Zanzibar is one of the most outstanding tropical islands for its incredible white sands coastlines, beautiful coral reefs, bucket list of things to do, great historical sites and exciting conservative cultures. Though most tourist visiting the destination prefer going to the main unguja island, Zanzibar also has other satellite islands that offer one of the most exclusive and authentic beach stay. Zanzibar is therefore a haven for all types of tourist from budget to luxury tourists. In this guide we shall share more information on how you can make a budget for your Zanzibar trip and still have the best value of money.
Your Zanzibar trip budget will most likely be determined by:
How beach location you choose affect the cost of your Zanzibar trip
Zanzibar trip cost could be determined by the location you are preferring to stay during your trip. The price incurred when staying in any given location in the archipelago will vary because.
- Accessibility from the airports and popular destinations in the archipelago. Most tourists will prefer staying in the Unguja island for its ease access from both abeid Karume international airport and Dar es salaam international airport.
- Availability of budget accommodation. Zanzibar main island offer accommodation for all budget levels. This makes it a popular choice for most budget travelers. In the island, the area around stone town has the most affordable accommodation coming in the form of guesthouses. This could go for as little as 40 USD for a double room per night. Paje a busy strip in the south eastern has a few selections of budget facilities and mid range accommodation going for about 100 USD. Though not as budget friendly as Unguja you may also be lucky to secure a slot in one of the few guesthouses around chake chake in pemba island. If you are looking for luxury stay the outer islands are the most perfect picks for their authentic exclusivity. The northern Unguja Nungwi beach also has a number of top-level facilities offering similar experiences. A good luxury accommodation will cost over 500 USD per night.
Important tips to help you pick a location that grant the best value of money
- Consider the activities you are engaging in. It is not just about the cost you should also consider how suitable a location is for the activities you will be engaging in. For instance, if you are interested in surfing and other wind dependent activities go for the eastern coast beach locations. If you are interested in snorkeling or scuba nungwi is the best location in the main island while mnemba island and pemba island are the best outer islands.
- It is not just an accommodation. You are definitely visiting Zanzibar for the beach. Your accommodation of choice should in the beachfront.
Some of the seasons that would make a difference in your Zanzibar trip include
- Dry season (December- March and July – October)
- Wet season ( April – June and November – December)
- Windy seasons ( December to March and Mid-May to October)
The most affordable season in Zanzibar is the rainy seasons. This is because most travelers avoid the beaches leading to discounted accommodation and activities rates. This would lead to a 10% – 30 % reduction in your trip cost. The impact on the value of money when you travel over the rainy season will largely depend on the weather condition over the period you will be visiting. There are few days when there are regular downpours whole days. However, in most instances there are hot and humid weather throughout the morning followed by a 2 – 3 hrs rains in the afternoon. This mean you will have ample time for the beach and taking part in fun activities throughout the morning. To minimize the chances of encountering bad weather over the rainy season we recommend that you fix your trip for June when the rains subsidizes but the beaches are still empty.
The most affordable period for Zanzibar trip over the windy seasons is in June as the month is a shoulder period transitioning the long rains to dry season. Over this period the Kusi trade winds are also starting to blow over the eastern facing of paje and Matemwe beaches. November is the most cost effective month for divers as the seas are relatively calm and the month coincides with the short rains.
Important tips to help you pick a season that grant the best value of money
- Always ensure the season you pick match both your budget and desired experience. This will give you the best satisfaction for your spending.
There is a wide range of activities to engage in while in Zanzibar. The most valued activity is however is sunbathing which you don’t pay for.
Other activities will be charged at rates similar to the one shown on the chart below.
|Snorkeling||70 USD / dive|
|Scuba diving||70 USD / dive|
|Kite surfing||20 USD / hr|
|Deep sea fishing||250 USD / half day|
|Sky diving||350 USD / dive|
|Stand Up Paddling||20 USD / hr|
The cost of activities in Zanzibar will further determined by:
- Level of experience. Some activities like diving, paddle boarding and kite surfing require technical skills. Complete newbies may have to hire an instructor which may lead to additional cost.
- Individual operators. Though this could make just a slight difference the prices offered by different operators will vary.
Other expensive that could lead to an increase in your Zanzibar trip cost
- Cost of travel insurance. These include medical covers against accidents when venturing in activities like scuba diving. This could cost you between 10 USD and 100 USD depending on how much you are covered.
- Excursions and tours. Tourist visiting Zanzibar are likely to add a tour to the stone town, and jozani forest which would lead to approximately 100 USD for a day trip from Unguja or even a multi days tours in the southern destinations which would cost between 350 USD and 500 USD per day.
- Your international flight cost. Zanzibar could be accessed through the Dar Es Salaam international airport in Dar es salaam or Abeid Karume international Airport in Unguja. Most inbound travelers however prefers Dar es salaam airport for its flexible and affordable rates. The average cost of flight to Dar es salaam is roughly 550 USD to 800 USD for tourist visiting from Europe and North America depending on different factors including destination of origin. From Dar es Salaam tourist can reconnect to Unguja through the ferry service that charges between 35 USD and 60 USD depending on the class choose.
- Tipping cost. Tipping is a common practice especially when dealing with a guide/ driver who will be taking you to different parts of the island. The average accepted amount is between 10 USD and 20 USD per day.