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The Best Budget Destinations In Africa


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ettie Gurley



Welcome to the world of budget travel! If you are eager to explore the wonders of Africa without breaking the bank, you’ve come to the right place. Africa is a continent rich in diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unique experiences. Contrary to popular belief, it is also a destination that offers incredible budget-friendly options for travelers.


Whether you are a seasoned backpacker or a frugal adventurer, Africa has a wide array of destinations that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. From vibrant cities to pristine beaches and wild safaris, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to choose from.


In this article, we will explore the best budget destinations in Africa that offer a balance between affordability and remarkable experiences. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting lands of Africa, without breaking your budget.


From the lively streets of Marrakech in Morocco to the breathtaking landscapes of Cape Town in South Africa, let’s discover the top ten budget-friendly destinations that should be on your travel radar.


Marrakech, Morocco

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, rich history, and delectable cuisine of Marrakech, Morocco. Known as the “Red City” for its iconic red sandstone buildings, Marrakech offers a blend of ancient traditions and modern charm.


One of the major highlights of Marrakech is the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square, a bustling hub of activity where you can witness snake charmers, street performers, and food stalls offering mouthwatering Moroccan delicacies. A visit to the winding alleyways of the Medina is a must, where you can find local artisans selling handmade goods and traditional souvenirs.


There are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options in Marrakech, from riads (traditional Moroccan guesthouses) to budget hotels and hostels. You can also indulge in the city’s flavorful street food, which is not only delicious but also easy on the pocket. Don’t miss trying the traditional Moroccan mint tea and sampling local dishes like tagine and couscous.


When it comes to attractions, Marrakech does not disappoint. Visit the stunning Bahia Palace, with its intricate architecture and beautiful gardens, or explore the serene Majorelle Garden, a paradise of exotic plants and vibrant blue structures. For a panoramic view of the city, head to the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech.


For an immersive cultural experience, spend an evening at a traditional Moroccan hammam, where you can relax and rejuvenate with a traditional steam bath and massages. And if you’re in the mood for some shopping, don’t forget to bargain at the famous Souk Semmarine, where you can find everything from spices and textiles to beautiful handicrafts.


Marrakech offers a perfect balance of affordability and cultural richness, making it an ideal budget destination in Africa. So pack your bags, embrace the vibrant atmosphere, and get ready to create lasting memories in the captivating city of Marrakech.


Zanzibar, Tanzania

Escape to the idyllic paradise of Zanzibar, an exquisite island off the coast of Tanzania known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and rich history. Zanzibar offers an enchanting blend of relaxation and adventure, all while being budget-friendly.


Zanzibar’s stunning beaches are the main draw for visitors. With powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, it’s the perfect destination for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Head to Nungwi Beach or Paje Beach to soak up the sun, try your hand at water sports like kiteboarding, or explore the colorful underwater world through affordable snorkeling trips.


Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that beautifully showcases the island’s rich cultural heritage. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleyways of the old town, where you’ll find traditional Swahili architecture, bustling bazaars, and a vibrant atmosphere. Don’t miss a visit to the iconic House of Wonders and the old Arab Fort.


Despite its tropical allure, Zanzibar offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options. From budget hotels and guesthouses to backpacker-friendly hostels, there’s something for every traveler’s budget. You can also try sampling local street food like Zanzibari pizzas and fresh seafood at affordable prices.


A visit to Zanzibar is not complete without exploring the spice plantations for which the island is famous. Take a guided tour and learn about the cultivation of spices like cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon. This immersive experience allows you to taste and smell the aromatic spices while getting insights into the island’s spice trade history.


If you’re a history buff, make sure to visit Prison Island, home to the majestic giant tortoises brought from the Seychelles. You can also take a boat trip to the neighboring island of Changuu and discover its beautiful coral reefs through affordable snorkeling or diving trips.


Zanzibar’s charm lies in its laid-back atmosphere, natural beauty, and affordability. Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway or a cultural adventure, this tropical paradise should definitely be on your list of budget-friendly destinations in Africa.


Cape Town, South Africa

Experience the beauty of Cape Town, a vibrant city nestled between the imposing Table Mountain and the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its stunning landscapes, diverse culture, and affordable amenities, Cape Town is a budget traveler’s dream destination.


