Whether you’re taking a trip from Tanzania to Zanzibar for some post-safari relaxation, a chilled beach holiday or a romantic East Africa honeymoon, the main draw of this African island paradise is the beaches. But with so many stretches of white sand to choose from, how do you choose the best beach for the type of Zanzibar holiday you want?
The wonderfully sleepy island of Zanzibar is one of East Africa’s finest beach destinations, surrounded by coral reefs with idyllic beaches lined by huge sweeping palm trees. Zanzibar beaches are the obvious addition to a safari on mainland Tanzania with the beautiful Serous less than an hour away. If you’re seeking a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, or perhaps looking to round off an amazing safari adventure in Tanzania’s many national parks and game reserves, then the beaches in Zanzibar are your best option.
Of course, your choice of which beach to visit depends solely on your mood and vacation preferences, but here are the top seven for your consideration:
BEST BEACHES IN ZANZIBAR
1. NUNGWI BEACH
This beach is located on the west coast of Zanzibar. The beach made the list in the top 25 beaches in the world in TripAdvisor’s travelers choice award. Nungwi beach is always vibrant. The coast is blessed with coral reefs ideal for diving, snorkeling, and swimming. You may be lucky to spot dolphins, shark and green turtles at a certain time of the year. Nungwi beach has numerous resorts, bars, and restaurants with a variety of nightlife entertainment. You can also go for a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow sailing boat.
2. KENDWA BEACH
Kendwa beach is located just a few miles before Nungwi village. The beach is slightly laid back compared to Nungwi beach. The beach is perfect for snorkeling, diving, and swimming without having to chase the ocean a mile away. There are lots of fun activities to engage in like volleyball on the sandy beach, beach soccer, and so on. Kendwa beach is also famous for its active nightlife and party atmosphere. The sunset accompanies loud beach parties. Aquatic creatures like the colorful starfish also take refuge on the beach just offshore.
3. KIWENGWA BEACH
Kiwengwa is a great beach for families with kids. Across the beach, there are major hotel establishments with standard swimming pools and facilities. This beach is visually beautiful and the culture surrounding it takes the best characteristics of each country, therefore making this beach a haven for relaxation and warm welcomes. There are also provisions for budget options smaller lodges. Swimming at Kiwengwa beach is not always possible, especially at low tide, so in some cases, it’s better to stick to the swimming pool facilities in your accommodation.
3. KIZIMKAZI BEACH
Kizimkazi Beach is very local and lowkey. It is home to a beautiful little fishing village. This beach is famous for swimming and spotting dolphins. Kizimkazi has a record of high tides and at such times, the beach is not fully functional and during the low tide, the ocean can be far away. The village of Kizimkazi is famous for its dolphin safaris. However, if you’re visiting Kizimkazi please be mindful about joining boat trips which offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
4. PONGWE BEACH
Pongwe Beach is a remote place to relax and unwind. Free from the bustling and hustling of the more commercial beaches in Zanzibar, Pongwe is quiet and provides you with enough space to yourself. It is the ideal place to visit if you seek privacy and intimacy or on a romantic date. There are fewer restaurants here so you may have to depend on food from your hotel. If you are interested in snorkeling and diving, the destination is about an hour’s drive away.
5. JAMBIANI BEACH
Jambiani Village is a sleepy fishing village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. Lying on the southern parts of Zanzibar, Jambiani Beach is indeed home to good restaurants and lively bars with often a mixture of locals and tourists. Jambiani has a beautiful 7 km long beach with swaying palms. In contrary to some beaches in the north, this beach has powdery white sand and hardly any rocks or sea-urchins. From the beachside, you can spot Zanzibari fishermen and seaweed farmers at work. Jambiani also has good snorkeling spots but it is difficult to swim during low tides.
6. BWEJUU BEACH
Driving north from the small town of Paje runs you along what is one of the most popular beaches on the island, bwenjuu beach. The range of hotels and lodges along here is probably the most diverse in Zanzibar and, with a great beach pretty much throughout the day, it is very hard to go wrong with your choice. the beach is only compromised at low tide, the rest of the time it is possible to snorkel and swim as you like.
7. PAJE BEACH
Paje beach is a lively place to just chill and have a memorable beach vacation. The beach has a laid back vibe with an abundance of beach bars. The beach is great for kite-surfing, especially between December and February. The low tides at Paje Beach often makes it impossible to swim in the pristine waters, but some hotels offer 24 hours of swimming access, so you could consider booking one of those.