and tips for by speaking to one of our travel experts who will source you the best deal for your pocket.

26. Coral Reefs and Marine Marvels: Diving into Zanzibar's Underwater World

Explore Zanzibar's mesmerising coral reefs and marine life on a budget. Uncover the beauty beneath the waves without splurging, making the most of your scuba diving adventures.

27. Low Tide Explorations and Whale Shark Encounters

Embrace the natural wonders of Zanzibar during low tide, offering unique opportunities for exploration. Encounter magnificent whale sharks, creating memories without straining your budget.


28. Budget-Friendly Excursions: Day Trips to Prison Island and Mnemba Island

Embark on budget-friendly day trips to iconic locations like Prison Island and Mnemba Island. Discover the historical and natural wonders of these destinations without breaking the bank.

29. Practical Tips for Budget Travellers: All Your Tips in One Place

Consolidate your budget travel knowledge with practical tips and tricks. From navigating night markets to savouring Zanzibar pizza, make the most of every moment on this budget-friendly adventure.

Zanzibar on a budget is not just a dream; it's a practical and exciting reality. With a bit of strategic planning, embracing local experiences, and being mindful of your spending, you can savour every moment of this East African paradise without breaking the bank.

Book your Zanzibar holiday package with Flight Centre today!

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