Table Mountain is the iconic landmark of Cape Town and a must-visit attraction. Take a cable car ride or hike to the summit for panoramic views of the city and surrounding coastline. The best part? A visit to Table Mountain won’t break the bank, as the prices for cable car rides are budget-friendly.


Cape Town’s breathtaking beaches are free to access and offer a wide range of activities. Whether you’re looking for beachside relaxation or thrilling water sports like surfing or kiteboarding, the city’s beaches have something for everyone. Popular beaches include Camps Bay, Clifton, and Muizenberg.


When it comes to accommodation, Cape Town has a variety of budget-friendly options. From backpacker hostels to guesthouses and budget hotels, you can find a place to stay that fits your budget. Alternatively, consider booking an Airbnb for a more affordable and personalized experience.


Cape Town is a culinary paradise, with a range of affordable dining options. From delicious street food at local markets to trendy cafes and restaurants, you can indulge in a variety of cuisines without breaking the bank. Don’t miss trying traditional South African dishes like boerewors (sausage) and bobotie (a spiced meat dish).


The city offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions as well. Explore the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, known for its vibrant houses and Cape Malay culture, or visit the historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Many museums and galleries in Cape Town offer free or discounted admission, allowing you to explore the city’s rich heritage on a budget.


For nature lovers, a visit to Cape Point is a must. Located within the Table Mountain National Park, this rugged peninsula offers stunning views, diverse flora and fauna, and scenic hiking trails. It’s an affordable adventure that showcases the natural beauty of Cape Town.


Cape Town truly offers a combination of affordability, natural beauty, and cultural experiences that make it an ideal budget destination in Africa. With its stunning landscapes, diverse activities, and friendly atmosphere, Cape Town will leave you with unforgettable memories without emptying your wallet.


Nairobi, Kenya

Discover the vibrant city of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, where modernity meets traditional African charm. Nairobi offers a unique blend of wildlife, culture, and affordability, making it a budget traveler’s haven.


Nairobi National Park is a must-visit attraction, located just a stone’s throw away from the city center. It is one of the few game reserves in the world situated within a capital city. Here, you can spot wildlife such as lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos, all against the backdrop of Nairobi’s skyscrapers. The park offers budget-friendly safari experiences, allowing you to get up close with Kenya’s incredible wildlife without breaking the bank.


If you’re a nature enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where orphaned elephants and rhinos are rehabilitated. You can learn about the conservation efforts and even adopt an elephant for a small donation, contributing to the protection of these majestic creatures.


Nairobi is also a hub of culture and history. Visit the Nairobi National Museum, where you can delve into Kenya’s rich heritage and learn about the country’s diverse tribes and archaeological discoveries. The museum often hosts cultural events and exhibitions, providing valuable insights into Kenya’s past and present.


For a taste of Nairobi’s vibrant culture, head to the Maasai Market. Here, you can find a wide array of traditional crafts, jewelry, and fabrics at affordable prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the vendors to grab a great deal and take home a unique souvenir.


When it comes to accommodation, Nairobi has a variety of budget-friendly options. From guesthouses to hostels and budget hotels, there are plenty of choices to suit every traveler’s needs. Additionally, local street food markets and small restaurants offer delicious and affordable dishes, showcasing the flavors of Kenyan cuisine.


Nairobi’s public transportation system, including matatus (minibusses), offers an affordable way to explore the city. You can join locals in their daily commute and experience the authentic rhythm of Nairobi’s urban life.


From wildlife encounters to cultural experiences, Nairobi offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities for travelers. Embrace the energy of the city, connect with its diverse communities, and discover the beauty of Kenya’s capital without straining your wallet.


Dakar, Senegal

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and colorful streets of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. With its rich history, lively markets, and affordable attractions, Dakar is a budget traveler’s paradise in West Africa.


A visit to Dakar is incomplete without exploring the iconic African Renaissance Monument. This impressive statue stands at a towering 49 meters (160 feet) and offers panoramic views of the city. It’s a budget-friendly attraction that showcases the spirit of Africa’s rebirth.


Explore Dakar’s bustling markets, such as Sandaga Market and Kermel Market, where you can find everything from spices and textiles to colorful handcrafted souvenirs. Don’t forget to bring your bargaining skills as haggling is a common practice in Senegal.


