I used to always write budget posts about our travels but as the majority of trips this year have been ‘special’ trips where we’ve wanted to spend a little extra I decided not to track my spendings. But I’m back on the savings wagon come 2019 so thought I’d end this year as I mean to go on by tracking our spendings during our trip to Zanzibar.
The trip was shared between two of us so all accommodation is based on two people sharing etc.
Costs before the trip
We travelled from Dubai to Zanzibar over the Christmas period so our flights were maybe a little pricer than other times but they certainly beat the cost of heading back to Europe!
Dubai to Zanzibar with Fly Dubai cost £357 each
This price included 20kg of baggage but no food or drink on the flight so I stocked up on snacks before the 6 hours on the plane.
Okay so this is absolutely not a must and is a very expensive activity but we don’t know when we’ll head back to Africa (the last time I was there was 2010) so wanted to add in this once in a lifetime activity. We booked a last minute trip which meant it was only bookable 7 days before our trip. I made sure I shopped around before booking too and this price was a bench mark for most companies. The only way you could have reduced the price from my research would be to go for just a day trip.
We booked with Zancos Tours and Travel who work with Coastal Aviation for their flights to the mainland.
2 day 1 night Safari at Selous National Park staying Lake Manze Camp cost £552 each
This included all game drives, food, water, tea and coffee and transfers to and from the air strip.
Costs during the week in Zanzibar
In Zanzibar most smaller amounts of money are priced in TSH (Tanzania Shilling) while larger amounts or at big hotels and resorts things will be priced in USD (US dollars). While both are widely accepted most places will not take a $50 or $100 note unless you need very little change. I’d suggest getting small USD notes for local use and then some big notes for changing at the airport. You get a better rate the larger and more pristine the note is.
Visa on Arrival
When entering Tanzania most countries will need to obtain a visa to enter, as a British passport holder the fee for this was $50 and we were able to pay this by card without having to incur an additional fee.
In £ that’s £39
We decided to stay in three different places during our trip because we wanted to b able to see as much of Zanzibar as we could. This meant we were able to pick differently priced accommodation around the island. In the latter days we picked a resort because it was our first wedding anniversary but in Stonetown we picked one of the cheapest private rooms on offer.
Garden Lodge – A standard private room for 2 people cost £47 for a night- when shared between two people that’s £23.50 a night.
I struggled to find cheap accommodation in Nungwi that had decent reviews so had to up my budget a little but after all we spent Christmas Day here!
GOasis – A standard private room with balcony for 3 nights cost £197 – when shared between two people that’s £99 for 3 nights.
Our final destination was Paje on the east coast and here we decided to go a little fancy with the accommodation and increased our budget so that we could treat ourselves a little for our first wedding anniversary.
Cristal Resort and Spa – Deluxe eco room with balcony for 3 nights cost £308 – when shared between two people that’s £154 for 3 nights.
I would 100% recommend our accommodation in Nungwi and Paje both were brilliant. The accommodation in Stonetown was a great location and okay for a night but I’m not sure I would recommend for more than a night or two.
Total accommodation costs: £552 for 7 nights – shared between 2 people that’s £276 each.
Some notes about accommodation: We visited during Christmas week which is a popular time to visit Zanzibar. All rooms were private and not in the cheapest backpacker accommodation. If your budget was super tight you could base yourself in Stonetown where the accommodation was much cheaper.
I found taxis to be the most expensive part of our week in Zanzibar but unless we took the very local dalla dalla buses (which I didn’t fancy doing with suitcases) there didn’t seem to be many other options. I used a company called Zanzitaxi for most of these bookings as they seemed to be fractionally cheaper and were always on time.
Airport to Stonetown $10
Stonetown to Nungwi $50
Nungwi to Paje $60
Paje to Airport $40
That’s a total of $160 between 2 people during the whole holiday.
In £ that’s a total of £126 which comes to £63 each.
Food and Drink
Food and drink varied in price across the island and of course depending on where you choose to eat. We ate at a wide range of places with a huge range of prices. The only thing we didn’t pay for was breakfast as all of our accommodations were booked including this. Here’s the cost of food and drink broken down for a our week in Zanzibar.
Stonetown (1 night)
Beer at African House Sunset Bar
Dinner at Forodhani Gardens Night Markets
5000 Coconut water and pineapple
30000 Seafood Kebabs x 4
Dinner and drinks total 68100tsh | $30 | £23 which comes to £11.50 each
Safari (1 night)
$20 Wine and beer in camp
4000 Water and sprite
5000 Coffee (both at airport)
Safari drinks total $24 | £19 which comes to £9.50 each
Nungwi (3 nights)
174000 Bar tab for our guesthouse – on this we had 2 dinner meals (40000), a special Christmas Eve bbq for 2 (60000), countless water and beer
22000 Salad shared between us and 2 water
20000 Freshly made juice for 2 and water
59000 lunch (we both had salad), water and 2 cocktails
$90 Christmas Dinner (6 courses)
$10 Water and tip
32000 Four Cocktails
Food and drink total in Nungwi 578100tsh | $251 | £198 which comes to £99 each
Paje (3 nights)
20000 3 glasses of wine
$10 for 4 beer
$30 Boxing Day bbq buffet
$6 Four bottles of water
$27.50 Lunch for 2, sprite, water
$32 Four cocktails, 3 water and $2 card fee
New Teddy’s Place
42000 Dinner for 2, water, sprite
Mr Kahawa’s Cafe
32000 Lunch for 2 and water
The Rock Restaurant
$79 Two main courses, dessert, bottle of wine and tip
10500 Four bottles of water and crisps
Total food and drink cost in Nungwi $231 | £182 which comes to £91 each
That’s a total of £422 for food and drink for two over 8 nights which comes to £211 each.
$35 tips for camp staff, driver and guide on safari
$20 Turtle Sanctuary entry in Nungwi for 2
$40 Snorkeling trip to Mnemba Island for 2
That’s a total of $95 | £75 which comes to £37.50 each
35000 Fridge magnet, shot glass and 2 pairs of earrings
23500 After sun and coffee to take home
30000 Painting from local artist
That’s a total of 95400 | $42 | £33
but you can’t really share the cost of souvenirs!
Total budget for a week in Zanzibar
All below prices are for 1 person based on sharing.
Total pre-trip costs £909
Food and Drink £211
Total cost for the week in Zanzibar £659.50 which comes to £82.5 per a day
Of course you could reduce this by not doing a safari to £1016.50
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All prices correct as of the time of writing (December 2018).