Budget stays at The Best Backpacker Hostels in Tanzania

The vibrant, diverse world of Tanzania, is a treasure trove of cultural richness and natural wonders. As a backpacker’s paradise, Tanzania offers a range of experiences from safaris in the Serengeti to the historic streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar. 

However, planning a trip to such a dynamic destination can be as daunting as it is exciting, especially when it comes to finding the right place to stay. That’s where hostels come in. Offering more than just a budget-friendly place to sleep, hostels in Tanzania are hubs of social interaction and cultural exchange. They provide unique opportunities to meet fellow travelers, share stories, and create memories, all while exploring one of the most beautiful and welcoming countries in the world.

Let’s dive into choosing a hostel in Tanzania and the reasons why it can elevate your travel experience. We highlight the best options across the country, from cozy, quiet spots perfect for unwinding after a day of adventure, to lively locations buzzing with communal activities. Let’s discover the ideal hostel that not only fits your budget but also enriches your travel adventure in Tanzania.

Why Choose Hostels in Tanzania?

Affordability and Value

Hostels in Tanzania offer affordable room rates. This means you can spend less on accommodations and more on exploring. For example, staying at a hostel lets you save money for safari tours, island hopping in Zanzibar, or tasting local Tanzanian cuisines.

Social Atmosphere

Hostels are perfect for meeting new people. Many hostels have shared lounges and organize social events, making it easy to connect with other travelers.

Local Insights

Staying in a hostel gives you access to insider knowledge from the staff and fellow travelers. This can include tips on the best local eateries, hidden gems, and advice on transportation.

Diverse Accommodation Options

Whether you prefer a quiet, private room or a lively shared dorm, hostels offer various types of accommodations to suit different preferences.

Tips for Travelers

To enhance your hostel experience in Tanzania, consider these points:

  • Location: Choose hostels that are centrally located to major attractions or near transportation hubs. This can reduce your travel time and costs.
  • Safety: Opt for hostels that offer secure storage options like personal lockers. Safety in accommodations is crucial.
  • Community and Activities: Look for hostels that provide communal activities which can enrich your travel experience.

1. Your Zanzibar Place, Zanzibar

Your Zanzibar Place, Zanzibar
© Your Zanzibar Place, Zanzibar

Location: This hostel is set right on the beach, offering a perfect retreat for beach lovers.

Amenities: Guests can enjoy unique makuti bandas (bungalows made from palm leaves), mosquito nets, fans, and a free breakfast. The hostel lacks a communal kitchen, but a restaurant on-site serves up tasty meals.

Activities: Your Zanzibar Place is ideal for those who enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling, and kite surfing. Bike rentals are available for exploring nearby attractions like Prison Island.

Why you’ll love it: The hostel’s beachfront location and vibrant atmosphere make it a dream stay for those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure.

2. Drifters Backpackers, Zanzibar

Drifters Backpackers, Zanzibar
© Drifters Backpackers, Zanzibar/ drifterszanzibar.com

Location: Situated on Paje Beach, known for its beautiful sands and active social scene.

Features: This hostel offers both mixed and female-only dorms, along with private rooms. It includes a beachfront bar and large communal chill-out areas.

Social Life: Drifters is renowned for its party vibe, making it a hotspot for those looking to socialize and enjoy the nightlife.

Why you’ll love it: With its stunning location and lively environment, Drifters Backpackers provides the ultimate beach party experience.

3. Lost and Found Hostel, Zanzibar

Location: Located in the heart of Stone Town, offering easy access to local markets and cultural sites.

Facilities: Known for its cleanliness and comfort, this hostel offers huge beds, sanitary conditions, and a friendly atmosphere.

Accessibility: Open 24/7, allowing for flexible check-in and check-out, which is convenient for travelers with varying schedules.

Why you’ll love it: Its combination of affordability, central location, and the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds makes it a top choice.

4. Nest Haven Homestay-Hostel, Dar es Salaam

Location: Set in the Sinza district, close to cultural attractions like the Village Museum.

Amenities: Offers free WiFi, shared kitchen, and lounge areas.

Culture: Its location in a less touristy area allows for a more authentic experience of the local lifestyle.

Why you’ll love it: The hostel’s setting provides a peaceful retreat with easy access to the bustling city life.

5. Makofi Guest House, Nungwi

Makofi Guest House, Nungwi
© Makofi Guest House, Nungwi/ makofizanzibar.com/

Location: Very close to Nungwi Beach, ideal for beach lovers and those interested in marine activities.

Standout Features: Exceptionally clean, with tasty food, and a reputation for friendly staff. Enforces a quiet rule after 10:30 PM, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep.

Community: Great for solo travelers looking to connect with others in a relaxed, welcoming environment.

Why you’ll love it: The combination of excellent facilities, strict cleanliness standards, and a friendly atmosphere makes it a standout option in Nungwi.

These hostels offer a variety of atmospheres, from tranquil beachfront locations to lively social hubs, ensuring that there is something for every type of backpacker visiting Tanzania.

What to Look for in a Hostel

When selecting a hostel, especially in a diverse and adventure-rich destination like Tanzania, consider these essential factors to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay:

1. Location

Proximity to Key Attractions: Choose a hostel that is conveniently located near the places you want to visit, whether it’s national parks, beaches, or urban centers.

