Zanzibar Travel Guide
Zanzibar Travel Guide
Zanzibar Town
Where to stay

Zanzibar Travel Guide

Budget hotels in Zanzibar Town

Bwawani Hotel

(78 rooms) 0777 486487.
This 4-storey government-owned monolith on the outskirts of town is a drab monstrosity on the outside and abysmally dreary inside, with an institutional feel more appropriate to a prison than a hotel. The large en-suite rooms all cost the same, and, while this rate is just about acceptable for those rooms that have been renovated, it ranks as spectacularly bad value for those that haven't. It's probably best avoided, though the sheer number of rooms might count in its favour if you have difficulty finding accommodation in the high season. Unverifiable rumours have long circulated that the hotel will one day be privatised and rebuilt by an international hotel chain. US$35/52 sgl/dbl.

Garden Lodge

(18 rooms) PO Box 3413,
Zanzibar; Ø 024 2233298;
Situated on Kaunda Rd near the People's Gardens and the main hospital, this place is simple but neat and friendly, and good value in this range. Upstairs rooms are clean and bright and airy; downstairs they're still spacious and adequate but darker and a little musty. All rooms have en-suite bathroom, the showers are warm, the b/fast is filling and there's a nice little garden terrace out the front. When choosing a room, try to get one at the back as those overlooking Kaunda Rd are noisy. Downstairs with cold shower US$15/25 sgl/dbl, upstairs with hot shower US$25/40 sgl/dbl.

Island View Hotel

(18 rooms) PO Box 6,
Zanzibar; 024 2234605, 2235222;
About 2km south of Zanzibar Town, at Kilimani, this is a small and welcoming B&B, run by the friendly Mitha family. All rooms are spacious, clean and tidy, with dbl/twin bed, mosquito net, en-suite bathroom, fan, TV, fridge and telephone. Meals can be ordered, tea or coffee is available all day free of charge, and there's internet access. This hotel is very handy for the airport, and only a few mins' drive from town (transport can be provided). US$20/30/40 sgl/dbl/tpl. AC is an extra US$3.

Karibu Inn

(22 rooms) PO Box 3428, Zanzibar; 024 2233058
On a narrow street, parallel with Kenyatta Rd, in the Shangani part of town, this very simple, hostel-like place caters mainly for backpackers, budget tour groups or people travelling on overland trucks. The friendly and helpful management can set you up with budget tours, and also run a very well organised safe-deposit scheme. Clean but basic sgl/dbl en-suite rooms are available, as are dormitories, each of which sleeps between 4 and 7 people and has an en-suite bathroom. Rooms US$20/30/40 sgl/dbl/tpl; dormitory US$10 pp.

Kiponda Hotel

(14 rooms) PO Box 3446, Zanzibar; 024 2233052; 022 2233020;
On Nyumba ya Moto St in the Kiponda area, not far from the main seafront, this is a small, quiet hotel in a building which used to house part of a sultan's harem. It has been renovated in local style and still has an original carved wooden entrance door. The Dutch–Australian– Zanzibari management team give the place a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and although it's a touch more expensive than the budget hotels to which it is sometimes compared, it is also a lot cleaner, quieter and much better value. All prices are discountable for long stays and for groups, with extra reductions in low season. There's a rooftop restaurant specialising in Zanzibari and seafood dishes. The hotel also has good connections with the local Kenya Airways office and can help with flights and reservations. US$18/35/45 sgl/dbl/tpl; en-suite rooms US$45/55 sgl/dbl.

Mauwani Inn

(7 rooms) PO Box 3752, Zanzibar;
024 2238949; 0777 475748;
Another new hotel, situated just off Kenyatta Rd behind the Rendezvous Les Spices Restaurant, this offers cramped but very clean en-suite rooms with tiled floor, fan, net and in some cases AC – it looks to be good value! US$25/40/50 sgl/dbl/tpl.

Malindi Guesthouse

(14 rooms) PO Box 609,
Zanzibar; 024 2230165;;
In the northern part of Stone Town, near the port, this place has been consistently popular with travellers for many years. It's clean and nicely decorated, with a lot of character and a fine collection of old photographs from Arab-ruled, British colonial times and the early years of independence. There's also a bar and restaurant. Room with shared facilities US$20/30 sgl/dbl; en-suite room US$25/40 sgl/dbl; 6-person room US$60.

Narrow Street Hotel

(8 rooms) 024 2232620;
In an interesting bit of town, this old hotel on Malindi St is recently renovated. The rooms are all neat and tidy, but quite small, so ideally you should know your roommate well. The en-suite bathrooms are also small and simple but clean. The staff are a bit sleepy, but this is a fair choice in the low-to-middle range. US$15/20/35 sgl/dbl/tpl; US$5/room suppt for AC.

St Monica's Hostel

(15 rooms) 024 2235348; 2236772;;
Very near the Anglican Cathedral, on Sultan Ahmed Mugheiri Rd (which everyone still calls New Mkunazini Rd), this hostel is mainly for church guests, but it is also open to the public. The hostel was built in the 1890s and formerly housed teachers and nurses
working at the UMCA mission. The reverential atmosphere remains but this place really has an aura, with thick walls, wide staircases, sweeping arches and rooms with balconies (some have views of the cathedral). Rooms are simple and very clean.
In the same building is a restaurant, with simple good-value meals. No alcohol is allowed. On the lower floor is a small art workshop where you can buy paintings and hand-printed T-shirts. Room with shared facilities US$12 pp; en-suite room US$28/32 sgl/dbl.

Safari Lodge

(28 rooms) PO Box 3231, Zanzibar; 024 223 6523/0748 606177; 022 2124507;;
This new hotel in the Malindi quarter, though somewhat bland and soulless, is good value for money. The neat and spacious en-suite rooms have large beds and cable
TV, and larger suites are also available. It has a convenient location for exploring the old town and a decent rooftop restaurant is attached. Standard room US$20/30 sgl/dbl; suite USSUS$35/40 sgl/dbl.

Warere Town House

(10 rooms) PO Box 1298,
Zanzibar; 024 223 3835; 0741 509368;;
Situated in an early 20th-century homestead, in the northern part of Stone Town, very near the port, this 3-storey lodge has been popular for many years with travellers on a tight budget. It now offers even better value following a major renovation a couple of years back. The comfortable and airy en-suite rooms come with a 4-poster bed, TV, fan and attractive period furnishing. US$25/40 sgl/dbl.

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