Supermarket prices in Zanzibar. Prices of food & drink. Is cheap or expensive?

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Zanzibar is a very popular tourist destination. The weather here is perfect almost all year round, and in addition to the beaches, many other attractions await tourists. However, how much will such a pleasure cost? Expenses will vary depending on the place of accommodation, so before leaving for Zanzibar it is worth checking sample prices for basic services.

Is Zanzibar expensive?

Where is Zanzibar and how to get there? It is an archipelago belonging to Tanzania, and the easiest way to get there is from Dar es Salaam. Travel to Zanzibar is often cheapest on an all-inclusive trip that includes a charter flight.

Staying in a posh, luxury hotel, especially during peak season, is quite expensive, but you can also travel around Zanzibar on a budget, choosing cheaper hostels for accommodation and dining in local pubs and bars. Prices in Zanzibar can vary depending on the date of your vacation, so consider a trip in late spring, for example, when there are slightly fewer tourists.

An important consideration when planning your budget is the Zanzibar climate fee. As of 2023, new, higher rates apply.Tourists vacationing in 4- and 5-star hotels pay $5 per day, in hotels with 2 and 3 stars the fee is $4 per day, and at 2 stars a $1 tax is added.

The prevailing currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS). However, you can pay with US dollars or euros in many places, and it is easy to exchange your currency for Tanzanian shillings if needed. Payment cards are accepted in many places, but it’s a good idea to still carry some cash.

Is Zanzibar expensive

Prices in restaurants in Zanzibar

In Zanzibar you can eat very tasty and not necessarily expensive.Traditional African cuisine is worth tasting, for example, at Highland Restaurant Nungwi, where meal prices are in the $5-15 range. The restaurant serves seafood and grilled dishes, among others, and there is also an option to order a meal with delivery.

La Capannina Zanzibar specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes, and also serves Mediterranean cuisine, seafood, traditional African dishes, and exotic desserts made from fresh fruit.Meal prices start at 5 euros, a larger dinner can be ordered for about 8-15 euros. A more sophisticated menu can be found at Blue Dongwe Jetty – the average price of a meal is $40-60.

At Mapacha Food Court, menu prices look like this:

– ramen – 18,000 TZS
– seafood pasta – 19,000 TZS
– spaghetti bolognese – 16,000 TZS
– pesto tomato – 15,000 TZS
– ravioli with ricotta and spinach – 17,000 TZS
– ravioli with beef, chicken and seafood – 18,000 TZS
– vegan dumplings – 10,000 TZS
– dumplings – 15,000 TZS
– grilled wings – 10,000 TZS
– chicken soup – 12,000 TZS
– burger with side dishes – 22,000 TZS
– tropical version burger – 15,000 TZS
– salad with tomatoes – 15,000 TZS
– salad with avocado – 14,000 TZS
– soup with grilled vegetables – 15,000 TZS
– beetroot soup – 12,000 TZS
– pumpkin soup – 14,000 TZS
– vegan rolls – 18,000 TZS
– hummus with toppings – 15,000 TZS
– spaghetti with eggplant and tomatoes – 17,000 TZS
– banana cake – 6,000 TZS
– lime tart – 4,000 TZS
– tropical fruit tart – 4,000 TZS

Prices in stores in Zanzibar

Food in Zanzibar can be bought both in stores and in local bazaars. There are not too many large supermarkets, but still tastier are the products available at the markets, which also operate in these small towns. Here are the current prices for these most popular food products:

– a liter of milk – 4,000 TZS
– a loaf of bread – 690 TZS
– a dozen eggs – 845 TZS
– a package of rice – 290 TZS
– 1 kg chicken – 12,000 TZS
– 1 kg of beef – 10,900 TZS
– 1 kg of local cheese – 12,000 TZS
– 1 kg bananas – 2,500 TZS
– 1 kg of tomatoes – 2,400 TZS
– 1 kg oranges – 1,800 TZS
– 1 kg onions – 3,300 TZS

Alcohol prices in Zanzibar

Alcohol is available all over the island.The cheapest, of course, will be in the stores – for a bottle of beer you pay about 2,000 Tanzanian shillings, and for a half-liter bottle of vodka you have to spend about 77,000 shillings.The largest selection of various types of alcohol is in hotels and bars for tourists – Zanzibar is a Muslim country, so although there are not many restrictions here like in Dubai, for example, compared to Western stores, the alcoholic offer is much more modest.In a restaurant, you pay an average of 16,000-20,000 shillings for a glass of wine, a bottle of champagne costs about 450,000 TZS, and the average price of a drink is 18,000 TZS.Gin in a restaurant costs about 20,000 shillings, whiskey can be ordered for 12,000 – 50,000 TZS.

