Top 10 Beaches of Zanzibar
Explore Zanzibar's finest beaches, where you'll encounter breathtaking sunsets, shores lined with swaying palm trees, inviting turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs.
Traveling from Tanzania to Zanzibar opens up various options, whether you're seeking relaxation after a safari, a calm beach vacation, or a romantic honeymoon in East Africa. In this African island paradise, the beaches take center stage.
But with numerous pristine sandy stretches available, how do you pick the right beach for your ideal Zanzibar experience?
Our comprehensive guide and map showcase the top beaches in Zanzibar. Whether you want to swim, snorkel, bask in the sun, or stay at a beautiful beach resort, we help you discover the perfect beach for your preferences.
Bwejuu stands out as one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. This serene stretch of white sand graces the island's southeast coast, adorned with graceful palm trees, and conveniently situated just an hour and a half away from Stone Town.
Renowned as one of Zanzibar's most tranquil corners, Bwejuu captures the hearts of those yearning for complete relaxation, tranquility, and a touch of seclusion. The area offers various activities and excursions to enhance your experience. Delve into a mangrove forest exploration or embark on a captivating Dhow boat trip. Immerse yourself in the local culture with a visit to the village of Bwejuu, or explore the underwater wonders through a reef safari, snorkeling, and diving. A day trip to Stone Town or the Jozani Forest, where the charismatic Red Colobus Monkey resides, also awaits, ensuring your Zanzibar adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.
The beach is situated on the central east coast of the island. Michamvi unveils itself as a captivating peninsula awaiting discovery.Despite hosting two prominent beach resorts, Michamvi preserves an air of remoteness, boasting uninterrupted expanses of pristine shores waiting to be explored.
This peninsula unfurls in two distinct parts - Michamvi-Pingwe and Michamvi-Kae - each with its own unique charm.To the east lies Michamvi-Pingwe, where a vibrant coral lagoon mirrors the stunning hues of the surroundings. Here, palm-fringed beaches adorn a sequence of picturesque coves, nestled between lofty coral-rag cliffs, painting a breathtaking landscape that feels like a piece of paradise. On the western horizon stands Michamvi-Kae, casting its gaze towards the tranquil Chwaka Bay. This part of the peninsula embraces the serene beauty of west-facing beaches, providing an enchanting contrast to its eastern counterpart.
In 2018 Nungwi Beach was honored with a coveted spot on TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards, securing its place among the Top 25 Beaches in the World.Undoubtedly, Nungwi stands out not only for its natural splendor but also for its lively ambiance, making it one of the most vibrant spots on the island. The shoreline is adorned with a multitude of beach resorts, hotels, eateries, and bars, offering an array of nighttime diversions and entertainment options. Frankly speaking, a tempting place for a lazy holiday.
However, Nungwi's appeal extends beyond the party scene. Beneath its cerulean waters, lies a world of wonder - the Nungwi coast boasts captivating coral reefs that beckon diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. As you explore these underwater realms, you might find yourself in the company of dolphins, graceful green turtles, and, during certain seasons, the majestic whale sharks.
Facing the enchanting embrace of the setting sun, Nungwi Beach graces visitors with some of the most splendid sunsets in Zanzibar. For an experience that's truly unforgettable, consider embarking on a sunset cruise aboard a traditional Dhow sailing boat, allowing the tranquil beauty of the horizon to weave its magic around you. Nungwi Beach is indeed a place where vibrant celebrations, underwater marvels, and breathtaking sunsets seamlessly converge.
Drawing inspiration from the tranquil vibes of Nungwi Beach, Kendwa Beach is its serene counterpart to the north. Unlike many beaches in Zanzibar, Kendwa's tide remains relatively constant, offering crystalline waters that beckon visitors for a swim, snorkel, or dive.If love seashells, you’ll love this place. The shallows here are adorned with vivid starfish, painting an aquatic tapestry just beneath the surface. However, it's crucial to admire these marine wonders from a distance and ensure they remain undisturbed in their pristine setting.
As day transitions to evening, Kendwa Beach unveils one of its most enchanting spectacles: mesmerizing sunsets. As the fiery orb gradually descends, choose your ideal viewpoint and bask in the amber glow. With nightfall, the beach transforms, pulsating with lively beachside gatherings and mellow parties.
