The Ultimate Zanzibar Travel Series: Cost Breakdown
This week has been super busy, hence the lack of posts but I’ve managed to put together this post in hopes of finishing this series by the end of the week, so the Guest Feature series can begin. This post basically gives a clear breakdown of what my Zanzibar trip cost, with hopes that it helps you with planning your own trip.
Visa to Zanzibar is some-what free for most countries. Some-What in that, you can get a visa on arrival for a total cost of $50. There’s an option to apply for the visa in your home country, but why would you want to go through that stress when you can literally get on a flight, land in Zanzibar and get your passport stamped and ‘stickered’ with the visa, as you walk into the arrivals section. It’s literally that easy, and for only $50.
Depending on where you’re traveling from, flight costs will differ (read this post to find out how to find cheap flight tickets for whatever destination). I traveled from South Africa and a return ticket cost me R4200 ($312), yes you read right. I used the tips in this post to search for cheap flights and got myself this awesome deal. EVERYONE I told made it very clear that was a deal, and they’d never found a flight that cheap, even frequent travelers, so yes, use those tips.
Finding reasonably priced accommodation was quite easy as there are lots of options on booking dot com. Most of the 3-4 star hotels or resorts in Zanzibar are usually priced within the same range, except for five-star hotels. So, if you patiently search booking dot com, you’ll be sure to find reasonably priced accommodation. I think this also depends on where you stay. I’ll suggest you stay in Jambiani or Nungwi. I stayed in Jambiani and that places in extremely beautiful! I’ve heard Nungwi beach is beautiful also, so that can be another option. If you’re looking for more budget friendly accommodations, you can get some for as low as $10 per night. My room was $52 per night and it was totally worth it. There will be another post on where to stay in Zanzibar with lots of options to choose from, so be sure to subscribe.
COST: $52 (for two – $26) per night
FOOD & DRINKS
This is really difficult to calculate as I had days when I was extremely cutting costs and days when I was splurging. A really good meal in a nice restaurant in Jambiani costs between $20 – $40. Drinks cost between $3 – $8. Buying a meal at the night market would cost about $30 and that can be eaten as two meals, depending on how big your stomach is. I always had my meals twice, so that helped me save a lot. In this post, I talked about Lukmaan’s Restaurant where you can buy delicious local food for lower than $5. So, it all depends on where you want to eat. If you’re going to be eating local food only, which will mean you’d have to travel into town, which is quite expensive (read this post), you’ll spend about $10 per day on meals. If you’re fancy eating, expect to spend about $60 per day on meals. If you’re smart enough to choose a hotel that serves breakfast for free, you get to save one third of that amount.
COST: Averagely $20 per day
There are lots of activities to experience in Zanzibar, from snorkeling, diving, dolphin spotting to cycling, kite surfing, etc. Depending on the activities you’re interested in, your budget per day can range from $10 to $50. Activities like snorkeling are cheap and cost $10 per person, meanwhile activities like dolphin spotting or spice tour can range from $25 to $50, depending on your negotiating skills. Remember, like I said in previous posts, almost everything in Zanzibar is overpriced and negotiable. I’ve negotiated a $50 charge to $25, so be prepared to negotiate. Visit Colors of Zanzibar for all kinds of activities to engage in while in Zanzibar. Alternatively, you can speak to the staff at the hotel you’re staying, or the taxi company that picks you up from the airport. Another option is to go to Stone Town and speak to one of the guys hanging around the Forodhani Gardens, they might be cheaper.
COST: Averagely $15 per activity
In conclusion, I would say you should budget about $50 (excluding transportation & accommodation) per day if you want to really have fun on your trip. This should be able to cover one or two nice meals and at least one activity per day. If you’re on the budget-tight end, then you can budget about $20 per day and $30 on days when you decided to take on one activity.
I hope this post has been very helpful to you. If it has, please share how in the comments section below. Do you see yourself taking a Zanzibar trip soon? Or have you been to Zanzibar before? Share your experiences with me in the comments section, I’d really love to know.
The last post in this series will be on where to stay and eat, and I’ll be sharing all the nice places I ate at and where I stayed with all the beautiful pictures. I’ll also add suggestions on other places you can stay. There will be another Zanzibar post after that titled ‘A Hilarious Experience and Other Stories’, where I’ll be sharing the one super hilarious experience I had on my trip and other interesting experiences. This will be a very personal one and I think it’ll be a very interesting read and I’ll finally get to relax and share really interesting stories that I’m sure you guys will enjoy. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on these. Till next time, xx.
A software developer with an intense love for travel and fashion. Sharing all my travel adventures and style ideas with you, one post at a time. Glad you're here. Enjoy!