Dakar is famous for its vibrant music and dance scene. Visit nightlife hotspots like Barra M’mabana and Just 4U for an unforgettable night of live music and traditional Senegalese performances. Check out the local event listings to catch free or low-cost concerts and cultural shows happening in the city.


If you’re interested in history and culture, make sure to visit Gorée Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just off the coast of Dakar. This historic island was a major slave trading center, and visiting the House of Slaves museum provides deep insights into this dark period of history.


Dakar’s coastal location means access to beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun. Popenguine Beach and N’Gor Island are popular choices among locals and tourists alike. You can also try your hand at surfing at nearby surf spots like Ouakam and Yoff.


For budget-friendly accommodations, Dakar offers a range of options, including guesthouses and budget hotels. You can also opt for a homestay experience to immerse yourself in the local culture and make new connections.


When it comes to dining, Dakar offers a delightful array of affordable street food and local dishes. Indulge in traditional meals like thieboudienne (Senegal’s national dish of fish with rice and vegetables) or yassa (grilled chicken or fish marinated in onions and lemon).


Dakar’s charm lies in its vibrant markets, lively music scene, and rich cultural heritage. With its budget-friendly attractions and warm hospitality, the city offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking an affordable adventure in Senegal.


Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty and natural wonder of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Known as “The Smoke that Thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most breathtaking waterfalls and a budget-friendly destination that promises an unforgettable adventure.


The falls, located on the Zambezi River, are a spectacular sight to behold. Feel the mist on your face and witness the sheer power of the cascading water as you explore the various viewpoints. Entry fees to Victoria Falls National Park are affordable, making it accessible to budget-conscious travelers.


In addition to marveling at the falls, there are plenty of budget-friendly activities to enjoy. Take a relaxing sunset cruise along the Zambezi River and enjoy breathtaking views as the sun dips below the horizon. For the more adventurous, try white-water rafting in the Zambezi rapids or zip-lining across the gorge for an adrenaline-pumping experience.


Victoria Falls offers a range of affordable accommodation options, from guesthouses and lodges to campsites. You can choose to stay in Victoria Falls town or opt for budget-friendly lodges in the surrounding area. Camping options, both within and outside the national park, provide a unique and budget-friendly experience for nature lovers.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the local markets in Victoria Falls town, where you can find a variety of handicrafts, souvenirs, and curios. Engage in friendly negotiations with the locals and bring home a piece of Zimbabwean artistry.


If you’re interested in wildlife, nearby Zambezi National Park offers game drives and walking safaris at affordable prices. Encounter elephants, buffalos, hippos, and a variety of bird species as you explore the park’s untamed wilderness.


For a cultural experience, visit the nearby Victoria Falls Cultural Village, where you can learn about the traditions and customs of the local tribes. Engage in traditional dances, taste local cuisine, and discover the rich cultural heritage of Zimbabwe.


Visiting Victoria Falls doesn’t have to break the bank. With its affordable entrance fees, budget-friendly activities, and accommodation options, you can experience the natural wonder of the falls without straining your budget. Prepare to be mesmerized by the sheer beauty and power of Victoria Falls, an unforgettable destination in Zimbabwe.


Essaouira, Morocco

Escape to the coastal charm of Essaouira, a picturesque town located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. With its laid-back vibe, stunning beaches, and budget-friendly accommodations, Essaouira is a hidden gem for budget travelers.


Known for its vibrant blue and white architecture, Essaouira offers a unique blend of Moroccan culture, history, and natural beauty. Take a stroll through the medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and get lost in its maze-like streets. Explore the colorful souks, where you can find everything from spices and textiles to traditional handicrafts.


The beaches of Essaouira are perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Feel the gentle breeze while taking a walk along the sandy shore, or try your hand at water sports like windsurfing or kitesurfing. Essaouira is renowned for its strong winds, making it a popular destination for wind enthusiasts.


Accommodation in Essaouira caters to all budgets, with a wide range of budget-friendly options available. From boutique riads within the medina to guesthouses and budget hotels just a short walk away from the beach, there’s something for every traveler’s wallet. Consider trying a traditional riad for an authentic Moroccan experience.