On Zanzibar's southern coast, the vibrant fishing hub of Kizimkazi weaves two captivating settlements: Kizimkazi Dimbani to the north and Kizimkazi Mkunguni shimmering down south.Toss aside your imagery of palm-kissed lagoons typical of the east coast. Majestic coral cliffs rise, setting the village aloft from the ocean’s embrace. Instead of vast sandy beaches, intimate coves carve out the coast, crafting an intimate seaside experience.Due to its distinct topography, you'll find a sprinkling of accommodations, bestowing an untouched, genuine Zanzibari ambiance.
Kizimkazi's claim to fame? Its exhilarating dolphin safaris! But, here's a golden piece of advice for the responsible traveler: Think twice before plunging into those tempting 'swim-with-dolphins' offers. Zanzibar's dolphin tourism sails unregulated waters, and many tours are helmed by those indifferent to the marine creatures' well-being. Picture this: a frenzy of boats encircling the playful dolphins, eager tourists diving in without heeding the animals' cues. Let's travel with a heart and respect our aquatic friends!
Matemwe graces Zanzibar's northeast coast, showcasing a stretch of paradise.Its sprawling beach, the longest in Zanzibar, boasts the island's most exquisite sands. Nestled amidst the swaying palm trees along the shoreline, you can discover age-old fishing villages, windows to the island's rich culture and heritage.
A stone's throw away, beyond the barrier reef, lies the globally-renowned Mnemba Atoll. This diver's dreamland is ringed by immaculate and easily accessible coral havens.Dive deeper around Matemwe Beach and you're in for a treat. It's the pinnacle of diving and snorkelling in Zanzibar, coupled with thrilling kitesurfing and sailing escapades.
Pongwe Beach is often hailed as Zanzibar's premier swimming destination. Pongwe's shoreline is set against a lush green backdrop, embodying the very essence of a tropical utopia. Not only does it sound beautiful but it actually is. Blessed with a protective offshore reef, the waters at Pongwe remain serene and inviting for swimmers. Beyond just dipping your toes, the reef is also a hotspot for snorkelling adventures and boat excursions.
Nakupenda Beach in Zanzibar is a pristine haven of untouched beauty. Characterized by its powdery white sands, this secluded beach stretches along the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The tranquility here is unparalleled, making it a perfect escape from the bustling tourist spots. As sunlight glistens off the gentle waves, the horizon offers breathtaking views, especially as the sun sets, painting the sky in shades of amber and pink. Renowned for its natural allure, Nakupenda remains one of Zanzibar's most cherished destinations for those seeking serenity amidst nature's splendor.
Nakupenda Beach is more of an untouched day-trip (possible to book one on Viator) destination from nearby areas like Stone Town, rather than a location with direct hotel accommodations. For stays, visitors typically choose lodgings in Stone Town or surrounding regions and make day visits to Nakupenda.
On the southeast coast, Paje Beach embodies the dreamy beach archetype with expansive white sands, palms dancing in the wind, cerulean waters, and breathtaking sunsets. Adjacent to a quaint village, Paje exudes tranquility, presenting itself as a calmer alternative to Zanzibar's bustling northern shores.
Paje Beach stands out for its water sports. Some people on the internet state that it’s the kitesurfing hub. The superior kitesurfing conditions attract enthusiasts and seasoned kitesurfers from every corner of the globe. Diving into its warm, transparent waters, you'll find reefs teeming with turtles, starfish, trumpet fish, moray eels, and a rainbow of other marine life.
At low tide, observe locals harvesting seaweed, an ingredient transformed into soap by a women’s cooperative. These eco-friendly products, encased in banana leaves, are available at nearby stores. Purchasing them not only aids the community sustainably but also treats your skin to nature's best. It can be a perfect gift for your friend or family member.
Finally, the last gorgeous beach on out list. Jambiani Beach, situated on the southeastern coast of Zanzibar, is a spellbinding stretch of pearl-white sand and azure waters. This coastal gem, shaded by tall palm trees, offers a serene ambiance away from bustling tourist hubs. As you stroll along the shoreline, local fishermen with their traditional dhows paint a picture of age-old traditions, seamlessly blending with the modern kite-surfers dancing on the waves. Beyond its natural beauty, Jambiani fosters a rich cultural essence, making it not just a beach, but an experience deeply rooted in Zanzibari heritage.