Access to Transportation: Ensure the hostel is well-connected to public transport or is in a location where taxis and tours are readily available.

2. Reviews and Ratings

Guest Feedback: Always check online reviews from previous guests. Pay attention to comments about cleanliness, staff friendliness, and the overall environment.

Overall Rating: Look for hostels with high ratings across various platforms like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Hostelworld.

3. Safety and Security

Lockers and Security Measures: Check if the hostel offers lockers or safe places to store your valuables. Also, inquire about the overall security of the property, including 24-hour reception and security cameras.

Fire and Safety Protocols: Confirm that the hostel adheres to safety regulations, including having visible fire exits and working smoke detectors.

4. Amenities and Services

Essential Facilities: Verify whether the hostel provides free Wi-Fi, kitchen facilities, laundry services, and adequate bathroom facilities.

Extra Perks: Some hostels offer more, like free breakfast, social events, or even swimming pools and bars, which can enhance your stay.

5. Type of Accommodation

Variety of Rooms: Depending on your privacy preferences and budget, check if the hostel offers both private rooms and shared dormitories.

Bed Quality and Room Cleanliness: Comfortable beds and clean rooms are crucial for a good night’s sleep, so look for hostels that prioritize these aspects.

6. Community and Social Atmosphere

Social Spaces: A hostel with common areas such as lounges, gardens, or rooftops can provide opportunities to meet fellow travelers.

Organized Activities: Some hostels organize tours, cultural outings, or nightly events, which can be great for solo travelers looking to make connections.

7. Staff and Hospitality

Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff: The hostel staff can be a valuable resource for local tips and assistance. A friendly and approachable staff can significantly enhance your stay.

8. Price

Value for Money: Ensure the price matches the amenities offered. Sometimes spending a bit more can significantly improve the quality of your stay.

Considering these factors will help ensure that the hostel you choose will not only be a place to sleep but also enhance your overall travel experience in Tanzania.

Tips for Staying in Hostels in Tanzania

Staying in hostels can be an enriching experience, especially in a country as culturally rich and diverse as Tanzania. Here are some tips to make the most of your hostel stays:

1. Choose the Right Hostel

Match Your Style: Depending on whether you prefer a quiet retreat or a social hub, pick a hostel that aligns with your travel style. Review descriptions and feedback carefully to ensure they meet your expectations.

2. Pack Smart

Essentials Only: Bring travel-size toiletries, a padlock for lockers, a towel, and an international adapter. Packing light makes it easier to move around.

Security: A small padlock or combination lock is essential for securing your belongings in shared dorms.

3. Be Safety Conscious

Personal Safety: Always keep your valuables secure and be mindful of your surroundings. Use the lockers provided by the hostel.

Health Precautions: Carry basic first-aid supplies and know the local emergency numbers.

4. Respect the Rules and Other Guests

Quiet Hours: Adhere to the hostel’s quiet hours to ensure a peaceful environment for all guests.

Cleanliness: Keep your space tidy and clean up after using communal areas, especially kitchens and bathrooms.

5. Socialize and Network

Engage with Other Travelers: Hostels are great places to meet people from around the world. Join in on social activities and group tours if available.

Local Staff: Don’t hesitate to speak with hostel staff for local recommendations and insights that aren’t in guidebooks.

6. Manage Your Budget

Take Advantage of Amenities: Utilize free services like breakfast, Wi-Fi, and kitchen facilities to save money.

Local Eats: Ask staff or fellow travelers for tips on where to eat cheaply and well in the area.

7. Explore the Local Area

Local Exploration: Use the hostel as a base to explore local markets, landmarks, and cultural sites.

Transport Tips: Learn about the best local transport options from the hostel staff to save on travel costs within the city or to nearby attractions.

8. Prepare for the Unexpected

Flexible Plans: Sometimes, plans change due to weather, health, or other unforeseen circumstances. Having a flexible mindset can help you adapt and enjoy your experience regardless.

By following these tips, you can enhance your stay in Tanzanian hostels, making it safe, enjoyable, and memorable.

Conclusion – Top Hostels for Budget Travelers and Adventure Seekers

Choosing to stay in a hostel while exploring Tanzania can significantly enhance your travel experience. Not only are hostels a budget-friendly option, allowing you to allocate more funds to adventures and local experiences, but they also offer unique opportunities to meet fellow travelers and gain insights into the local culture and hidden gems. From the vibrant beaches of Zanzibar to the bustling streets of Dar es Salaam, hostels in Tanzania cater to a variety of tastes and preferences, ensuring there’s a perfect match for every traveler.

As you embark on your Tanzanian adventure, remember to embrace the diversity of experiences that hostels offer. Every hostel has its own charm and can be the gateway to discovering the real Tanzania. 

Explore, engage, and enjoy every moment of your journey!

Book your next stay at one of Tanzania’s top hostels through our links and start planning an unforgettable adventure filled with beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and new friendships.

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publication. However, it's important to note that dates, times, fees, and other related details are subject to change without prior notice. We will always make every effort to update the information whenever possible.

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