Don’t miss the chance to sample the local cuisine in Essaouira. Indulge in fresh seafood at the bustling fish markets or sit down at a roadside cafe for a delicious tagine or couscous meal. Essaouira is also famous for its argan oil, so be sure to pick up some authentic products to take back home.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Skala de la Ville, a fortified seafront rampart, is a must. This historic landmark offers stunning views of the ocean and the medina. The nearby Mellah, or Jewish quarter, provides a glimpse into Essaouira’s multicultural past.


Explore the artistic side of Essaouira by visiting the many art galleries and workshops scattered throughout the town. From traditional Moroccan crafts to contemporary artwork, there’s something for every art lover to appreciate.


Essaouira’s relaxed atmosphere, affordable accommodations, and beautiful coastline make it an ideal budget destination in Morocco. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, explore the winding streets, or indulge in Moroccan cuisine, Essaouira has it all without hurting your wallet.


Stone Town, Zanzibar

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Stone Town, the heart and soul of Zanzibar. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a labyrinth of narrow streets, winding alleys, and fascinating architecture that reflects a unique blend of Swahili, Arab, Persian, and European influences.


Exploring Stone Town is like taking a journey through history. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets, where you’ll find charming cafes, bustling markets, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. As you wander through the colorful buildings and ornate doorways, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.


Stone Town is an ideal destination for budget travelers, with a range of affordable accommodations available. From boutique guesthouses to cozy budget hotels, you can find a comfortable place to stay that fits your budget. Consider staying in a traditional Zanzibari house, known as a “Zanzibar Doors” for a truly authentic experience.


One of the main attractions in Stone Town is the Forodhani Gardens night market, located along the waterfront. Here, you can indulge in delicious street food such as Zanzibar pizzas, grilled seafood, and traditional Swahili dishes. The bustling atmosphere and mouthwatering aromas make it a must-visit spot for food lovers.


For history enthusiasts, exploring Stone Town’s historic sites is a rewarding experience. Visit the House of Wonders, the former palace of the Zanzibari Sultan, which now serves as a museum showcasing the island’s cultural heritage. Admire the intricate carvings and Arabic inscriptions at the Old Fort, and learn about Zanzibar’s dark past at the slavery memorial sites.


The markets of Stone Town are a treasure trove of unique finds. Stroll through the Darajani Market, where you can taste exotic fruits, sample local spices, and bargain for souvenirs. The famous Zanzibar doors, intricately carved with symbolic designs, can also be found in the markets and make for a great photo opportunity.


No visit to Stone Town is complete without exploring the waterfront. Take a walk along the seafront promenade, where you can enjoy scenic views of the Indian Ocean and watch traditional wooden sailing boats, known as dhows, gliding through the turquoise waters.


Stone Town’s charm lies in its rich history, vibrant street life, and cultural diversity. With its affordable accommodations, delicious food, and wealth of historic attractions, Stone Town is a must-visit destination for budget travelers looking to explore the enchanting island of Zanzibar.


Durban, South Africa

Experience the vibrant city of Durban, located on South Africa’s east coast. Known for its stunning beaches, diverse culture, and budget-friendly options, Durban is a fantastic destination for budget travelers.


Durban boasts a coastline that stretches for miles, offering beautiful beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Popular beaches like Umhlanga Rocks and Golden Mile are free to access and provide ample space to relax and enjoy the magnificent coastal scenery.


Accommodation in Durban ranges from budget-friendly hostels to affordable yet comfortable guesthouses and hotels. The city offers various options to suit different budgets and preferences, ensuring that you can find a place to stay without breaking the bank.


For a delightful culinary adventure, head to the Victoria Street Market, where you’ll find a wide array of affordable street food stalls and spice vendors. Sample the local cuisine, including bunny chow (a South African fast food dish) and samoosas (fried or baked pastries filled with savory ingredients).


Durban’s cultural diversity is evident in its markets and vibrant street life. Visit the bustling Warwick Triangle Market, the largest market in Durban, where you can browse through an array of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handicrafts and textiles at reasonable prices.


For a taste of Durban’s Indian influence, explore the Phoenix Settlement, once home to Mahatma Gandhi. Learn about his life and visit the small museum on-site. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a delicious Indian meal at one of the many affordable and authentic Indian restaurants in Durban.