During the peak season, alcohol sometimes starts to run out, but when planning what to take to Zanzibar, it’s important to remember that only a small amount of spirits are allowed to enter the island.

Accommodation prices in Zanzibar

Tourism is very important to Zanzibar’s economy, so the island boasts a good hotel base and access to accommodations of varying standards. Hotels in Zanzibar are usually close to the sea.

At the Melia Zanzibar, on the east coast of the island, right on the wide sandy beach, you’ll pay about $450 for a night. At TUI Blue Bahari Zanzibar a night costs $240 – the hotel stands right on the sea, is surrounded by a beautiful garden with pools, and offers secluded cottages in addition to rooms.In the north of the island, prices are similar – for example, at Nungwi Beach Resort By Turaco a night costs $260 per night.Cozy bungalows close to the beach are also an interesting option, as at Reef and Beach Resort, where you pay about $150 per day. In a similar vein is New Teddy’s on the Beach, decorated in African style – you pay about $60 for a day’s stay. Guest houses are also inexpensive, such as Makofi Guest House in Nugwi on Zanzibar’s north coast, where prices start at $50 per day. In hostels and private accommodations, prices start at $20 per night.

Accommodation prices in Zanzibar

Public transportation in Zanzibar

Unfortunately, Zanzibar has rather poorly organized public transportation, so if you want to go somewhere further afield it is best to order a cab or rent a private car.Cabs from popular networks, with door-to-door option, are more expensive, but also more reliable, besides, you can hire one cab in several people, so the ride will come out cheaper. When renting a car with a local driver, it is worth negotiating the price before the trip.

There are no public bus networks on the island, only private mini-buses.They cost less than a cab, but you have to reckon with the fact that they run without a schedule, departing from the bus stop at any hours, simply when the bus all already filled with passengers. With mobile internet in Zanzibar, it will be easier to find the nearest means of transport and book a seat.

Real estate prices in Zanzibar

What if someone likes Zanzibar enough to want to stay here permanently?A small house in Kiwenga can be bought for about $170,000, while an apartment in Stone Town will cost about $300,000. For a building plot close to the beach you need to pay about $35 thousand. A holiday apartment near Pingwe can be had for $370 thousand, with villas in the Jambiani region at similar prices. More luxurious estates cost a minimum of half a million dollars.

Prices of souvenirs in Zanzibar

What to buy in Zanzibar? Zanzibar is sometimes referred to as the “island of spices,” and no wonder, as they really grow in abundance here.This is one of the more popular souvenirs from Zanzibar, and it’s worth going to one of the local markets away from the popular tourist spots to get them. You can get a packet of aromatic, fresh spices for as little as one dollar.

Wood carvings, which are extremely popular here, cost about $10-50.African-style jewelry, which is handmade locally, is available at extremely attractive prices – earrings or a bracelet can be bought for $4-5. More elaborate ornaments are $40-50. Traditional textiles and clothing are another readily purchased souvenir, for a few or a dozen dollars.Bags made on Zanzibar also cost little.

Gold prices in Zanzibar

In Zanzibar it is possible to buy investment gold.Its price per gram is about 196 thousand Tanzanian shillings. For an ounce of gold of the highest grade, you need to spend more than 6 million shillings.

Zanzibar tours prices

You can relax endlessly on the beaches of Zanzibar, but during your vacation here it is worth taking a tour of the island’s biggest attractions.Especially since the prices of optional tours are unlikely to scare you, and even on a modest budget there will be means to explore Zanzibar. Among the offers are:

– swimming and snorkeling with dolphins on Mnemba Island – $55
– snorkeling in a turtle reserve – about $60
– guided tour of Stone Town and spice plantation – $100
– safari through Mikumi National Park – about $400
– round trip tour of the island – about $140
– excursion to Mnemba Island – $85
– trip to Prison Island and Vanishing Island – $80.

Zanzibar tours prices

How much money to take to Zanzibar?

Accommodation by the ocean is the most expensive, but it is also possible to find cheap hotels or private accommodation in such a location.Being on vacation with a travel agency, these basic services are already provided in the price of the trip, so for other expenses, such as souvenirs or cab rides, about 20-30 usd should be enough. A budget vacation can fit in less than $500 for a week’s stay. Self-organized vacations of a higher standard will cost at least a thousand dollars.

Among the expenses, the main ones to consider are:

– transportation around the island
– entrance fees to museums and national parks
– souvenirs


Is it expensive in Zanzibar?

The cost of a trip to Zanzibar depends on various factors, but in general it is cheaper here than in the Maldives or Seychelles.

Is it cheap to go to Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is a relatively cheap tourist destination, including when it comes to staying in luxury resorts.

Simon Machniewski

Simon Machniewski

About Author

Traveler and owner of a small marketing agency.

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