For this blog, we’ve torn ourselves away from the beach in front of Driftwood Beach Lodge and gone in search of the best things to do in Zanzibar on a budget. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with spending most of your time sunbathing– the vitamin D is free, and we don’t charge for the waves washing away your footprints overnight.

As well as being a superbly relaxed place, Zanzibar offers a host of activities that let you experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the Spice Islands.

What to do in Zanzibar

Okay, so you’ve topped up your tan and now it’s time to explore. You’ll be offered lots of all- inclusive trips by local operators, and while the initial prices can seem quite high, with a firm but friendly approach you should be able to bargain them down a little.

A visit to Stone Town is an absolute must. Although it’s on the opposite side of the island to Jambiani, it’s well worth the effort to get there. The maze-like old town is incredibly rewarding to explore on foot, with its narrow alleys, famous carved wooden doorways, and occasional glimpses of the traditional Swahili way of life.

Learning just a few words of Swahili will open more doors, and you’ll find plenty of cheap (and delicious) street eats, from chapatis to seafood and cold beers.

Budget-friendly things to do in Zanzibar

Zanzibar sunset

Some of the best budget activities in Zanzibar are right on our doorstep. Take a stroll along the white sand beach to visit the local fishing village, where you can hire a traditional dugout canoe for a romantic sunset cruise (it’s even more romantic if you can persuade your other half to take care of the sailing side of things!).

You can also hire bikes locally, which let you explore Jambiani at island pace. You can swim or snorkel directly from the beach or arrange a trip on a dhow to reach some of the local coral reefs and experience Zanzibar’s amazing marine life.

If you’ve ever wanted to kite surf, you’ve come to the right place – after all, with water this warm, falling in is hardly a hassle!

Zanzibar activities

giant tortoise

Zanzibar’s wealth was founded on spices, and you can still visit the plantations where cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are grown. If you’ve only ever seen these spices in the supermarket, you might be surprised to see what they actually look like (although the tastes and fragrances will be very familiar).

Just 30 minutes from the main island by boat, Prison Island makes for a fascinating budget day out. It offers a glimpse into one of the darkest chapters in Zanzibar’s history, as it was formerly used to house slaves, then people with infectious diseases. Today, its residents are far happier: the island is now a nature reserve for giant tortoises.

Driftwood Beach Lodge can put you in touch with all the right people for these activities and many more, and help you make the most of Zanzibar on a budget. Call us on +255 774 236 455 or click here to find out how we can help you book the best things to do in Zanzibar.