Durban is also known for its rich history and art. Take a stroll through the Durban Botanic Gardens, one of the oldest botanical gardens in Africa, or visit the KwaMuhle Museum, which showcases the city’s history and the struggle against apartheid. Many galleries and art spaces in Durban offer free or low-cost exhibitions, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local art scene.


Whether you’re exploring the vibrant markets, relaxing on the sandy beaches, or immersing yourself in the city’s cultural heritage, Durban offers an array of budget-friendly options. Embrace the lively atmosphere and warm hospitality of this coastal city, while enjoying an affordable and unforgettable experience in South Africa.


Accra, Ghana

Discover the vibrant capital city of Ghana, Accra, where history, culture, and affordability come together to create a wonderful destination for budget travelers. With its welcoming locals, bustling markets, and fascinating attractions, Accra offers a captivating experience without breaking the bank.


Start your exploration in Jamestown, the historic heart of Accra. Explore the colorful colonial-era buildings, visit the iconic lighthouse, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and experience the vibrant street life.


Experience the lively atmosphere of Accra’s markets, where you can find a variety of goods at affordable prices. Makola Market, one of the largest open-air markets in West Africa, offers a sensory overload of colors, sounds, and aromas. Bargain for unique fabrics, crafts, and local snacks to bring home as souvenirs.


Accra’s beaches are another highlight of the city. Head to Labadi Beach, known for its golden sand and lively atmosphere. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean or relax under the shade of palm trees as you soak up the coastal vibe. The best part? Access to the beaches in Accra is often free or at a minimal cost.


A visit to the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum is a must to learn about the father of Ghana’s independence. Explore the museum and see memorabilia from Nkrumah’s life, as well as the mausoleum where he is laid to rest.


No trip to Accra is complete without indulging in the country’s flavorful cuisine. Try local dishes such as fufu (a pounded cassava and plantain dish served with soup), jollof rice (a popular West African rice dish), and banku (fermented corn and cassava dough). You can find delicious and affordable options at local food stalls and markets throughout the city.


Accommodation in Accra ranges from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels to affordable hotels. Whether you choose to stay in the bustling city center or opt for a more relaxed coastal area, you’ll find options that cater to various budgets.


Immerse yourself in Accra’s cultural scene by attending live music performances and traditional dance shows. Many venues offer free or low-cost events where you can experience the vibrant rhythms and energy of Ghanaian music and dance.


Accra offers a combination of history, culture, and affordability that makes it an enticing destination for budget travelers. Get ready to explore the lively markets, mingle with the friendly locals, and create unforgettable memories in the vibrant capital of Ghana.



Exploring the best budget destinations in Africa allows you to embark on thrilling adventures, discover rich cultures, and create lasting memories without straining your wallet. From the vibrant streets of Marrakech in Morocco to the stunning beaches of Zanzibar, each destination offers a unique blend of affordability and remarkable experiences.


Whether you’re captivated by the vibrant colors of Stone Town in Zanzibar, the historical charm of Essaouira in Morocco, or the cultural diversity of Accra in Ghana, there is something to suit every traveler’s budget and interests. Each destination offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities, affordable accommodations, and delicious local cuisines.


In Cape Town, South Africa, you can soak up the sun on pristine beaches and explore the city’s cultural attractions while staying within your budget. Nairobi, Kenya, invites you to encounter wildlife in its national parks and experience the city’s vibrant street life without breaking the bank.


Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe showcases the sheer power and beauty of nature, offering budget-friendly safari experiences and breathtaking views. Meanwhile, Dakar in Senegal mesmerizes visitors with its vibrant markets, rich history, and captivating music scene.


Each destination on this list has something unique to offer, whether it’s the enchanting architecture of Marrakech, the cultural fusion of Stone Town, or the coastal charm of Durban. Regardless of which destination you choose, you can rest assured that you will have an incredible adventure within your budget.


So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to explore the best budget destinations in Africa. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time adventurer, these destinations provide opportunities for remarkable experiences, cultural immersion, and unforgettable memories, all while keeping your budget intact. Africa is waiting to be explored, so start planning your budget-friendly journey today!