This Best of Zanzibar Holiday Package enables budget travelers to enjoy diverse aspects of the exotic Spice Island.
Explore the historical old part of Zanzibar City, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town. Then, take a spice tour to a spice plantation where the variety and aromas of this once coveted, valuable commodity will overwhelm your senses. Then head to the island beaches for adventure activities and relaxation in both the south and north of Zanzibar Island. In between visit Jozani Forest, to experience the lush rainforest, and be entertained by the antics of the red colobus monkey, found only in Zanzibar.
This memorable, yet cheap Zanzibar vacation trip offers the ideal mix of culture, beach, and nature.
This Zanzibar Holiday Package begins in Zanzibar’s capital (Zanzibar City) on the main island of the archipelago. Our Zanzibar trip explores this main island, Unguja, often referred to simply as Zanzibar Island.
When you arrive at the international airport just south of Zanzibar City, your driver welcomes you to the island. From the airport, you are transferred to the historic Tembo House Hotel, located right on the seashore in Stone Town.
The rest of the first day is free for you to rest after your trip and explore the city. Take a swim in the hotel’s big pool and treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment to get into holiday mode. Or head out and see the sights of Zanzibar City, with the Old Fort and House of Wonders a mere three-minute walk from the hotel.
In the evening you can go on a culinary adventure at the Forodhani Market in Forodhani Gardens. The gardens are located along the seashore and are very popular for a daytime stroll to enjoy the views of some of Stone Town’s historical buildings. But, it is at night that the gardens really come alive, with the bustling evening market. Feast on Zanzibari seafood, pizza, falafel as big as your face, sugar cane juice, enormous samosas, coconut bread, and crepes dripping with ribbons of chocolate syrup.
Alternatively, you can end the first day of your cheap Zanzibar vacation with sundowners on the hotel terrace and dine in the hotel restaurant which serves both local and international dishes.
Start day two on Zanzibar Island with breakfast at the historic seaside hotel. After breakfast, your tour guide collects you for a walking tour of Stone Town, the fascinating old part of Zanzibar City. Walking through the winding lanes of Stone Town you’ll see the different architectural styles of Zanzibar’s diverse cultures and interesting history. From mosques and cathedrals to ornately carved doors.
The city’s history is unraveled on a visit to the slave market, where the East African slave trade flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries until being shut down by the British. The old slave market is the site today of the Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ, a building that houses many tributes to the city’s cruel past. One tribute is an altar built over the spot where the whipping post stood. All newly captured African slaves were tied to the tree here and whipped to test their strength.
Other highlights include the Sultan’s Palace, now a museum. It was built in the 19th century for the sultan and his family, becoming a government building after the 1964 revolution. We also visit the Arab Fort, the oldest building on Zanzibar Island. The fort was built after the Portuguese were expelled from the island in 1699. The building has had a variety of uses from a garrison and a prison to a railway terminal. These days it is the headquarters of the Zanzibar international film festival.
You can enjoy some retail therapy on the walking tour too. A visit to the bustling market and gift shops gives you a chance to browse the unique crafts and curios of the island. Your knowledgeable local guide shares tales of Stone Town in bygone days and can give you insight into life in Zanzibar.
After an absorbing day exploring Stone Town, it’s time to return to the hotel and freshen up before dinner. You can dine at the hotel, eat at Forodhani Market or one of the many local restaurants, the choice is yours.
Day three of our cheap Zanzibar Vacation begins with a tasty breakfast at the seaside hotel. Your tour guide then collects you and transfers you to your first beach resort on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar.
Along the way, you stop to take a spice tour of the plantations. Spice is an important industry in Zanzibar. Introduced by the Omani Arabs in the 19th century at a time when spices were a valuable commodity worldwide, spices became Zanzibar’s primary income source after the demise of the slave trade. They play an important role in the lives of the Zanzibaris for their use in their cuisine, as a cure for many ailments, and for the dyes and henna that are used for decoration at festivals and weddings. When you see spices such as cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and turmeric root growing in the plantations, it’s easy to see why Zanzibar is known as ‘The Spice Island’.
Taste some of the unusual fruits that are grown here too, such as jack fruit, custard apple, rambutan, and carambola. Henna bush, lipstick tree, and lemongrass are some of the plants grown here too. Uplifted by the aromas of the spice plantation, it’s time to continue to your accommodation at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar) in the north of Zanzibar Island.
Now is the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the tropical beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters. Enjoy dinner at the beach resort in Pwani Mchangani, and fall asleep to the sounds of the Indian Ocean, under the protection of your mosquito net.
The next two days of our Zanzibar Holiday Package are spent at the island beach resort. You are free to laze on the beaches and enjoy activities at your leisure.
If watersports are your thing, the resort has a professional PADI accredited dive company on-site to organize and oversee your diving trips. With some of the best diving in the world and a company that knows the choice locations your dive is in good hands. Would love to dive but haven’t before? Then take some tuition from one of the qualified divers.
Other watersports include kayaking, sailing, or windsurfing, or you may choose to take a dolphin tour or a boat trip. On dry land, there is a fitness center, beach volleyball, billiards, and table tennis. If that’s all too energetic for you visit the spa or chill by the pool, soaking up some rays. If you are keen to see more of the island book a tour with the hotel concierge.
Relax in the evening, toast the sunset with a sundowner, and dine to the sounds of a resident, resort band. Fall asleep under your mosquito net to the sounds of the ocean.
This morning, after breakfast at the resort, your guide collects you and transfers you south to your next beach resort. En route, we take a detour to Jozani Forest to visit the only national park in Zanzibar.
This rainforest is home to the red colobus monkey, which is endemic to Zanzibar, along with sykes monkey, bushbabies, wild pigs, and many species of birds and butterflies. The nature trails are lined with mahogany and eucalyptus trees, but the environment changes in the mangrove forest which attracts lizards, reptiles, and birds and is important for the prevention of coastal erosion. Discover the secrets of the mangrove forest as you cross the boardwalk above the murky waters which are an important feeding ground for numerous tropical fish as well as crabs. Look out for the Zanzibar leopard which was last spotted in 2003 and is reputed to be extinct.
After exploring Jozani Forest, you travel on to The Sand Beach Resort on the southeastern shores of Zanzibar Island. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and enjoy the resort’s facilities. Take a lazy stroll along the pristine beach, one of the top 30 island beaches in the world according to Condé Nast Traveller. Enjoy a cocktail at the beach bar, or laze by the pool with a good book.
Sample a fusion of Swahili and international cuisine in the resort restaurant this evening and fall asleep to the sound of the waves.
Spend the last full day of this cheap Zanzibar Holiday relaxing on the beach and enjoying the adventures available at the resort.
The concierge is happy to help you book diving lessons or a scuba dive, surfing, or maybe kite surfing. Laze on the resort’s private beach, snorkel in the tropical waters, and take the opportunity to chill before your Zanzibar trip comes to an end.
Dinner at the beach resort is included on the last night.
This morning, after breakfast, your tour guide collects you for the return trip to the airport. This affordable Zanzibar Holiday Package ends back at the international airport in Zanzibar City.
The historic Tembo House Hotel is located on the beachfront in the old Stone Town part of Zanzibar City.
This lovingly-restored hotel is in a prime location close to the historical sites, attractions, and restaurants of Stone Town. The building itself housed the American Consulate for five decades in the early 19th century, before becoming the trading offices of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners, one of the largest trading companies in the Indian Ocean. Celebrities that have stayed in the building include Mahatma Gandhi and Freddie Mercury.
The hotel’s charming restaurant spills out onto spacious seaside terraces, serving local and international cuisine. Tembo Hotel also has an inviting courtyard featuring a swimming pool with deck chairs and shaded lounge areas. The hotel is decorated in an eclectic style with a distinctive Zanzibari character. The interiors feature ornate antiques and carved wooden furniture with bright splashes of color and influences from diverse cultures.
The rooms are all en-suite and most have a balcony with views of the ocean or pool. Each room has a small lounge area with a TV and is air-conditioned. The en-suite bathrooms have a shower and a traditional hammam bath. The rooms are furnished with interesting antique pieces and ornaments, including Swahili beds (carved wooden four-poster beds).
The Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa is located on the northeastern shores of Zanzibar Island, in Pwani Mchangani. The resort is set in a large, tropical garden with coconut palms, water features, and a large swimming pool. This upmarket beach resort overlooks the turquoise Indian Ocean, close to Mapenzi and Kiwengwa beaches.
With individual, typical African style round chalets and a roof thatched with makuti (coconut palm) your superior room is surprisingly sophisticated. Get lost in a king-size bed under your mosquito net, enjoy the facilities of an en-suite bathroom with shower, stay cool with the ceiling fan or air-conditioning and enjoy other facilities typical of a hotel, such as TV, coffee machine, laundry, and room service. Each room has a terrace, ideal for a sundowner as you watch the world go by.
Stay cool in what is one of the largest swimming pools in Zanzibar and relax with a drink from the pool bar. The resort offers a choice of restaurants that serve international and authentic Zanzibar cuisine and, of course, superb seafood. Indulge in a spa session after a busy day, prepare for the evening with a relaxing massage, facial or try the jacuzzi, steam room, or sauna. For the energetic, there is a fitness center, beach volleyball, billiards, table tennis, and a variety of watersports, including diving, windsurfing kayaking, or take a dolphin tour. (NB some activities are at extra cost).
The staff is waiting to welcome you with a warm ‘Jambo’.
Located on the south-eastern side of the island, The Sands Beach Resort lies along a private stretch of the pristine Dongwe/Bweju beach (voted as one of the 30 top island beaches in the world by Condé Nast Traveller). This resort has a stylish, welcoming atmosphere. The Sands is set right on the beach, lapped by crystal clear waters and dotted with palm trees. The 5-hectare gardens of the resort host twenty chalets tucked away in the tropical vegetation filled with spicy aromas.
Your standard bungalow has a queen-sized bed fitted with a mosquito net. Each beach bungalow has an en-suite bathroom and is equipped with a hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a refrigerator, a ceiling fan, and air-conditioning.
The beach resort has a scuba diving center that offers PADI diving courses and a surf school, which can organize surf trips for experienced surfers (own expense). Try kite surfing, stand-up paddling, snorkeling, or just chill on the beach or at the pool with a good book.
The Beach Bar, located on the beach is the perfect spot to find refreshing juices, exotic cocktails, and coffee whilst relaxing on the beach. Enjoy complimentary tea and cookies every afternoon at 5 pm, perfect for alleviating those hunger pangs before dinner. The restaurant, with views of the beach and ocean, combines international cuisine with Swahili influences using local ingredients and coupled with excellent service is sure to meet expectations.
The attentive staff of The Sands Beach Resort looks forward to welcoming you!